As I was planning my feast of free classes this coming week, all designed to give yo tools, perspectives and strategies for hope and resilience, I had occasion to talk with three friends and was deeply impacted by their stories. Each had a tale of serious financial woe. And until they revealed it, I would not have guessed.
One friend got stuck in the real estate crash, had to do a short sale of a rental house that was to be her long term nest egg and now is filing for bankruptcy.
Another, while trying to do something good for the world, stumbled into a work situation with a sociopath (you’ve had them yourself, no?) who has brought a bogus lawsuit against her, swallowing up her savings even though he doesn’t have a case.
The third told of a friend who has been a body worker for years with no savings and nothing to show for all this work according to Social Security. Due to the Recession, enough clients have quit that this person is now looking for a day job. At nearly 60. All caught unawares by the whip lash of the collapses.
A week ago the NYTimes reported that small “Investors withdrew a staggering $33.12 billion from domestic stock market mutual funds in the first seven months of this year, according to the Investment Company Institute, the mutual fund industry trade group.”
As I learned when my partner died, every loss (once the good grief has passed) is a liberation. Every forest fire releases the seeds of lodgepole pine and fireweed and the succession of new growth begins. Every constraint forces creativity – innovation happens within constraint. One door closes another door opens. This is all easy to say, but I guarantee you, I’ve been up against it many times in my life and it’s everything you suspect (nauseating, frightening, disorienting) but I know I come through better, stronger, wiser and free-er.
So this is the promise of what’s ahead – in my classes and in your life. We just need to learn to surf.