My Angry Letter

I am just finishing up a 5-week course with Barbara Stanny called Overcoming Underearning. It wasn't until I read Barbara's book and heard her speak, that I realized I was a classic "Underearner". Not the most flattering title, nor is it something I wanted to admit, but in being honest and transparent, especially with all of you, it's important I share my process and learning around this. As I've found, what we have the most shame around, is often what we most need to share, and in telling the truth and sharing our truth with others, we are set free. After all, shame cannot survive in the sunlight. 

So what is an underearner? According to Barbara, "An underearner is someone who earns less than his/her potential despite his/her need or desire to do otherwise."  You can make 6-figures and still be an underearner, because it's not about how much money you make but about how much you value yourself. The process of unraveling my underearning required answering some pretty uncomfortable questions, such as:What is your payoff for Underearning?
Who is to blame for your situation? 
What is the truth you're afraid of admitting to yourself? 

I'm sure you can only imagine the depth of emotion and anger that spawned from these questions. As I say to my clients, if the question doesn't trigger you, you're not asking the right question! I made the decision to dive, full force, into my anger and let it reveal to me what it wanted me to know. My resistance was huge, as I naturally run from anger any time it rears its head, and bury it before it has a chance to take over. But here I was, sifting through the bags of painful memories and emotions I had hoarded away. I heaved sobs, and wrote furiously with such force I thought my pen would snap in half. A lifetime of unacknowledged anger poured out onto the pages of a letter, most of it addressed to me. I held nothing back, and as I moved through it, I noticed that in simply giving myself permission to be angry, I had opened myself up to forgiveness. Real, genuine, heart-expanding forgiveness.  

My anger also offered me another gift... an opportunity to see where in my life I had handed over my power, and to take it back. I was not a victim to circumstance or to others, I simply took on that role. Taking ownership of my part allowed me to release everyone else and choose a new truth for myself: that my value and loveability are no longer a condition of what others think and believe. My value and loveability have no condition. There is a saying that what saved us as children, suffocates us as adults. The decisions I had made to limit myself, were made in order to receive love. As children, we learn that love is conditional, and it is up to us to mold into that perfect condition if we want love. Our very survival depends on it. 

Robert Holden says, "Love existed before the first judgment and before you doubted that you were loved and wholly loveable. Love is the Memory of Your Wholeness." Whatever you have been told about the conditions of love, have been told to you by someone who holds his/herself to those same conditions. In order to experience the unconditional love that exists within each of us, we must first unravel the conditions that have kept us from it. Anger is one of those gatekeepers, holding a key for you.

Underearning was merely a symptom of a lack of love. Just as is every obstacle or issue standing in the way of your happiness and peace. The gift of your wholeness lies underneath all of it. Do not fear your anger, your shame, your judgment, or your pain. They are simply offering you a way back home... to Love.