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Death and Taxes

It has been said that there are only two things that are certain in this life, death and taxes. Talk about your instant mood booster...maybe if you are in the funeral or tax business!

I like to believe other things are certain in life, such as the air we breathe and the rising and setting of the sun. However, I do know that taxes and bills are definitely certain in life. And don't they ALWAYS seem to be coming in to be paid, both expected and unexpected?!

Another thing that is usually certain when receiving a bill, or paying a bill, is our reaction to it. Typically it is a reaction of dread, frustration, annoyance, or maybe even anger.

We find so many reasons to not want to pay a bill. Maybe we feel a price or cost is "unfair", or we are feeling a lack or limit in our finances, or we can think of so many "better" things to spend our money on. (Hello massage or dream vacation!!)

I have a question for you to think about right now. Is it possible to change those thoughts, and to maybe find reasons to be happy, and even grateful to pay a bill? I can hear some of your responses to that question now...."No!"..."Absolutely not!"...or "How is that even a question?!".

I can hear those statements in my head because that is how I would have responded in the past. Maybe hearing that question has your wheels turning now and actually has you contemplating if there is another emotion that can be felt when paying those expected or unexpected bills that show up. Another emotion besides dread, disdain, anger, or despair.

What if bills (and taxes) could be a tool that help us practice gratitude? Before you stop scrolling and totally dismiss this idea, let me share a personal moment that helped me shift my perspective, from one of frustration and annoyance to complete gratitude.

One day, about a year and a half ago I came home to a stack of mail on the kitchen table. One piece of mail jumped out at me as I was weeding out all of the typical "junk mail" to throw away.

I could see that it was from my doctor's office, and immediately the dread kicked in. I almost put it to the side because I didn't want to open it and be faced with a bill.

If I didn't open it then I could be oblivious a little while longer...and see the abundance in my bank account for a few more days. After some hesitation I did open it, and was hit with immediate dread and annoyance when I saw an amount much larger than I had anticipated.

Before I go on, let me take you back a few months before this bill arrived and fill you in on why I received the bill.

About a month after getting married I visited my dermatologist for a routine skin check. It had been years since I had been to the dermatologist, but something had just been nagging at me for a while to get back into the habit of routine skin checks.

So, I finally scheduled the appointment and received a head to toe check. I found out that one of the moles that was removed that day came back as skin cancer, and others were pre-cancerous. I was officially diagnosed with melanoma.

I shed some tears, received reassurance and hugs from my husband, and then I returned to my doctor's office for surgery. After 40+ shots (I lost count after that) of numbing medicine in my back, and many stitches, the melanoma was removed.

I waited for lab results for a few days, while taking a lot of deep breaths and praying for peace and good news. I finally received the news that all of the melanoma was removed and all of the margins were clear! The flood of relief and gratitude was immense.

So now let's go back to the moment I opened the bill from the doctor who performed my surgery. As I said, my immediate response was to feel dread at having to pay the bill. I was annoyed that insurance didn't pay more, and I began thinking about what I may have to go without in order to pay the large bill.

My natural reaction was to feel overwhelmed and start thinking about how I really didn't have the extra cash just laying around to shell out at that time...and "there goes savings"!

Then, all of a sudden, I felt a wave of peace wash over me and I made a choice. I told myself that the bill needed to be paid no matter what. I could choose to be upset about it and stew in the negative emotion and thoughts, OR I could choose to be grateful and pay the bill with a happy heart and attitude. Either way I'm going to pay the bill, so what do I want to feel when paying it?

I chose the latter, which was a HUGE shift in awareness for me. All of a sudden in that moment I began to think about why I was receiving that bill. I thought, "I don't HAVE to pay this bill...I GET to pay this bill".

I realized I was paying the bill because I had access to a doctor who was able to not only diagnose my cancer, but remove it. I would be able to heal and recover, and LIVE. In that moment I became so thankful and so happy, and even excited, to pay the bill.

This shift in awareness and perspective has stayed with me, and is a choice I continue to try to make every time I pay a bill. It is a conscious choice, and doesn't come naturally every time, but with practice it comes easier and easier every day.

This perspective can apply to any type of bill. Any bill you are being asked to pay, think about why you are paying the bill, or what you received for paying the bill.

Are you paying for a roof over your head, or a warm/cool home with lights and running water for your family? Are you lucky enough to pay for a phone bill that allows you to stay connected to those you love? Did you enjoy a nice dinner out with family or friends and then get to pay for the delicious food and time together while someone else does all the work?

Paying for the unexpected car or home repair also gives us the opportunity to be thankful for the service we are receiving, instead of being mad that we have the expense. Even a credit card bill, or a loan of any type, can be paid with gratitude...gratitude that someone else let you borrow cash when you needed it. What did you get in return for borrowing that cash and how did the use of those funds impact your life? Focus on that, and pay the bill with gratitude.

Can you shift your perspective to one of gratitude in these moments? It can be so easy to feel a feeling of "lack" when paying bills or paying for groceries or gas, etc. If you are able to shift to a feeling of abundance and gratitude it can be a true game changer. Shifting to this mindset can bring you so much peace, if you are open to it.

Every time we encounter a situation in life, whether it's paying a bill or being faced with another challenge or opportunity, we always have a decision to make. Will I approach this situation with anger, fear, or annoyance...or will I approach with acceptance and love, while feeling abundantly grateful for all that I have and all that I have access to? What will you choose?

With gratitude and love,


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Mar 25
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

This is a good reminder that we can take the time to reflect on what happens in our lives, and perhaps see the good in the harsh realities of life. It is a thoughtful and well written reflection which encourages us to be open to a life of gratitude.

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