We Don’t Believe in Tough Love Here

written by Bari Tessler February 9, 2022

Dear Money Adventurer,

The world of money and finance has always had more than enough tough love to go around.

When I first began my own money journey, I was discouraged by the cold and unyielding approach that most traditional financial advice seemed inextricably rooted in. I threw myself into my money research, but every book seemed to be written by older white men determined to tell you that there is only one right way to engage with money. The overwhelming message was that you had to be tough, disciplined, and clean up the mess you had made for yourself.

I knew that if I was ever going to overcome my money shame, bad habits, and self-doubt – if I was ever going to have a healthy relationship with money, I had to find a different way. I needed loving guidance, compassion, and gentle encouragement that would empower me to begin a new chapter.

We don’t believe in tough love here.

Tough love only continues the cycle of shame, fear, and self-blame.

We don’t need to bully ourselves.

We don’t need more negative self-talk.

We don’t need to ignore our emotions or sweep them under the rug.

And we certainly don’t need to abandon our hopes, our dreams, or ourselves to heal our relationship with money.

I’m not here to whip you into shape, to “teach you discipline,” or force you to commit to a rigid budget that feels restrictive (at best), or like a punishment for “getting it wrong.”

The only way out of shame is a new path: one blazed by gentleness and radical self-love.

Instead, we travel with compassion, arming ourselves with love, grace, and gentle curiosity.

We uncover lessons learned and carry them without judgment or blame.

We forgive the past.

We journal, light candles, and honor our emotions.

We get present and still.

And we celebrate every single baby step and brave leap along the way.

This isn’t a calling out. It’s a calling in.

This is an invitation to let go of “tough love” and give “soft love” a chance.

Leave your shoulds, shouldn’ts, and why-can’t-I’s at the door.

They have no place on this healing journey.

There is nothing heroic about self-criticism.

Grace yourself with forgiveness.

Above all else, please be gentle with yourself.

This is your path to carve, your story to write.

Make it luxurious, loving, and sweet.

P.S. The Art of Money Workbook is coming June 7!

Pre-order your copy now.

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