Last night I participated in a webinar that explored the ins and outs of our beliefs and attitudes surrounding money. It was a Law of Attraction-based look at the principle of how money circulates in our life by first giving of ourselves, and thus setting in motion the universal law whereby abundance flows back to us. (As opposed to the other way around; seeking to gain first and then give.) But underpinning all of this was the importance of our own sense of self worth. Because if we don’t value ourselves, and what we have to offer the world, what flows back to us will surely reflect that.
If we have an underlying lack of belief in our own value, anything we do manage to gain will slip through our fingers and leave us right back where we started, because we don’t truly feel we are worthy to have it. I have heard it said that we will always revert back to the level of wealth we subconsciously feel we deserve. A good example of this is when someone wins the lottery but within a few years is broke again, or worse still, is now in massive debt. Or a one-hit wonder who squanders his millions and ends up destitute and plagued with money woes. We have all heard of such examples. Could it be our lack of self worth that causes this to happen?
Its interesting that we even use words like worth and value in relation to human beings. Is money such an all-permeating concept that we must measure everything against it, even ourselves? Or does it work the other way around? Do we try to gain a sense of self worth through having money and things, looking down our noses at the have-nots, and judging people who don’t wear labels or shop at the most expensive stores? Trying to make ourselves feel worthy with external riches and social status may offer a false sense of self-esteem, but you can’t fake true self worth, or buy it in a shop. And you can’t fool the Universe.
I only realised more recently what an emotionally painful issue money can actually be. To my discomfort I found that talking about money conflicts in my relationship was bringing up some very painful feelings. It surprised me because I’ve never thought of money as being an emotional issue. Money’s money. It’s a commodity, an exchange. So why could I not stop crying? And when something is causing a reaction in me that is way more intense than what is really rational, it’s a red flag that some much deeper issue is being touched on.
That’s when I get really excited! Oh wow, yeah that hurts … what the hell is that about? Now I need to spend some time with it and find out.
What comes up for me is a whole lot of guilt. A feeling of not being worth the money that’s been spent. Guilt over my greed and selfishness. The divided-ness of Mine vs Yours. The separation it causes between us, and the pain of that separation. The competitiveness of keeping score that makes the relationship feel like a battleground, clutching and grasping for ownership, possession. Feeling bad for needing the support, more guilt and shame.
Yes, money is absolutely an emotional issue. Whatever made me think it wasn’t? Yet I’m grateful for the opportunity to face it.
The antidote is unity. “Ours” instead of mine and yours. A deeper commitment. Or bust. A terrifying place to be! (For a commitment-phobe) To get closer or to run?
There is much more to ponder about ourselves as human beings, including our feelings toward and relationship with money. It turns out to be a much more intimate, emotionally charged, and deeply entwined relationship than I originally thought. And one that taps into some very deep-seeded identity issues.