‘Money, money, money, must be funny, in a rich man’s world.’
This is the second in a three-part series on debt. This article focuses on your relationship with money itself, and as in the first part, asks you to examine the story behind your beliefs.
How is your relationship with money? While tied into your Debt Story, it is not one and the same. Do you respect money? Hate it? Feel that it is the root of all evil? Believe it will solve all your problems? Do you, like ABBA, wonder about all the things you could do (if you had a little money), and lament that ‘it’s a rich man’s world?’ Do you lust after it, feeling that it will bestow on you some magical power and charisma, and open doors that until now had been closed?
Money is, at its most basic, a concept. It is a recognised means of exchange that has become something of an obsession in our world; the attainment of it, the hoarding of it, the using of it as a means to oppress and control others, the using of it as a tool to demonstrate our philanthropic natures (or ‘our inherent goodness’), wars have been fought over it, people have been imprisoned and killed to defend it, people have been purchased by it, it has been cited as the ruin of some people and the saviour of others. But it is a concept. It exists in the physical world as one expression of the concept of exchange. Value for perceived value.
There are many societies that still prefer the barter system, and many groups of people around the world who have decided to live ‘money-free’ by offering their services in exchange for food, shelter, medical care, etc. You might be amazed by how many people are willing to work on a system that honours exchanges other than money. So why do we all value it so highly? Why is it a tool used to marginalise some and give preference to others? And why do we continue to believe that it simply is the way it is?
Money is not equivalent to power. It’s not equivalent to love. It’s not equivalent to charisma, charm, goodness, kindness, value or any other concept. In the same way, money is not equivalent to evil. It’s not equivalent to terror or despotism or hatred. It has been used as a tool in the pursuit of some horrific activities, but it is not the problem. It’s by attaching this inert concept to specific characteristics that it takes on a life of its own.
What if there were enough for everyone on the planet to thrive, enough of everything that we truly needed to be happy, fulfilled and vibrant? Not the stuff we’re told we need, like a house with seventeen bathrooms and a new car every 2.5 years and security systems to make sure nobody else tries to take all the stuff we’re told we need… but enough food, enough love, enough inspiration, passion, work, water, and air that we could all live long and healthy lives unimpeded by the need to compete for the dwindling resources that we’re told are on the brink of exhaustion. Poverty is rampant, but what is poverty? If you’ve ever spent any time living below the ‘poverty line,’ you’ll understand what I mean when I say that the idea of a line is a randomly designated figure placed by someone whose concept of poverty comes nowhere close to the truth. And it certainly doesn’t mean there is no happiness, no fulfilment to be found there. If what you find in poverty is that the things you value most in life don’t have a price tag, then you may be richer than some of the wealthiest people on the planet.
Think about how you feel about money, and if you need to, change your story. Try writing a story in which money is simply a tool to help you provide even more value in the world, and which helps you to spread the word of what it is you are providing. Or how about a story in which everyone in the world is equivalent, one in which we all have equal value simply by virtue of the fact that we exist; you, me, Mother Theresa, an ant, a serial killer. Who makes the rules as to your worth and why do you allow ‘them’ to?
Ask yourself whether you find money hard to come by, whether you believe you deserve to feel abundant, ask yourself if the idea of ‘dollars for hours’ has been so engrained in your mindset that it’s the only exchange you can imagine. Ask yourself if you believe that your worth can only be contained within the context of monetary worth, and whether you feel that the things you own, acquire and yearn for are true and honest reckonings of your worth on this planet.
All of these questions are simply designed to get you thinking about where your current attitudes towards value, money, debt and self-worth spring from, and beginning to change the soundtrack in your head. Asking questions is a good way to start making changes. It allows you to get a sense of where exactly something isn’t sitting right, and from there you can look for a means to make it feel better.
Also known as 'The Catharsis Coach,' Jenny loves exploring life's twists and turns through the lens of transformation. Her own journey through catharsis, a deep, deep letting go of ingrained patterns and beliefs, resulted in a feeling of connectedness, with the world around her and with that wise and wonderful voice within. Jenny has learned to engage with her life and experiences in a way that allows her to use the knowledge gained through them to serve others. When she's not writing, she's coming up with new ways to help people move through change with grace and ease.