Examining our relationship with money: Life on hold or love story?
Do you ever awaken from a dream and think, whoa, that was random? Where did that come from? The other morning I awoke remembering having been read a quote of which I can only recall two words: Love Money. Love as a noun, not as a verb (an important distinction). Rubbing my sleepy eyes, reaching for my glasses, I glanced over to my bedside table. There was nothing I had read or watched before falling asleep that could have influenced me — so I dismissed it and went on with things, business as usual. However, later that day, it popped back in — ‘Love Money’. Hmmm. Whether we like it or not, money literally makes the world go around — so, I decided to dig deeper.
Who, at some point in their lifetime hasn’t felt bound to a job, a situation, a debt, perhaps even a relationship…all because of money? It is arguably, the #1 excuse for why we suffer through myriad life scenarios bound by self-imposed handcuffs (self-imposed = choices; I know. OUCH!).
This really isn’t a post about what is or isn’t in your bank account. It’s about our relationship to money. And as with all relationships in our lives, how when we have a willingness to look at things differently, making the slightest of shifts in perception, we can impart great impact.
The ‘Love Money’ of my dream was a call to action — kind of a, if you do this + this, you will get this: a new relationship, and a new way of thinking about money. And most importantly, how to interact with it — earn it and spend it.
We need to use our money, not be a slave to it.
It made me think that if I were going to refer to my money as ‘Love Money’ – it would certainly matter how I obtained it and what my intentions were with it.
Money is such a hotbed issue for many — a dominant and driving factor in life. Misconceptions run rampant: when I have more money, when I save more money, when I get paid more money…I’ll be happy. Translation: life on hold.
But you already know that it’s not all about the new car, the bigger house, the swanky new wardrobe or the flashy vacations (though don’t get me wrong, all of those are perfectly amazing, but not in and of themselves). What if we thought of the bigger picture things – the way something makes us feel, what more money could really afford us, like being able to:
- Eat organic food without looking at the price tags (maybe we could throw in a personal natural foods chef, to boot!)
- Give freely to the organizations we support
- Pursue the work that feels most meaningful and not feel handcuffed to any situation
- Avail ourselves of newness continuously: new places, new food, new adventure, new experience
That’s the kind of stuff that would result from earning ‘Love Money’ and an awareness of how we acquired it. Did we compromise ourselves in the process, suffering at a job we couldn’t stand, a boss we couldn’t stomach, working in an industry we couldn’t morally support? Did we enter into a contract or relationship with another in the name of ‘financial security’? They don’t call it selling your soul to the devil for no reason.
There is always a price to pay for anything we have willingly exchanged a piece of ourselves for. The bill collector eventually comes knocking and you are left to ask yourself, was it worth it?
I’ve been there. And don’t get me wrong. Life happens and at times we find ourselves making decisions, not because we are bad people, but rather because we succumb to our fear or bad thinking (or both).
Money is unavoidable, but it doesn’t have to be ‘dirty’ — we simply need to elevate our consciousness about it. We need to look at how we use it and how we leverage it. This isn’t about blame or judgment. When we trace back the breadcrumbs of our lives, we can see how the experiences come together and led us where we are.
At a vulnerable point in my life, one in which I was standing on wobbly feet and determinedly working to rebuild a foundation — a so-called ‘Prince Charming’ rode in, wooed me with a vengeance, even when I didn’t realize I was looking for one. He asked me to ride off to his castle to live happily ever after. Hello? Uh, yeah. Let’s go. Don’t judge. When we are vulnerable, we see things through a distorted lens. I thought my prayers had been answered. You can probably already imagine how this played out.
The bottom line: I married said ‘Prince Charming’. Of course I loved him and tried desperately to build a life with him. But we can love anyone; that doesn’t mean we should marry them. The man that I thought was going to bring me financial security, instead brought me financial Armageddon (but that’s a whole different story). Point being, I have always had a flair for the dramatic and been a bit stubborn, but the message was ultimately received. As I like to say, the Universe has a sense of humor (even when I didn’t think it was so funny).
Unlike in the fairy tales, as clichéd as this may seem, we can only save ourselves. If you are looking to be saved, looking for the easy button…do yourself a favor: Spare yourself layers of suffering and simply look in the mirror. You got yourself into this mess. You can get yourself out. That’s the only way it works. No one else can take our troubles away or heal our wounds. That’s an inside job.
Examine the roots of money in your story, from your early family dynamics, to your hopes and dreams, your work, friends and love relationships. Trace its tentacles throughout your life. Most of all, decide what you want to do with it.
Give with Love Money.
Buy with Love Money.
Earn Love Money with pure intention.
And if you have any excuses about how, what and why you are stuck and can’t change your entire circumstances — just start somewhere. Don’t try to figure out the whole picture. Simply make one adjustment, take one step on behalf of your soul and its relationship to ‘Love Money’ — and see what unfolds.
Don’t compromise your best self. No amount of money is worth that price tag. Let’s reroute this train and create a reality where ‘Love Money’ makes the world go around. Just imagine how much sweeter our piggy banks (and lives) will be. Here’s to putting money in that bank!
What’s your money story — life on hold or love story? Let me know in the comments below, as always I not only love hearing from you — you inspire me!