Saturday, March 24, 2007

Relationship With Money

Slade of Shift Your Spirits has tagged me for a meme regarding thinking about my relationship with money from a spiritual perspective and making it a meaningful relationship. He gives the following reasons for thinking about money as a spiritual exercise:

  • You interact with Money as deeply and as often as any living person you know
  • You believe in Money as much or more than you do your God, your Guardian Angels, your Spirit Guides (at least, you certainly behave as if you do — you think about Money everyday; do you think about your spirit everyday?)
  • No abstract concept has a greater tangible effect on your life
  • Many of the techniques required to personify and talk to Money come from the same head space that you must employ to communicate with your spirit guides
  • Money / Abundance is one of the oldest, most enduring relationships you have
  • Your relationship with Money is most likely to remain dysfunctional, because you don’t treat it as a relationship that can be improved upon

He goes on to ask the following question: if money was a person, then who would he be? I start off with my old relationship with money (called Old Money) and move on to what I want my relationship with money to be (called New Money).

Old Money

I had always felt that I had a good relationship with Money. I had been taught from a young age that if you took care of Money, then He would take care of you. He appeared as my friend; someone that looked out for my interests and someone that would be there for me when I needed him.

I soon learned that Money wanted me to invest more in the friendship before He would give me anything in return. And I found out the return wouldn’t be much. I quickly realized that it wasn’t a fulfilling relationship. Money was cold, distant, and calculated. No matter how careful I was around Money, He just didn’t care as long as He got what He wanted.

Though this was a cold and distance relationship, I soon found it was a deceptive one as well. Money didn’t care that I care how much I was putting away, just as long as I something away. He was creating a sense of false friendship. Money showed his deceptiveness within the conflicting advice that He was gave me. “Go ahead and by that CD. It’s used, so it only $8 bucks. You’ve already put money away this month so no worries.” What he didn’t tell me is that it would take more time to get anything in exchange for what I had already given him. I soon realized that this was not what I wanted in a friendship.

New Money

I had to let go of my friendship with Old Money. Before I could find my new friend, I had to decide what I wanted in a friend. I wanted someone that would be there to give me sound advice. I wanted someone that would ask me whether that CD I bought would really enhance my life or get in the way of what I truly wanted. I wanted someone that was looking out for my interests while I was looking out for His. Due to my experience with Old Money, I realized that the relationship had to be reciprocal.

I found just such a friend in New Money. He has made me realize that if I have goals, I need to work towards them. Want to buy a house instead of renting? Stop my consumer habits and save that $8 instead of buying that CD. It all adds up in the end. Don’t have enough room to store all the gadgets collected over the years? Get rid of the ones that I don’t need and I can get rid of the storage unit that costs a monthly fee. “A penny saved is a penny earned – work towards your goals instead of using instant satisfaction,” he tells me.

Finding the Meaningful

As life can not be separated totally from a relationship with Money, I had to find just the right relationship – one that I was comfortable with and one that I felt that I could be friends with long term. I need to know that I could take care of my friend Money, yet at the same time, Money had to be there for me, too.

Yet at the same time, I have to find a sort of freedom from my friendship with Old Money; if I let Him dictate my life, all I will be worried about is the “stuff” that surrounds me; the things that would bring clutter to my life. Instead, if I have a goal, Money tells me that I have to forgo all the little, unnecessary things (the things that aren’t the means to the end) to be able to achieve that goal. He tells me that while I don’t have to live in a world that is marked by the austere, I should choose that which helps me to live the life that I want.

What I would list as being meaningful isn’t necessarily what I have gone after in the long run. I had to learn through my relationship with New Money that to obtain my goals, I have to be willing to sacrifice the things that have not had any success in making my life meaningful.

In the end, I also had to realize that this is not something that I have to think about once and everything will be fine; just like are “real” friendship, I have to continually be aware of what is going on to make the relationship work.

Since this is a meme, I would like to tag any of you that would like to think about your relationship with money. Go on over to Shift Your Spirits to find the instructions for this meme.

1 comment:

Angela-Eloise said...

Sojourner, I waited to read your post until I'd finished mine because I didn't want other thoughts to influence my characterizations of money. I hadn't done the personification exercise before Slade issued his challenge.

I like the way you discuss Money as a friend and coming to the realization that you need that friendship to be reciprocal. Someone said that when you see Money as someone with whom you are in relationship it becomes obvious that the same rules that apply to other relationships apply to our relationship with Money. How true that is!

And Slade is right about this: once we see Money in relationship terms we can change things when we need to.