Our thoughts manifest our reality. In our reality, money is a means. It is used to buy food, to buy amenities and to provide shelter. It is difficult to say that you don’t need it. However, it is foolish to treat it as if it ts the most important thing in your life. Everything in life requires balance. Money won’t love your family, but it will provide them shelter. But, your perception and relationship to money can affect how it factors into your life. Most of us have a fear that we developed through some experience in our past that governs our relationship to money. For me, I have a few vivid memories of losing money that created a fear for me that I would never have enough money and affected my ability to trust others with my money.
“Don’t tell me where your priorities are. Show me where you spend your money and I’ll tell you what they are.”- James W. Frick
When I was a girl, I had a large, white and pink, ceramic, piggy bank. During that time, there was no plastic piece in the bottom. The only way to get the money out was to smash a hole in the piggy bank. I got it for my birthday and family members put money in the piggy bank for me. I knew there were bills and change. I was adding change to it when I had some. In my mind, I had a goal that I would save the money until I was older and than I wouldn’t have to worry about money. As a child, I thought that I was going to be rich. One day, I looked at the piggy bank and saw that there was a large hole in it. A family member had fallen on hard times and decided to smash the piggy bank and take the money. After that, I developed trust issues and fear over my money that anyone could come and take it if they felt they needed it more than me. I felt powerless and I learned that other people’s needs were more important than mine. I think this is how my dysfunctional beliefs about money began.
How do you change your beliefs about money? It all starts with awareness. You have to think about the stories that feed your beliefs about money. Think about memories in the past that you find painful that involve money or lack of money. You should also think about memories where you were happy that involved money. In those instances is when you developed your belief about money and what it means to your life. If lack of money denied you pleasure and the things that you wanted, you may find that you have a strong desire to spend money to make yourself happy. If money was something that you saw spent with reckless abandon and you suffered embarrassment because of it, you may find that you hold on to money or restrict it to necessities. There are a multitude of outcomes and reasons.
I always say if you want to change your life, you have to change your thinking. You have to change your belief about money. Money is neither good nor evil. It’s just paper. We give it power, meaning and reason through our thinking. And the truth is that there is no real reason you shouldn’t have it, at least enough to take care of your needs. And not everyone that has more money has sold their soul. It may just mean that they understand that the flow of money is essential to their vision of life and they don’t allow fear to prevent it. The only difference between any two people’s experience is their thinking. I’ve read that many marriages end in divorce over money. It’s not the money that is the issue between the two people. It’s how they use or abuse the money that can cause tension and issues. If neither person is willing to deal with their fears and beliefs about money, they will find it difficult to cooperate with their spouse. They will also pass on their fears to their children because children watch and learn from their parent’s relationship with money.
“People first, then money, then things.”- Suze Orman
Money is not the enemy. It is a means to an end. The Universe will give you what you need, but if you fear money than you are asking for more reasons to worry about it or not have it. Take a moment and think about money. What’s your relationship? Is your relationship to money affecting your other relationships? Can you change it?