Peace with Money

Dear Money,

We need to clear some things up. For too long we’ve have this love-hate thing goin’ and it’s kinda exhausting. Seriously, how long have we known each other? You’ve been a constant ailment or blessing and even when you’re just chillin’ in the background there’s this nagging feeling that I’ll never get enough of you. Am I going to wait my whole life for you to change your strange behavior or is there something I can do to shift how we live together?

I think the latter. And it’s time dear friend, for some major shifts. Let’s start with my true feelings about you: fear. I’m scared, you won’t exist in the quantity I want you to exist. I’m scared that you don’t want to be with me. I’m scared that you’ll always be hard to control. And even though I want you so badly, I’m scared that having alot of your cousins around will turn me into a greedy, selfish hoarder. A bit of a paradox, eh?

One of my earliest memories of you was when I was around 6 years old. I received 4 whole dollars from a family friend while at the grocery store and she said enjoy it however I’d like. I looked around for awhile and then saw The Claw!

I turned my 4 dollars into quarters and inserted each and everyone into that machine in hopes of grabbing some soft cuddly toy. After receiving nothing I ran back to the friend to ask for more and she shook her head and said something about learning not to waste money on silly games. I felt devastated. Not only did I “waste money” a concept new to me packaged in judgement and shame, but I also felt rejected by you, money. I felt I wasn’t worthy of your smooth silvery value because if I had been you would have exchanged yourself for a prize to make me happy.

This story has replayed in my unconsciousness while making millions of other purchases since that day. When I bought my first car, when I raised funds for my first trip abroad, when I go into Target for one item and come out having spent $100. My belief that you are a hard catch, that I should only spend you on practical things, that you’ll never multiply easily…all exemplify my deep distrust of you in the midst of an equally deep yearning for the things you can give me.

I’m in my thirties now. I’m grown. And I need a new grown-up relationship with you. One founded on transparency, accountability and trust. I’m not judging that little 6 year-old, but I am judging the woman who continues to willingly use that belief system as a way to escape responsibility for what this relationship looks like. That is why I’m writing this letter. To set up my new commitments to you.

Peace with Money

Peace with Money: My New Commitments

1. Everyday to acknowledge how grateful I am for the money that is present. In my wallet, my bank accounts, or under my mattress – in whatever amount. I am grateful for the presence of money in my life!

2. To define our transactions as one of gifting rather than spending. I enjoy exchanging you for items important and valuable to me. I am a generous gift giver and receiver!

3. That abundance is a feeling first and an experience second. I can feel abundantly wealthy without the evidence of lots of you around. This way, I feel good whether you’re here or not. I am happily abundant, right now!

4. To be open to new ways that you can enter my life outside of my salary. That the possibilities are endless when I am available to them. I am willing to receive you in awesome new ways!

5. That you are important enough to me to invest the time, energy and resources into improving our relationship. I will no longer utilize childish definitions, because I’m grown! I am embracing these commitments because both of us are worthy of a higher level of attentiveness, compassion and peace.

In holding these commitments, I recognize that I am contributing to a beautiful vision for the human family described below, in which we all are making choices to the benefit of the next generation. This is the type of relationship with you I want for my son. But for me too, now, b/c it’s time to grow up.

Looking forward to more peace and joy with you and all you bring into my life.

Nina

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