What is your relationship with money? Love it or hate it! The choice is yours to make. However, that doesn't change that it exists in every part of life, particularly in the western world. Some were born living a life of excess, and some a life of struggle, and all seemingly related to the inclusion of money in our lives.
Does having or not having money relate to our struggles in life? Is our externalisation of happiness embedded in money, or are we merely attached to keeping up with the Jones's?
Understanding the relationship you have with money is powerful. When we tap into realising, what are the real drivers behind the desire to chase money or loathe it. We are then able to get a better picture of what is at the root of our problems.
Like many people, I had a terrible relationship with money. When I was young, my father was what you might say, tight with money, and my mum was a spender. We were not lacking at all. However, he was not one to part with it easily for his family, yet he bought himself expensive things.
Through my teenage years, I developed feelings of unworthiness around money, because whenever I asked my dad for money, he always said no. I wasn't a greedy child, but I was a sensitive one. It left an impression that was to unfold many years later.
The first chance I could, I started a part-time job so I could make my own money. I then maintained the chase for it for many years, building a successful career as a young adult. Then one day, I realised that the money I had focused on for so long was not bringing me the happiness I craved. I had learned this behaviour from social and cultural conditioning within my family first, then all the other influences that surrounded me growing up.
This is not an uncommon story. I imagine some of this will be familiar to many. Social and cultural conditioning plays a big part in the relationship we all have with money. These influences can be both subtle and obvious.
Not only was I conditioned by my experiences with my parents. My parents were also subjected to conditioning in their life by their parents. So too were generations before them, overlayed one on top of the other, in a relentless repetition of social and cultural conditioning. Understanding this is the beginning of forgiveness, along with ownership of the role you play in breaking the cycle, should you choose to.
What is your relationship with money or lack of it in your life? When you are sad, do you take yourself off shopping to buy something new to cheer yourself up? When you don't have money, do you feel sad? Our society is built almost entirely on a bedrock of money.
We judge people by how much or how little money they earn. We critique the possessions they have. We envy their brand of car. We choose to make judgements of people by their address and the clothing labels they wear. This is money! So it is easy to see that as a society, we have almost completely decided to determine our success exclusively on how much money we all have.
What if I told you that I have both had lots of money and also had none, yet the best moments in my life I had, repetitively existed when I had the least. This is the reality of where my relationship with money went so very wrong. I associated money with bad things and poverty with good, coupled with unworthiness, I learned to despise money completely.
Thankfully through mindfulness practices in my life, I developed a much healthier relationship with money. I neither love nor hate money. I simply let it be. It exists and can be incredibly useful to both, support your own life and aid in the support of others around you. It is all about the relationship you choose to have with it.
Your relationship with money is often the seed that leads you to the solution to something that could be holding you back in life. When you get to the root of your underlying problems, your relationship with money could simply change, and so too can your ability to draw it successfully into your life.
If you would like to know more about how mindfulness can help foster a better relationship with money in your life, reach out for a FREE discovery session today.
It all begins with you.