My money story
This is long and it is DEEP. So those with a money story, pay attention!
My money story was deeply hidden, and I mean, seriously deep. There was so much shame, so many contradicting wants, desires, emotions, it was like one huge tangled ball of yarn. Every time I started pulling at a piece, the rest tightened up around it, I had to go softly softly, teasing this piece out, loosening that one, releasing the whole ball.
Until I had it, the beliefs that had been running my life:
‘It’s OK to be poor’
And completely contradictory,
‘I deserve nice things’
These two humble, tiny, insignificant-looking beliefs were the things that had created my whole way of living. On the surface I looked rich. I lived (live) in a lovely house, a large detached house with a large garden. I have a nice car, I take amazing holidays, I own a lot of clothes, a lot of nice things. In fact my house is rather cluttered with nice things.
Why? Because I DESERVE nice things (see my belief above). I will damn well have them or I will feel deprived and less than.
But it’s OK to be poor also, so as soon as I got any money, I had to spend it. I had to maintain the zero bank balance because in my heart, my beliefs, my psyche, I was POOR. Like, really poor, and however nice things it took, I made sure my bank balance reflected that. I made sure I was poor enough that I could still angst about money, I could still worry about it, I could still make sure I hadn’t set anything aside for my future or had any actual WEALTH. In fact I made so sure that I was poor, that my husband paid for the house and also many of the trips. Of course, I had made sure I was with someone who could buy me nice things, even though in my head I was poor myself! My personal net assets were just about zero.
The only thing that actually made me feel wealthy (and guilty) was my hot tub. If my husband had bought it, it would have been ok, but I bought it, with my own money, with the last of my money of course. I struggled owning it, it made me feel too rich, and within two years I had managed to break it. And then I didn’t have the money to fix it. Coincidence? I don’t think so. On top of that I then blamed my husband for not giving me MORE money, because I was POOR don’t you know, and I still deserved to have my nice things. Preferable bought or mended by someone else so that I could stay feeling poor. Are you seeing how tangled and convoluted ones stories can be!! Add in how I felt about ACTUAL rich people, mean, selfish, arrogant people (not true by the way, it’s just a story), you can understand how difficult it was to unravel, how difficult yours potentially is to unravel also.
Which is not to say you shouldn’t try. Because when you get to the core beliefs that are driving you, the ones that you don’t want anyone else to know about, and you have kept hidden to even yourself, you can do some work around them and your life will start to change.
The first step is to look at your old relationship with money, especially when you were growing up. How did your parents feel about money, how did you feel about money? Did you have enough, were there conditions around having it? Were you made to feel you had to do something, be a certain way, work really hard to have it? Or did your parents believe this?
In hindsight it’s pretty simple to see where my money story came from: poor girl in a rich school. I was extremely ashamed of being poor, and sadly there were some people there who did their best to make me feel that way, some people looked down on me and didn’t do anything to hide it. Shame is a hard emotion to feel, and I did my best to bury it. Instead I became stubborn: ‘f**k you, I will show you it’s OK to be poor.’ Without having to actually LIVE like a poor person: clever huh?! Of course I could have gone the other way and said f**k you, I will make my millions and I will be as good as you. Because my bottom-line belief, the one I really really wanted to believe in, was ‘I am as good as you.’ It was never ever about the money as such, that was just the external manifestation of my beliefs.
Some very interesting things happened when I cleared this belief. The first thing that happened was that I stopped dying inside when I passed a homeless person. I stopped feeling like someone had kicked me in the stomach, that I really couldn’t bear it. I still had compassion, I still gave them something, but it stopped feeling like me, I stopped identifying with it as if it really WERE me, that person that nobody wanted. In fact it allowed me to stop, to actually speak with them instead of turning away in guilt and shame. Crazy, but true. I have never been on the streets, though technically I have been made ‘homeless’ a few times, but some very hurt part of me identified with the energy of the situation without knowing it. It was only after it stopped that I realised what had been happening.
I also started taking responsibility. For the fact that it’s ok to earn my own money, it’s ok to buy my own things, it’s ok to have a little money, to save for my future, even to feel wealthy. I’m still working on that one actually. There are a lot of emotions attached, a lot of guilt for all the poor people. Which means only one thing in my world: I havn’t fully healed the part of me that was once poor. This is the way it works. If you feel triggered by someone, if there’s a part of you that feels ‘sorry’ for them, there’s a part of you that still feels that way also. For those of you wishing to hold space for other people, you have to heal these parts of you first. It’s that simple. Try body wisdom: where is the part of me that feels poor (or whatever it is) in my body, etc etc.
I think I have forgiven those people who didn’t want me at that school, I think I have released the shame. Maybe there is another layer waiting to reveal itself. I will go looking shortly. I love a good dig! It’s as good as a detective novel. Like a good detective novel it has it’s suspense, it’s secrets, it’s unexpected finds. And the huge sigh of relief when you find out ‘who did it.’
The story may be long, the pages may turn slowly, but when you get to your core belief, that core culprit, the relief is so sweet. And when you get there, your life will be changed forever, sometimes in unexpected ways.