It's Complicated . . . Our Relationship with Money

My relationship with money is that it’s a tool to be self-sufficient, but it’s not something that is a part of who I am.” Laurene Powell Jobs

Most of us have a complicated on-off, love-hate relationship with money. We all know we need money to survive in this world – and in fact, it is a standard measuring stick for achievement in our society; those who have it are labeled successful and those who don’t, well, they’re labeled not so successful. And even though many of us crave it, chase it or spend our entire waking lives trying to earn it, most of us resent money on some level. If we don’t have it, money becomes the reason we can’t have everything we say we want in our lives. We resent those who do and paint elaborate pictures of how evil or baseless they must be – we make ourselves feel better, claiming we understand life so much better than our counterpart with money. And while certainly, wealth should not be the measure of man; it also doesn’t have to be that those with money are spiritually or morally bankrupt. It becomes so confusing for most of us that even when we do prosper, we tend to feel some sort of guilt around having it – as if we are a fraud or not worthy of maintaining our good fortune. In the end, money is really not the root of our issues – it is our beliefs and relationship with money that cause us such grief. Rather than canonizing or demonizing it, perhaps we can shift our perspective around money and simply view it as a tool to be self-sufficient. Instead of making money mean something about who we are, we can allow money to become a tool, something that flows through us so that we can achieve some measure of freedom. When we are able to do that, our intense relationship with money has some room to breathe and no longer own a part of ourselves.

Weekly Path to Peace: Change your relationship with money.

  • What is the status of your relationship with money? Do you currently love it, hate it, or find it to be a necessary evil? Begin this week by exploring your relationship with money. Has it always been something just beyond reach? Do you believe that it will solve all your problems or that you are worthless without it? Spend time connecting with your beliefs about money and write out all your negative beliefs.
  • Once you have compiled your list of negative beliefs, reframe the belief into the opposite positive belief. For example, ‘money doesn’t come to me’ becomes ‘money flows easily to me.’ Once you have completed your list, choose one positive mantra about money for each day this week and post it where you can see it and be reminded of your new frame of mind.