If you live in this society, you have some relationship to money, so this month’s topic is the dreaded MONEY ISSUE!
Do you save? Do you spend? Do you binge spend? Do you have a hard time spending money on yourself? Do you have a hard time spending money on others? Do you always think there is never enough? Where do you spend your money? Is it in line with what you value? Do you follow your money meticulously? Or do you bury your head in the sand, hoping that your account isn’t withdrawn? Just thinking about these questions makes me feel like this guy in the photo!
There are a few reasons this topic is present for me. The first is that I am re-reading Maria Nemeth’s book, The Energy of Money, which I’m finding really insightful. Even though she addresses the topic of money, the lessons she gives applies to everything in our lives. She encourages readers to figure out what they really value, where they want to be financially in the future, why they want to be there, and how to “unlearn” many of the beliefs we have about money. I will post one of her exercises in another post so that you may begin exploring your own relationship to money.
The other issue is that most clients have feelings about spending money on therapy, whether they’re rational or not. Some of the sound bytes I’ve heard are:
– “I’m paying you to care.”
– “If you really cared, you wouldn’t charge me.”
– “No amount of money I could pay you would be enough.”
– “I have to ‘be good’ because I’m not paying your full fee.”
– “Paying for therapy is a luxury – it’s not anything practical.”
– “I don’t want to use my savings to pay for therapy, so you should slide my fee.”
– “My personal trainer/work expenses/trips/etc. are more important than therapy, so you should slide my fee.”
– “I hate spending money on myself. I don’t deserve it.”
– “I am erratic with money, so I’ll only come to therapy when I can pay.”
I could go on and on. Do any of these resonate with you? Do any of them seem ridiculous to you? As we look at each of these statements without judgment, we see that behind every one of these comments are legitimate and vivid feelings by the people who said them, based on their structures of belief. And underneath these structures of belief are worldviews: Do you believe there is never enough (money, love, support, etc.)? Do you believe people only like you if you compensate them (with money, gifts, support)? Do you believe if you ignore the spending (eating, shopping, purging…) problem, it doesn’t exist? Do you believe if someone helps you out financially then you’re indebted to them in some way? Do you say you’re giving to others, but in reality your giving is really a loan because you expect something in return? Do you gain self-worth as your income increases? Do you believe money is only for the oppressive and entitled person? Is poverty noble? Is wealth a sign of enlightenment?
There are so many questions that can shed some clarity and light, not only about how you view money, but how you view the world.