What If Money Were Your Lover?

Truong Tran, Fraternal Twins

Ewwww. That thought makes me squirm. I don’t really want to think about my behavior in relationship to money. But admitting my problem is the first step in solving it, right?

My relationship with money certainly has evolved and taken many forms. I can tell you that, just like when I was married, I have dragged money to therapy so it can find out how it needs to fix itself. (You can see why I’m no longer married, right?!)

Since starting my own coaching business, I’d say my money relationship has been more like the guy “who’s just not that into me,” but I chase after it/him anyway, driving them farther away and feeling worse about myself.

I don’t recommend it. But recognizing what I’m doing and changing how I think are two very different things. I can see what I’m doing … and keep doing it because I don’t see another path. I have lived in the land of scarcity when it comes to money and been a proud pauper.

Today, I am hopeful and positive about my relationship with money, but it is a recent development and requires daily vigilance and good mind hygiene – meditation, writing, sleep, healthy eating, and exercise.

The thing I’ve started to learn and understand and accept is that money is neutral. It doesn’t have opinions. It is paper, metal, or a line item in an excel spreadsheet. Our relationship with money is simply a reflection of what’s going on in our relationship to ourselves. My bank account, amount of debt, or spending habits are a perfect mirror for what I think about myself.

Double ewwww. I would prefer not to give you a window into my crazy brain. So uncomfortable! There’s so much shame and mythology around money, but it’s we humans who give it power.

Just like we hand over our power to others — bosses, coworkers, family members, friends and lovers — without ever realizing it.

For me, it was far easier and more comfortable to tell myself things like: Money is the root of all evil. It’s ok if I don’t make a lot of money, I never really cared about it anyway. People who make a lot of money are shallow and superficial. Because money can’t buy you happiness, I shouldn’t try to make any. Other people are good at making money, but I’ll never be that way.

Those beliefs made me feel self-righteous, powerless and frustrated. And none of them paid my mortgage.

In order to pay my mortgage, I’ve had to confront my beliefs—about money and about myself. While I wanted my external circumstances to change all on their own, they refused until I changed.

What has surprised me the most is that my evolving relationship with money has been a spiritual journey. Five years ago I wouldn’t have used “money” and “spirituality” in the same sentence, much less committed to doing the inner work necessary to see the outer results.

I’ve had to ask for help. I’ve had to accept help that I didn’t ask for but definitely needed. I’ve had to make poor spending decisions to learn how to do a better job of trusting my gut. I’ve had to accept responsibility and power for what I earn in my life.

This journey is still unfolding, but if I can make money, ANYONE can do it because it has not come naturally to me, that is for sure.

Below are three resources I’ve used multiple times to confront and change my belief system so that I could allow more abundance into my life:

The Soul of Money by Lynne Twist

Worthy: Boost Your Self-Worth to Grow Your Net Worth by Nancy Levin

Podcast episodes from Brooke Castillo at The Life Coach School: Money Problems and Making Money 

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