|Photo courtesy of morguefile.com|
A little background: I grew up in a very affluent town, surrounded by people with lots and lots and lots of money. The kind of money that bought BMWs and Mercedes on 16th birthdays (not me. I got the lawn mower). The kind of money that bred ungrateful kids who made fun of those who didn't have gobs and gobs and gobs of it (---> me). The kind of money that mattered if it was 'old' money, or 'new' money (said with a sneer). But for every uber-wealthy family in my town, there were equal parts middle class families. And families struggling to make it through each day.
I was very blessed to fall into the middle class arena, though I was looked upon with pity by the parents of my bffs who were from 'old money' and lived in mega mansions along the lake. Both my parents worked and taught us the value of working hard, and how 'money isn't everything.' In fact, most of the bastards I knew with money were downright, mean, cold-hearted, sneering asswipes who would sooner run you over with their Ranger Rover (equipped with the 'rhino' package because you never know when a 'rhino' is going to charge you in the parking lot at Nordstroms) than allow you to cross the road safely.
So, growing up, even though I was blessed to have a loving set of parents, two beautiful sisters, and a safe place to come home to at the end of the day, my perspective on real life and finances was completely fu*ked up. I understood that whatever me and my sisters had was *not enough* and that because my parents were not multi millionaires, we were second class citizens. Not worthy of being noticed.
Okay, so those of you who are really observant....what does my belief system about money tell you? Let's break it down:
1. People with money are assholes.
2. People with money are cold-hearted and buy unnecessary African Safari packages for their cars
3. People with money pity & hate poor people.
4. I, under no circumstances, was going to grow up to be A-holes.
And guess what? Because I wanted NONE OF IT and was so fed up with the crappy rich-attitude I grew up with, I actively sought a life that was anti-wealthy because I didn't want to become an A-hole. I dated men that were broke and couldn't hold jobs. I avoided any male wearing a suit. I spent my money when I had it rather than saving it. I bought what I wanted when I wanted it, regardless if it might cut into my rent.
Not only did I not want to have money because it meant becoming an asshole, I also had no respect for it. And all of it has shaped and impacted my life greatly.
Now that I know what I want to do for the rest of my life, I need the tools and fuel to do it successfully. And money is one of the fuels I will need. So, this nonsense towards feeling bad about money has to stop. Money is the key to my freedom, and for pursuing and realizing my dream of being a full time artist.
So, how does one re-think this perspective on money that has been the norm for my 40+ years?? Well, it's not easy, but first things first: If you want to be successful in your endeavors, you need to go deep diving into yourself and find those nasty jellyfish beliefs floating around that will sabotage your efforts. My big ole' fat jellyfish is money.
My mentors have all struggled with the money thing too, but they have successfully overcome their old beliefs and replaced with new beliefs that allows them to feel good about money in all aspects of having it, spending it, and sharing it. This is a good thing because - if they can do it, and have done it successfully, that means I can too!
How'd they do it? By reading books, working with coaches, meditation, self reflection.
And guess what? I'm going to do that too. In fact, my first book on 'money' and changing one's relationship just arrived in the mail. It's called 'Happy Pocket Full of Money' by David Cameron Gikandi.
It's time to be an adult and stop thinking of useful things - like money - as bad evil things. And fix the relationship.
I will follow up with a post about what I learned from 'Happy Pocket Full of Money.'
And if you are also messed in the head about money, don't be a stranger. We can share ideas, and talk about it, and help each other through it. I'm open to it. Are you?