Thursday, April 21, 2016
Money and Shame
For most of us, money and shame are a lot closer to each other than we'd like to admit.
I am really feeling this one recently. It's not like I haven't known I had shame about money, but it's coming up in an irrefutable way. My desire to not discuss it. The tears or anger when I do. All of my family's history in talking about it in odd ways or not talking about it.
When I struggle with it, I try to remember how universal it is, and how immediately sweeping away powerful it is for so many people. So easy to get on that ride of money shame and ride it all day long and all night long. I am interested in renunciation - not renunciating spending or material goods, which, while budgeting is important, totally reducing spending to nothing won't help. I am ready to renunciate samsara - the ultimate repulsive shame cycle carnival ride. But I know from experience that has to happen over time, bit-by-bit, again and again. These habits are deep and well-worn.
Whenever I can, I try to stop what I am doing and pay attention to the tender feelings underneath. The perpetual mind ride of self-hatred and disgust doesn't help the financial situation and doesn't help me make clearer decisions. And most of all, it hurts my heart in some kind of useless futility to feel like I am "getting something done."
Enough of punishment. I know in my mind that it doesn't help. With the help of EMDR and paying careful, loving-kindness attention, my subconscious and scared animal self is learning this, too. Bit by bit, which is how it goes. Hard. Scary. Slow.
I am learning that changing finances and changing my mind toward finances come together. I am committing to that difficult journey, because I am tired of the endless ride that feels like it is getting nowhere but never does. Shame. Enough. I know I can't condemn shame, can't get it out of my system 100% immediately, but I can work with what is underneath it - the sadness, the loss, the fear - and slowly dissolve the blocks between me and what I need to really work with.