Many of us have a complicated relationship with money bordering on love-hate. There’s not enough. When there’s enough for our needs, we worry that there won’t be enough. Or we earn enough and plenty, but we spend it as soon as we get it.
Let’s detach the construct of status and power from money, just for a little while.
Let’s hop in our time travel machine and go waaaaay back, even before the crudest coin currency, right to the start.
Money as we know it today evolved from barter trade. Money as we know it today is simply an exchange of energy.
For example, let’s say make a necklace. You see the necklace, you like it. I ask for few small fish in return. With your skill and patience, you caught those fish. With my creativity and dexterity, I made that necklace. Your energy, the fruit of your hands, is exchanged with mine. Over time, this process of trade came to use money rather than the direct result of our skills and energy spent on creating something; whether it was cloth, food, furniture, and so on.
Of course things are rather different now; we have currencies and economic systems that have removed the essence of joy from this sort of energy exchange.
But understanding what money represents is a big key in understanding our unique relationship with money and what needs to be healed and changed in our relationship with money.
If you have a habit of spending money with alarming ease, perhaps there is something in you that is unhappy about the source of the money; perhaps it is time to find more meaningful paid occupation. If you find money sometimes becomes your security shield to boost your self-worth, or money and the material things, the lifestyle it brings becomes a mask that you wear, do not worry.
This is normal; after all, our value to society and our identity were pegged to the energy that we received from others in exchange for the fruits of our labour, well before currency came along.
Whatever your current relationship with money is, it is helpful to ask yourself why you feel the way you do about money, in the context of what money really is: an exchange of energy for the fruit of your talents, your gifts, your value to the world and yourself.