Money doesn’t get to have a say

September 18, 2008

I received a comment on my post about changing the world. The post stated, more or less, that modifying the system might not be the answer, rather we can simply decide to not be controlled by it. The comment said: “You must be massively rich and do not have to work with any “little” people; one cannot get much freer than that!” I thought about this for quite a while. I considered it. I looked at my life. It wasn’t an act of thinking as much as letting the thoughts flow and whirl in my mind, hoping something will emerge. Here is what emerged: Money is a funny kind of thing. It lends itself to so many different ideas, interpretations, attachments. Food is like that too. I used to have an eating disorder some years ago. I wasn’t eating pretty much at all for about 6 months. When I broke through that one and started eating again it turned out that I didn’t know how to do it anymore. I didn’t know how much to eat and when. I would always be afraid that I’ll eat too much, or too little. I had terrible fear of being hungry, and a terrible fear of overeating at the same time. I could not stop thinking about food. Everything I did dependent on it, was structured around it. It took me about 3 years to learn how to eat. To get to the point where eating was just that – eating, nothing more. While I was recovering I observed my reactions to food really closely. I realized how many times I eat not because I’m hungry but because I’m upset and need comfort. I realized that having food available makes me feel safe, secure, taken care of. I learned to recognize it, to see the issue that had nothing to do with hunger and to take care of it directly. I learned to take all the significance that had nothing to do with eating away from it. I learned to just eat, when I am hungry and only because I am hungry. A thought crossed my mind today: issues with money come from the same place as my issues with food. Money is not a problem, it’s not an issue how much or how little of it I have – the issue begins when I start assigning to money a significance and meaning that has nothing to do with it. The issue begins when I start expecting money to keep me safe, keep me happy, make me successful and respected. The issue begins when I give my power, my responsibility, my choice, away to money. The issue begins when I put money in control of my life. I used to hear it during my zen years: “only when you stop needing it will you get it”. It drove me crazy with frustration then, I see it differently now. I see that it is my decision to either take responsibility for my life or give it away to something or someone else. I see now that when I take full ownership of my life and my reality I don’t need anything. I am the one who creates, I am the only one who decides. Money shows up when it is appropriate for it to show up. But money doesn’t get to have a say – I do.

Previous post:

Next post: