Maureen DaniekIf money were your lover how would you describe your relationship?  Is your relationship in balance, full of harmony, respect, and gratitude? Or is money scarce- rarely showing up to keep you company- never giving you enough satisfaction? Is money your “secret affair”- something you hide? Is money your “James Dean”- always tempting you? Is money your “demon” and the source of all evil?  Is money a lover you don’t deserve?  Does money own you?  Are you always in debt to money?

Your beliefs and ideas about money and wealth are powerful drivers of your behavior, yet few of us are conscious about our core money beliefs. Our early experiences related to money in our families shape many of our attitudes about our money and also our feelings about our own value.

Vince had parents  who struggled through the Great Depression and he learned from them that money is scarce and he should grasp money tightly and save as much as possible. He was taught to avoid taking any risks with money (like buying stocks)  and  money was to be used for “needs” not “wants”. Money gave him very little pleasure.

Melanie grew up with parents who were financially always “behind the 8 ball”. She learned that she would never be out of debt, so why even try?  In her mind there would never be enough money. She saw herself as weak and vulnerable and viewed wealthy people as “different”. She was in a constant battle with money.

Joe learned to “worship the god called  money” in his family.  He was taught that “money is power”, “money talks”, “money makes the world go around”, and that  people with money have power and status.  He was a prisoner to money.

MaryAnn learned in her family that “money is the source of all evil”. She was taught that “money corrupts”, and that  it is not okay to enjoy money. People shouldn’t talk about money, and indeed if she were to acquire a lot of money, something bad would happen. She always felt guilty about spending money.

John grew up learning that he didn’t deserve to earn very much money, he wasn’t supposed to want money, borrow money, or ever ask for a “raise” at work. John felt embarrassed about money and very uneasy about his relationship with money.

Do you identify with Vince, Melanie, Joe, MaryAnn, or John in their respective dilemmas?

How you feel about money reflects your feelings about our own self-worth, as well.  If you feel good about yourself, you believe  you  deserve to be paid well for your work. If you love yourself, you have permission to enjoy money in a healthy  way.  If you respect yourself,  you respect money.  If you are generous with yourself, you are generous with your money.  If you are in harmony with yourself, you can both enjoy money now and save money for the future because you believe in  a future.  If you believe prosperity and abundance are a natural  and normative human experience, you  open yourself to claiming that very experience in your life.

If you find yourself at one extreme or the other—hoarding, in debt, spending with reckless abandon, feeling impoverished, not enjoying money, fearing money, or worshiping money- sit down with a dollar bill and look at it closely.   It is a piece of paper with ZERO intrinsic value. It has no power except what you give it.  Have a “chat” with this dollar bill and declare a “truce”. Tell this piece of paper that you want to begin building a totally new type of relationship.  Tell this dollar bill that you want this torturous love affair to end!   Make your relationship with money conscious and open. Bring it out of the closet. Talk to your partner and your friends about their respective relationships with money. Learn about money. Talk to financial advisors about money. Demystify money in your life. Take the first step towards becoming “BFF” with your money.  One of two things will happen for you.  Either you will find yourself being spontaneously grateful for the abundance that has ‘suddenly’ begun to appear in your life.  Or you will find yourself being and acting much more masterful in your business and financial affairs.  It may also come to pass that you feel this gratitude and experience this mastery simultaneously.  Right relationship to money is sourced in gratitude and experienced as personal mastery.  Love is the key that unlocks the door to this world of success and freedom.   Enjoy!!