As a youth, I remember the day I realized the omnipresence of money.
A few French francs (Euros came much later) in my pocket; I was on an errand. On my way to the bakery, I noticed that everything had a price. Not only the bread I was buying but everything in the shop, the sweets, the oven, the baker’s white hat and his outfit, and the building itself. I am unsure what brought that awareness; it was a deeply felt insight, yet nothing I could articulate, much less understand. It stayed with me a while. I sensed that each time I stepped out of the house, I had to pay for something, the bus fare, the meal at the cantina, my shoes, my books, the desk I sat at and my colored pencils, all the while picking up on the worries, guilt and secrecy around money from the adults around me. It was overwhelming. I felt concerned, confused and helpless and decided to leave that matter to grownups and take what I thought was the high road.
It was decades before I could look at money in the face again. For years, I would pretend money didn’t exist, refuse to speak about it or learn basic budget skills. I would be wasteful and inconsiderate to others and get myself in tight situations. It was so uncomfortable that eventually, I had to change my attitude. I examined my life, questioned my values and slowly learned to earn, save, gift, invest and enjoy the money needed to sustain myself.
So we are back full circle. Yes, everything has a cost in our three-dimensional materialistic world, but that is only part of the story.
Over the past two years, I have been following Sarah McCrum’s work. She is an author and an educator who speaks about money like no one else. Her book Love Money, Money Loves You invites us to develop a loving relationship with the energy of money, the way we would a friend and trusted companion. It is transformational.
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And you? Are you at ease in your relationship with money, or is it complicated? Do you have a money awareness moment you could share? Please leave a comment.