There’s a lot to be said about money and the role it plays in our lives. In one way or another we’re all consumed by it whether we like it or not. As the accurate saying goes, money makes the world go round. I sincerely wish that it didn’t have as much as power as it does but such is life. Money isn’t the root of all evil however worshiping and making it your God is dangerous and deadly.
My relationship with money has always been tainted with an underlying sense of lack. It’s taken time but I’ve come to understand that this “shortage” has more to do with perception rather than truth. As part of my ongoing self-improvement, I decided to read The Soul of Money by Lynne Twist. It’s about transforming your connection with money and life. Although I didn’t discover anything revolutionary in this book, it did alter some of my views.
Sadly, our society tends to measure self-worth by net worth. The belief is that if we’re not living in the biggest house and wearing the latest fashions then we’re falling behind. This sense of inadequacy becomes a vicious cycle because the more we focus on what we don’t have, we get more of the same. Since what we focus on expands, it makes sense to recognize and appreciate what we already have and build on that.
There are 3 toxic myths which create major roadblocks to our money-related happiness. They undermine and threaten our long-term survival and sustainability. These myths dictate our relationship with money and the world around us. Often, we label someone flowing with cash as successful without ever questioning their character.
There is not enough.
Scarcity leaves us feeling like everyone can’t possibly make it so some will need to be left out. This type of thinking generates fear and is likened to musical chairs. It also validates the act of taking care of oneself at the expense of others. This becomes the way we conduct our lives so we try to compete in order to stay ahead.
More is better.
This myth is the exact opposite of the previously mentioned as it thrives on excess. We’ve created a culture based on accumulation, acquisition and greed which only heighten fear. Unfortunately, none of this consumption leads to a more valuable or fulfilled life. Similar to when we can’t savour a bite of food because we’re eating too much at a rapid pace. There’s this constant focus on the next thing which results in a never ending chase with no real win. Much like an addiction, it’s a bottomless pit and the results aren’t favourable.
That is just the way it is.
This is the myth with the most grip because it falsely justifies our lot in life. Whether it’s poverty or wealth, we resign to the cards we’ve been dealt. This can be a real soul sucker if you’re not rolling in dough because one can say, why bother trying?
Sufficiency and scarcity are the two main driving forces behind the way we think about money. Sufficiency allows for money’s movement in a natural and healthy way. When you let go of trying to get more of what you don’t need, it frees up oceans of energy to make a difference with what you do have. This is about the power of reclaiming what is already there and always available.
Alternatively, scarcity breeds excess which diminishes the value of the “too much” portion. This also contributes to clutter in our mental and physical space which suppresses our lives.
Money carries the soul’s energy and the method in which we earn and spend it all have a bearing on its true value. A person who lives in a mansion may very well be involved in crime which affords them all they desire. Another person may be scraping by to make ends meet however they are not harming others in the process.
Lynne shared a story about a top executive of a company who offered her a big cheque for a philanthropic project. The offer was too good to refuse but she discovered that he was only doing it as a PR stunt. The company was in hot water and the boss thought it would be helpful to redeem their reputation. Lynne chose to return the money as the moral principle was worth far more than the cash. In another story, she told of a destitute woman who made a much smaller donation but had real heart.
The only thing Lynne didn’t mention is that it is God who actually owns everything. God trusts us with a portion of His wealth therefore we need to be good stewards of it. If we do this, then He will bless us in more ways than we can imagine.