To Have or Not to Have…

Trapped by perception. Or certainly straining to drag ball and chain of self-limiting beliefs at my ankle. Bubbling irritation begins to surface like vomit, ready to erupt from my core. A dichotomy of sorts…a love/hate relationship that influences my life in every component…

Money. There, I said it.

The paper bills in my wallet (or lack thereof). Survival. The numbers scattered across the page on a bank statement. Education. The world of stocks and bonds that wavers just above my head where I can’t quite grasp and fully understand it. Material possessions. Quality of life. Success. The fancy Rolls Royce. Insurance. Retirement. A long-awaited all-inclusive vacation on the Cayman Islands. Freedom.

Hidden beneath the clutter of day-to-day life lies a negative belief about money… Greed. Selfishness. Suffering. Profit over people. Starvation and poverty. Injustice. Evil motives. Sin. Destruction. And so on.

Where does one begin to sort out this mess and come to a place of personal reconciliation with the term? The desire to make lots of money is mixed with the fear of being “greedy”. A good friend of Greed, Envy also enters the equation and threatens to paralyze me in useless self-doubt. The friend that owns a beautiful home in a desired location. The married couple whose child plays with ours at school and takes a tropical vacation each year. The colleague with retirement savings that he started at the mere age of 18. What am I doing wrong and how did we miss the boat? Or did we?

In the struggle to overcome this love/hate relationship with money, I am forced to confront the underlying issue. Why is it not okay to make plenty of money, freely and without guilt? Is money really the enemy or is it my perception that truly sucks me back? Am I afraid of going against my core value system (love, sharing, kindness, helping the vulnerable, and giving freely to those in need)? Does money necessarily hinder these core values? Or can it potentially enhance them?

To release myself from self-inflicted confinement, I coach myself as I would another. The question that begs to be asked is: “how can you make money a positive reality in your life rather than a negative one?” A simple question that can evoke powerful answers.

First immediate response: my children.

Improving the quality of life for my children so they can go on to make a difference in the world is paramount. Holding on to the unconscious beliefs that money is “bad” will only serve to cripple them in the years to come. By enriching their lives (both literally and figuratively), I can teach them the joy of doing what they love and giving back where it counts. Making more money is not a greedy prospect but in fact, an essential criteria for teaching those I love most to live their very best life.

Second response: to give myself to the world, I must first give to myself. By this I mean establishing financial security, both short and long-term so that finances do not hinder us from living our lives to the maximum. To reach out and engage in social justice initiatives (an underlying passion of mine), I first need the money to do so. Go figure.

Final response: money is an exchange of energy that has no immediate value in and of itself. Money is defined only by what it can achieve. Furthermore, as my father always said, money is a “renewable resource”. To treat money as oxygen means to deter it from entering our lives. To embrace money as a means of getting what we need (and yes, want) and giving to others, money is a powerful tool for living “big” and changing the world for the better. It is an intangible force that need not define us.

And finally, the veil is lifted and I realize that money cannot corrupt those who hold on to what really matters. Money is to supplement our lives, not dictate them. Our values need not be compromised – money can uphold these values, not tear them down. A moment of enlightenment: embrace money for its enriching power and its good graces will arrive at your doorstep. Dare I say I believe it?

I’ve taken this realization to the next level by signing up for a fabulous course with Chellie Campbell: “The Financial Stress Reduction Workshop”. Chellie is a fantastic money guru – check her out:

Chellie Campbell is the creator of the popular Financial Stress Reduction® Workshops, and the author of The Wealthy Spirit and Zero to Zillionaire, both published by Sourcebooks, Inc. She is one of Marci Shimoff’s “Happy 100” and 1 of 18 who wrote a story for Marci’s current NYT bestseller Happy for No Reason. Chellie contributed stories to Jack Canfield’s recent books You’ve Got to Read This Book! and Life Lessons from Chicken Soup for the Soul , and is featured in How to Run Your Business Like a Girl by Elizabeth Cogswell Baskin and Money, A Memoir: Women, Emotions, and Cash by Liz Perle. She is prominently quoted as a financial expert in The Los Angeles Times, Pink, Good Housekeeping, Lifetime, Essence, Woman’s World and more than 35 popular books. For more information, visit her web site www.Chellie.com or email her at Chellie@Chellie.com.

How do you feel about money? Maybe it’s time you take a good look at your relationship with money to make sure your beliefs aren’t holding you back from living abundantly both literally and figuratively.  Wishing you financial fulfillment today and every day.