Money fears

I've noticed a lot of layers in my own fear around money, and I figured it might be useful for me to share some of them.

Money is a major factor in all of our lives, and it's worth investigating our relationship with it more closely.

My ex-wife and I had very different fears around money. Whereas she would literally be afraid that we'd run out of money to buy milk (not that you'd need or want milk, but that's a matter for another post), that's never been a concern of mine. I know I'll always find a way to support myself at the most basic level.

During the fall last year, after my divorce, and while I was going through tremendous stress on all fronts, including financial, I started experienced a deep fear of running out of money. I'd wake up in the middle of the night sometimes, drenched in sweat, worrying about being able to find the money to pay my bills - visa, immigration lawyer, divorce lawyer, rent, plane tickets to go to the US, all of that.

What got me through those nights was remembering that I'm an immortal soul having a human experience in a physical body. Whatever happens to me here, my essence, my soul cannot die. It's just a movie. It's just an experience. Feel the feelings and trust in all that is.

That fear gradually subsided, and when that happened, it started to open up to the next layer.

The next layer was about being a successful "business man". For some reason, it's been etched into my subconscious that I have no worth, and that I have to justify all the resources I consume - most notably, the air that I breathe and the physical space that I take up - by arguing for why I am or will become successful in business. The catch, of course, is that I'm never successful enough for that voice. Throughout the years as a business owner, I've had ups and downs, but even in the best of times, it wasn't near enough.

That nut finally cracked open this spring, shortly after I got some help dealing with the abuse I suffered as a child and the anger that I'd stored up in my body as a result of that.

That crack led me to a breakthrough where I could actually start loving myself, ever so slowly at first, and then soon after the floodgates started opening. And that, in turn, led to me a place where I was able to grant myself worth and the right to exist in the world. Wow, what a relief after 38 years of feeling like an illegal alien in my own world.

Breaking through

Now what I'm experiencing is a fear of slowly drowning while being passive. In Ray, the movie about Ray Charles, there's a scene where Ray watches passively while his brother drowns in a tub. If I recall correctly, Ray turns blind shortly after that, and remains blind for the rest of his life. That's the feeling I get, and it's terrifying. It could also be a feeling of knowing I'm about to die and not being able to do anything about it - like free-falling from a high place to certain death.

When I sense into it, it doesn't feel like it's entirely mine. It might be a past-life experience, or it might be a collective thing. Probably a bit of both - these things often are. Knowing that it's not "mine", or not mine alone, helps me deal with it better.

I wanted to share this as an example of what kinds of emotions and fears can arise around money. Like I said, money is such a big factor in our lives, and we've infused it with so much of the energy that is really ours … we let it determine our worth, we let it limit what we can do with our lives, we let it control us and make us do things we don't want to do, we use it to justify our behavior, and on and on and on, completely forgetting that money is something we humans invented in order to make our lives easier.

It doesn't always seem like it worked out that way.



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