Sunday, August 14, 2011
The Dharma of Money
I have never been financially secure, but I've learned to develop a relationship with money. Like food, alcohol and the internet, money is about feelings. People don't like how they feel so they escape. Money provides the means to choose how we avoid thinking about our reality.
It's taken a long time, but I don't judge myself according to my financial stability. I am not a failure because I don't have x amount of savings and dividends. I am not a success because I own several homes and take yearly vacations. I realize that many people think differently.
Recently I got an email that brought all these sentiments to a head. I will paraphrase: "Susan, I hope you can think about the choices you have made. I hope you can rethink those choices so that you can make yourself more secure." Translation: Your problems are your own fault. You are irresponsible. Your life is a joke.
I haven't met anyone who has consistently made good choices. I've met people who think their lives are successful because they obey some social norm. I've known folks who believe in a rigid design for their lives. What a shame when they themselves fail to live up to their own standard of happiness.
So here is my answer to those who think I need to be more secure. First of all, I have a loving partner who sticks by me, despite all my bullshit. I am secure. My son is getting into that teenage craziness, but he is smart, sensible and responsible. I am secure. I have friends who make me laugh, comfort me, share my burdens and let me know that they love me no matter what. I am secure. I have a steady job that I love to do. I am secure. I practice yoga daily to keep my body limber and my mind at ease. I am secure. I do community outreach so that I remember that we are interdependent; the good of others is my responsibility. I am secure. I give thanks to God for all these blessings and trust that my hardships will never be more than I can bear. I am secure.
We need to stop fighting about money.