What an incredible experience I just had making connections with myself about money and emotions, my money memory. I thought being in a relationship with an incredibly creative entrepreneur for 18 years would have shown me every facet of my relationship with money. But this week has proven that wrong, particularly today. This week, I have been diving deep into the in-congruency between my stated goals and actions. Looking for the basis of my paralyzing fear of earning, nourishing, and spending money. In other words, what is my money memory?
I have looked at the usual suspects like worthiness and trust but there still was a box or vault hidden and protected by my unconscious mind that I had been unwilling to crack open. Until today. In a discussion about limited funds or the need to be frugal, I saw it. Or more accurately, I felt it. Like a flash from the past just inserted itself into this minute. I felt sick to my stomach and so overwhelmed and clueless as to what it was and where it had come from. So instead of shutting it all down like I have for decades, I invited it all in. (If you want to know how I did that, stay tuned for more on that.)
Immediately I saw myself at age 6 talking to Dad on our screened in porch. He was sitting in his brown recliner, and I was in my swimsuit. I was going to go swim with friends at a community pool. I had just asked for money for snacks either from the vending machines or the snack bar. My Dad said no. I remember not understanding why, it wasn’t much money. I don’t remember what I said but I sure remember his response. He pulled me on his lap and began to explain that I needed shoes and clothes and if he gave me money for these snacks, he wouldn’t have enough for those things. And then he began to cry. I was speechless and didn’t even want to go swimming anymore much less have fun or snacks. I’m sure he spoke other words, but nothing spoke louder than his tears. I heard nothing else.
So, as I unpacked this today, I am still sitting in Dad’s lap not understanding. I feel the fullness of emotions attaching to money. I feel it’s power to breakdown the person who keeps me safe. I feel it’s control over my happiness. I feel so much and with my 6-year-old mind, I don’t understand how it works. It is completely and utterly emotional and very unsafe.
As this all flooded in, I can saw it for what it really was and what it has turned into. Like a muscle memory, this is my money memory. I have created a life that revolves around encouraging this to resolve. I just haven’t let it. I have kept these memories locked away in denial, so I’ll feel safe. Which I really haven’t felt. I have remained small, intimidated, and powerless financially. If the man I saw at 6 couldn’t figure it out, who was I to even try?
In defense of my dad, I know he was doing his best. He had no idea of the impact this would have on me. He was being honest and teaching a lesson about choices. The point of this is to not blame him, but to free myself from my choice of using this experience as my prison. Allow myself a new money memory.
Already I am feeling the impact of seeing this whole scene play out. My logical math brain kicks in and sees it all as pluses and minuses, nothing more. My expanding consciousness see it all as a flow, needing movement to allow things to change. All of this without the paralyzing fear of being unsafe. I still have some raw emotions hanging on more from a perspective of sadness for waiting so long to allow this resolution, but also intense gratitude for finally seeing this for what it has always been – a gift.