“We must also remember that our worthiness, that core belief that we are enough, comes only when we live inside our story.”
Brené Brown, Ph.D. from Daring Greatly.
It used to be that in America it was considered o.k. to talk about anything except sex and politics. These days the only taboo subject is money: how much you have; what you spend it for; when, where and how much you give away; even how much you save.
In our Faith and Money Network board meetings we take turns sharing our financial history. At our last meeting it was my turn to present an abbreviated version of my Money Autobiography, which I have updated 4 times since writing it in 1997 as my life and financial circumstances have changed. What hasn’t changed is the relief I feel after sharing that part of my story with people I trust and care about.
Why do we do that? As it says on our website, because we know that “writing our money autobiography is a crucial step in understanding our behavior and feelings evoked by money.” Those feelings can create emotional gates that keep us from becoming the people we want to be.
The gate that has always made me feel “less than” others was erected by my mother who didn’t want a daughter. I always felt like Cinderella except I didn’t have two ugly step-sisters, I had two older brothers. They were given what they wanted while I was told “no” by my mother who said, “boys’ needs are different and more important than girls’.”
Over the years I buried that part of my story so deep within my soul that I do not believe it would ever have emerged to free me if I hadn’t written that first version of my Money Autobiography as homework for a retreat on giving. It has also helped me recognize and accept the fact that my mother was influenced by her mother’s relationship with my mother’s brother.
Writing it helped me get in touch with that painful part of my history, and recognize that I am o.k. despite the way, I was treated. It freed me to be the person I wanted to be.
Do I go around telling everyone I know this part of my history? No. I don’t need to do that. What I did need was to recognize how it impacted my view of myself so I could acknowledge it and move on.
Are you willing to tear down your own money gates and move on?
Blessings on your efforts to do so,