I am screwed up about money. It has taken me a while to figure this out. Most of my fears are about money, or the lack of it. The solutions I spin out in my head are almost always about money. Finding more, making more, winning some. I think that it's not important to me -- that family, friends, experiences are more important. And it's true that that is what I value most. But money is what controls my thoughts.
I had a terrible couple of weeks. What happened? Absolutely nothing, except that we had no money on hand. I was healthy. My loved ones were healthy. We had food, a roof over our heads. We laughed, ate, had fun. And I was miserable. Flooded with anxiety and worry about money.
I make decisions based on beliefs about money. I should be able to afford this, because I make a good living. So I buy it, even though really, I absolutely cannot afford it. I should be able to have a nice vacation, because people in my bracket take nice vacations. I earned it. That I really truly can't afford it is immaterial. The calculus in my head is not interested in reality. It is interested in perception. I feel really good about my job, my position. Is it because of status? Nope. It's about income. I could do the exact same job, with the exact same title. If I made half as much, I would feel embarrassed about myself and my job. It's ugly, but I've come to see that is how I truly think.
It's a habit, that way of thinking. It has deep roots going all the way back to my childhood. I see that now. I felt money could solve all problems. Money was freedom. Money was control. It was what everyone wanted. I am not sure someone who has always had enough of it would understand how it could become like a god, but it did.
Now I am trying to break that habit, that thought pattern. I am working on it, struggling with it. Trying to break the hold. Have less. Want less. I need to break the tie in my mind between wealth and worth. I need to stop thinking of financial security as control. It's not. I could be rich as Croesus and just as subject to the whims of fate.
We'll see how I do.