Shiny new cars. Big mansions. The good life. Even if you’re not a particularly material person, it’s easy to be caught by those images, and to wonder: “Why don’t I have that? Is there something wrong with me?”
It’s become especially popular to equate material wealth with spiritual attainment. “If you do good, and if you think abundantly, then the untold riches of the universe will pour forth for you. If you stew yourself in despair and complaint, then forget it. You get nothing.”
Is it true? And if it’s not true, then how come you don’t have what all those rich, successful people have? Could it possibly have maybe a smidgeon of truth in it?
A Tale of Two Clients
Client #1: A very successful guy, in advertising sales. He was the top earner, and excellent at it. And yet, underneath it all, he had a fear running him.
Despite having earnings in the mid six-figures US$, he never felt like he had enough. You couldn’t call him greedy- he had a sincere heart. He was just scared witless that he wasn’t going to be okay.
Taking the time to look at it from a heart-level, he realized that he was carrying fears from his childhood. After bringing love and healing to that part of himself (ah, the wonders of spiritual healing!), he saw something really clearly:
The ‘success’ he had was keeping him from his family. He opted for less money, and more family time, and found a great deal of love and happiness.
Client #2 was different.
She was struggling and struggling just to make ends meet. Although clients loved her, she had very few of them, and money just wasn’t coming in. She was exhausted, burnt-out, and very near to despair.
Another dose of spiritual healing, compassion, mercy and strength, and she had her own insight. She saw that she was blocking out both love and money, because they were tangled together in her mind around issues with intimacy. When she invited love in, more money came in, and she began to do quite well for herself.
Why is money so unpredictable? Is more or less better for me?
Love can be found anywhere: in the poorest, most despair-ridden parts of the world, and in the richest, most heedless environments.
It’s just that these situations distract us from seeing the Love around us. In fact, abundant wealth is more dangerous in this regard than miserable poverty. When one has nothing, in some ways it’s easier to turn to the more profound qualities of life, like Love and Compassion.
This tendency is from whence comes the mistaken idea that physical poverty is somehow holier than having physical wealth. It’s also fueled a backlash of belief that physical wealth is a sign of being spiritually advanced.
Neither is true. The physical world is only a vehicle for deeper Divine truths. Anything in the physical world can carry Love and Mercy. Attaining wealth doesn’t mean you have one whit of spiritual advancement, and lacking wealth doesn’t mean you are poor in spirit.
The trick is: can you find love, truly feel real Divine love in your heart, for richer or poorer? Of course, being able to do this in truly extreme circumstances is the sign of a saint- and if that’s you, I’ll be your best friend. 😉
But, hey, I just want to make ends meet.
Here’s the Sufi spiritual teaching: everything in this world is a mirror of the Divine. Money is NOT a measurement, it’s a part of that mirror.
Your business can make ends meet. But, if you’re struggling with money, no matter how much or how little you have, then stop for a minute trying to get more of it. I know it’s scary, but to discover the truth, you need to look in the mirror that is your money situation.
What is being reflected back to you? Keep reading.
Keys to Looking in the Money Mirror
Instead of trying to change your money situation, take a breath and really look at it. What’s really going on? How much money do you have? How much is coming in? How much is going out?
Even if it’s scary — and it’s legitimate to feel scared whether you have big credit card debt, or if you have money in the bank — really take some time to notice how do you feel about your money situation?
Resentful? Angry? Sad? Despairing? If you were talking about a good friend of yours, instead of money, how would you be talking to that friend from your current attitude towards money?
Ask about it.
When we don’t like a situation, we make assumptions about it. “This situation sucks.” “Something isn’t right.” But… what if your assumptions were wrong? What if, no matter how painful the situation, there still might be love present?
In your heart, begin to ask to see a deeper a truth. Take time with this. You probably won’t get the deepest, most truthful answer in the first minute, or even in the first five.
Do NOT ask about how to get more money, or why you don’t have enough money. Those questions contain the assumption that something is not right about the current situation, and will block you from seeing a deeper truth.
You might need a buddy to sit with you. I’ve found that when I’ve worked with clients in the Heart of Money Transformational Journey exercises, the issues that come up have so much emotion in them, that it’s helpful to have a friend sitting with you, not saying anything, just making space for what is.
Be willing to be surprised.
If the answer you get is one you already know, or if you still have even a twinge of resentment or upset still, then it’s probably not an answer from your heart. Instead, your mind is making up stories trying to protect you from what it thinks might be the painful truth.
Be courageous, and be willing to be surprised. Keep asking in your heart, with a sincerity and desire to know the truth: “What is this situation showing me about the Divine and money?”
An answer that has truth in it, will bring relief and love to your heart, even if the situation hasn’t changed at all… yet.
Work on your business.
It’s now possible to be more effective in your business, once you are no longer resisting/fighting your money situation. And that in turn will help your business develop and be more profitable.
Having money or not having money is no measure in any sense of spiritual attainment. However, finding love and compassion in your current money situation will release blocked inspiration, which you can then put to good use here on earth, nourishing your business and your clients.