“Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.” ― Helen Keller
Name three relationships where you feel joy and growth with.
Do not scroll down or continue reading until you make, at least, a mental list of those three relationships.
Does money show up as one of the three mentioned?
Many of us, I suspect, never think of having a relationship with money even though money ranks right up there with oxygen, according to Zig Ziglar, America’s famous salesman and motivational speaker. I am first to say that, in the past, I never considered looking at money as a partner. I heard unfavorable stories when I was young, about people and money. It seemed to make people either unhappy, greedy, arrogant, or something we should not talk about too much. I have since met many people who think the same way.
The past 12 years, though, I have slowly shifted my perception about money and decided to start a free and joyful relationship with it. I took on an experiment a few years ago. I imagined money as someone I was building a friendship with. We were partners on a journey, exploring new territory for expansion.
Just like any relationship, when you are committed to be on a journey together, you are committed to hold certain principles as sacred, regardless. Example: no quitting, willing to understand when mistakes happen and collaborate to find solution and continue moving forward, no blaming and shaming. Just like any relationship, it takes time to grow. And like wine, it becomes better with age. I am far from being an expert, but I no longer feel awkward and constrictive when talking about money. I am becoming more aware about how I treat it, feel about it, and in check with my own thoughts, the words I use about it, especially when things go south.
Last Wednesday, I was on the phone with a customer support person (person-A) to untangle some misunderstanding around a service and the charge that was quoted to me a month earlier. When I called, I was ready to move on with the upgraded service. Person-B was the one assisting me. This charge he presented to me did not line up with what I was quoted. It was now double. I felt cheated, especially since weeks had passed, and part of the delay was because person-A did not respond to my emails about moving forward. I felt cornered without an option but to move forward. The service level I was currently at was creating many issues that slowed down my work. Person-B was able to write off some charges to minimize the cost, but I was quite furious, not with him, but with the system. I went on to detail how long I had been a client of theirs and the services I have used. Eventually, I gave person-B the go-ahead to upgrade the service.
While waiting for him to process the upgrade, I noticed what I had just experienced – what I said and how I felt, constrictive. I was embarrassed. When he came back on the line, I started the conversation by saying, “I want to apologize to you. I wasn’t a good version of myself a few minutes ago. I am sorry.” He lightly yet gently said, “I understand completely. I know most people must have gone through some frustrating steps before they reach the support desk.” We then chatted about stuff, and he said, “It’s interesting to notice how people’s tone of voice change when it comes to money.”
I consider this last sentence as valuable feedback and a great reminder about my partnership with money. In the past, I would not have apologized. I would stick to the idea that as a customer I am queen. I would continue being snappy. This frustration sent negative vibration to money, it affected its presence around me. Say you vent your frustration in front of a friend, who has nothing to do with what you experienced. You are agitated, complaining, brassy. No one wants to be around someone like this. Neither does money.
How you do one thing is how you do everything. My teacher and mentor, Mary Morrissey, reminds me often of this statement. I cannot be only happy when I receive money and then become angry when I feel cheated (even if I am entitled to do so). Money does not know the difference. But it does pick up on the vibration I project. Just like a statement ‘money is a necessary evil’. These two words, necessary and evil, negate each other. Money does not want to come where it is not welcome.
Beware of the words you use about money. It has energy, and it has ears. Do not try to use money. Instead, partner up to create growth and expansion.
Want to calibrate your partnership with money? Reach out to me, let’s chat — https://ingemaskun.com/contact/
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