In our culture, silence is often treated as an uncomfortable situation and so we usually feel compelled to fill in any breaks with words or activity…and many times the actual content or sensibility of our responses don’t seem to matter – just as long as the space gets filled up. But when ideas and phrases get repeated over and over without conscious thought, they generally take on a life of their own and are absorbed as non-questioned truths that govern our lives to a seemingly easier path.
In fact most of us are really disoriented by money and finances. I call this Myth-oriented instead of disoriented, though, because so much of our disorientation comes from daily myths driven from outside sources that really don’t know who we are and what our challenges and experiences are. To honestly and openly figure out what are the myths and masks in our lives, we need to reclaim the art of listening to both ourselves and to those around use. Then we need to support our awareness and desire by saying, “Wait, what was that? Does that really make sense? Does that really help me? What’s the real situation here? How does this fit with the rest of my life goals and purpose?”
Perhaps you’ve heard some of the following statements, assumptions, or postures coming from yourself, family, friends, colleagues, or others?
· Financial planning is all about investments and making the best return, and since I don’t have any money to invest I don’t need to do any planning.
· I often say to others that I’m clueless about financial matters and preface my questions with words like ‘dumb, silly, and stupid’.
· I was never good at math so I’ll never understand money, taxes, and all the economic talk.
· My personal value here in this lifetime is based a lot on how much money and other assets I have because it reflects how smart, capable, hardworking, and favored I am.
· Money is a bad driver in our economy…just look at the corporate greed, stealing, lying and other behavior that goes along with it.
· I care about teaching, healing, the arts, the environment, and other charitable activities…so I have no time or interest in money or management.
The list includes several other common themes….Excerpted from Financial Stewardship: A Guide to Personal Financial Health and Wellness, available July 2014