This past weekend, I had some epic, witchy chats with one of my best friends, and we peeled away another layer of my weirdness around money.

I’ve written about my money issues before: when I found out that I hated money, when I realized (thanks to Downton Abbey) that I was harshly judging rich people, and how my Guides helped me stop sucking at money management.

Since writing those posts, my financial reality has changed a great deal. I’m bringing in more money, I feel more stable and secure, and I’m more trusting that money can be safe for me.

And yet.

Clearly, there are more layers of the money onion waiting to be peeled away, accompanied by stinging onion eyes and tears, because that is precisely what happened last weekend.

Through talking and using tarot cards and my friend’s new Magic of Flowers Oracle, I learned that when I’m relating to money, quite often my inner child is the one calling the shots.

I’ve known for years that my childhood experiences with money had a huge impact on me. One family member would use gifts as a way of “buying” my favor, which caused conflict with another family member, conflict that I was caught squarely in the middle of.

From this, I learned the false beliefs that money creates relationship conflict; that it’s a way to manipulate people into getting what you want from them emotionally; and if anyone gives me money (including customers), then I must have done something manipulative. Yikes, right? Not exactly a recipe for financial happiness.

Healing in Stages

I’ve done a great deal of healing in those areas, and I no longer feel guilty when people give me money, nor do I feel that I owe them anything relationally. And just typing that statement makes it seem like no biggie–“Yep, I’m over that one! Moving on…”–but oh, baby, was that ever a huge release when I finally let that stagnant energy go.

And by the way, tapping–sometimes referred to as EFT–played a major role in that healing process. I outline my favorite tapping method in my eBook, Luminous.

So, what was the next layer of the money onion?

Let’s go back to my inner child. What I learned is that my inner child is still carrying deep wounds around money. When I was in sixth grade, my parents were recently divorced and my mom and I had moved from a podunk town in Illinois to Chicago. I was a super shy kid, and even learning how to take public transportation was terrifying.

Money was incredibly tight, as hard as my mom was working, yet I was also going to a shishi all-girls Catholic prep school where all of my classmates weren’t just a little well off, they were loaded. We’re talking living in the John Hancock Center (a massive, and famous, skyscraper downtown) and taking cabs to school every day. Think Eloise living in the Plaza Hotel and you’re on the right track.

I remember my mom and step-dad telling me that I had to walk down the main, busy road from school to our apartment, not any of the less-trafficked side streets because they weren’t safe. But I was so ashamed that my classmates might see me walking into our apartment building (and it’s not like we lived in a derelict craphole, either; it just wasn’t the Hancock), that I chose to walk on the side streets where men would regularly call out inappropriate things to me. So, basically, I would rather risk bodily harm than have my classmates find out where I lived. 

That’s intense!

When I listened to my inner child, she was saying this: “If you don’t have money, you’re worthless as a human being. And if people find out that you don’t have money, you’ll be completely ostracized and it will feel worse than death.”

Another interesting piece: One of the habits I’m least proud of is that I tend to judge other people for how they spend their money. Not all the time but enough that it’s noticeable to me. When I looked deeper, I noticed that other people’s spending habits were “making” me feel unsafe. Huh? Talk about illogical.

But in the eyes of my inner child, this made sense. As a kid, I was entirely dependent on other people’s spending habits (my parents’), and their spending habits either helped me feel safe or put me in a state of near panic that I would be ostracized and die a slow and painful social death. Now, to be fair, my mom was incredibly responsible and resourceful with her money; there just wasn’t a lot of it to be responsible and resourceful with, so I learned to associate spending money with fear and instability.

Not surprisingly, whenever I spend money now as an adult, my inner child has been chiming in (screaming and freaking out might be more accurate), telling me that we’re not going to be safe, that I’m being irresponsible, that we’re all gonna die. And this can be triggered by something as simple as buying a bottle of lotion.

This also explains why I don’t feel like an adult around my money. I’ve told my husband time and time again, “Man, it seems like, no matter how much I learn about retirement planning or money management, I still feel like a kid with this money stuff. When am I gonna feel like a grown up?” No wonder! My sixth-grade self has been screaming at the top of her lungs every time I try to make a decision about money.

So, where’s the happy ending in all of this? Well, I’m currently writing it.

Here are some of the things I’m doing that are making me feel (and behave) very differently:

  • Using this meditation that my friend Tess introduced me to. I listen to it every morning when I get up, and I can feel it speaking directly to my soul.
  • I talk to my inner child a lot. I’ve done self-talk with my body and it works wonders for my health and self-esteem, so I figured it could work with my inner child, and so far so awesome. I let her know when I’m going to work and assure her that I’ve got it covered, that she can have fun and be a kid. I’m an adult and I can cheerfully handle this adult stuff; she doesn’t have to worry about it. I can feel her gradually calming down, and the freak outs are already lessening dramatically.
  • I use tapping whenever I find myself triggered and wanting to go back into my old routine. I’ll write more about this in an upcoming post, because I had a moment while watching a documentary in which a couple was discussing IVF and the birth of their adorable baby boy. I witnessed myself freaking out about them spending money on IVF! At this stage in the process, this response is so goofy that I just had to lovingly laugh at myself. My mind really can cook up some harebrained responses at times! 😉

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