I have always struggled with money in some way. Usually with not having enough of it, but also with feeling bad about having any. This does not play well with trying to be an entrepreneur and making your own money (not receiving a regular paycheck). As an artist I often felt guilty for asking for money for my art. I was also easily moved to lower prices if anyone challenged them.
Then, this year I had a series of enlightened moments. In a particular situation regarding money, I become overwhelmed with negative feelings of guilt and sadness. Instead of closing the doors to those feelings as I’ve always done, I sat with them. I held them and explored where they came from.
As a child, I was raised by a single mother who was very poor. With three children to care for at a young age, Christmas was often filled with tears. Dinners were filled with guilt because my mom would go without so that we would have enough. Money became associated with the guilt and sadness. We didn’t discuss it and we didn’t ask for it. Sports, music, and school events were often forfeited because I couldn’t ask my mother for something she didn’t have and by asking would ultimately lead to more sadness and guilt.
I carried these negative feels into adulthood. It was only after having my own child that I added anger to the mix. I would lower prices for customers and then be angry at myself for not being compensated for my service or time, ultimately taking from my child and repeating the cycle.
I think its so important to understand our relationship with money. By understanding my feelings, I was able to put value onto what I do. I’m able to stand my ground and feel good about money when I get what I deserve and am able to feed my child and myself without tears and feelings of negativity.
It’s important to figure out our feelings towards money and why we feel this way. What I was the most surprised to find is when I stood my ground on my pricing for a painting, 90% of the time it sold anyway. Here’s to a New Year of building a healthy relationship with money!