17 July 2009

Money. More learning about money.

Years ago I learned to decouple my self esteem from my financial situation. I lost a lawsuit in which my bankruptcy-discharged student loans were un-discharged, along with 6 years worth of interest (the time the lawsuit took) and had essentially doubled. When I got this news I became suicidal, literally. I suddenly owed $32,000! I did have the wherewithall to observe myself during this experience and realized that I had to unhook my self esteem and my financial status. So I did.

My worth as a person has nothing to do with my material or financial status. I really get that.

Here we are years later (the outcome of the student loan situation is another story but suffice to say I believe the student loan business is highly unethical and at this point exists primarily to create huge masses of indentured servants in the US) and my relationship with money has continued to evolve. I now see money as essentially meaningless, a symbol to be used for the exchange of energy. I choose to live on a small amount of money, and to own a small amount of stuff. I like this much better than when I made thousands of money a week.

Now, however, I find myself working on another shift regarding money. I have been waiting for some funds which are coming my way. These funds are nearly here. In the meantime I have borrowed some small amounts from friends to get by. If I am going to drive then I need gas money. If I am going to eat then I need money for food. If I am going to hang out with a friend and get a cup of coffee, I need money for that. Now, I can survive without driving. Friends will feed me, and I don't need that cup of coffee at a café. However, having no money is inconvenient.

I noticed, when a friend loaned me some money so I could get a new windshield for my car, how my emotional state shifted. I felt more relaxed, more ebullient, with money in my pocket. That's not surprising, but when I stop to really think about it, it's screwed up. Why should having money in my pocket effect my emotional state? Why should my day suddenly seem to be going better when there is money in my pocket? How completely weird is that?

So now I am working on decoupling my emotional state from my financial status. I'll let you know how it goes!

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