Handling with Respect
What do I know about handling money? When I first came across Mary Morrissey she had us take out our wallets and examine the contents. We had to see how we handled the physical stuff. Was it all just jammed in hickeldy pickle or was it all neatly arranged? Were there hoards of receipts from transactions?
I saw that mine was a bit of a mess and ever since then I have made a point of making sure that all the notes of the same denomination are together and the same way round. I make sure the edges are straightened. I sometimes receive notes that are all folded up and the corners mushed and it makes me wonder if the person giving me that does not really respect it.
Symbol of Freedom
I got the notion that money deserves to be respected, loved even. Not loved in the sense of coveting it but as a symbol of freedom. There is something about having some money in my wallet which gives me a sense of security. Something that used to be sadly lacking in my life. When I heard the idea of keeping a hundred dollar bill in my wallet I saved up and went to the bank to get a crisp one hundred dollar bill. I loved that. Ever since I have made sure to have one. The rule, I was told, is that it could only be spent if it could be replaced immediately. What was it about having that bill in my wallet? I think it’s to do with the fact that every time I open my wallet I see it there and it somehow reassures that part of my brain that thinks “scarcity” that no there really is enough. It’s funny in these covid times when I hardly ever use cash to still have that.
Money is like Water
In Lynne Twist’s book the Soul of Money she has a section called “money is like water.”
Gertrude says that for some people it rushes through their lives but for her it’s a little trickle but she wants it to have the most impact. Think about that for a moment. Using our money to have an impact.
It’s more than just having money to spend. It’s about being a good steward of this means of exchange. It’s the only thing that doesn’t rot yet Charles Fillmore says unless we go behind the money itself to the idea to the spiritual substance at the back of it our money is subject to rust and moth damage.
What does he mean? I take it to mean that pursuit of money is not the goal. Rather we are to cultivate a feeling that everything is already taken care of. That the universe is a friendly abundant place and we, like the rest of nature, have been provided with everything we need not to just survive but to thrive. We are part of the ebb and flow of life.
For a long time and perhaps even now I didn’t really know what this spiritual substance meant. But I’ve come to understand that it’s what lies behind every manifest thing. It is
the idea back of money. So what did that have to do with how I handled it. I was still very anxious about money. I had grown up with the notion that there was never enough and that it could run out. My dad said towards the end of his life that he was fearful that the money would run out before he did. I knew I didn’t want to have that fear running me.
As I started to explore the idea of giving money away that fear arose in me. How could I give money when I couldn’t even pay my own bills. The idea seemed preposterous yet I knew I had to try it. What I was doing wasn’t working. I had “come across” Edwene Gaines work on Prosperity and a book by Catherine Ponder and they both talked about
how tithing had straightened out their finances. I was terrified to give away 10% of my income. But I did it and it’s been the best thing I’ve ever done. The scariest, but the best. Eric Butterworth says tithing is our “training wheels” and to not get hooked on the amount but to start to give generously. And that’s what I have done. At first it was a strict 10% and then over time it’s increased to well over 20%. Emerson said “You cannot outgive God.” I thought, “why not give it a go.” And you know I think he’s right.
Ever since I started giving my financial affairs have improved and I have pretty much overcome, I think, my fear that it could run out. There are still moments, especially when I
am about to give a large gift that I feel anxious. I had grown up with such anxiety around money.
There was always an undercurrent of fear of its lack in my childhood home that I must have taken on board. “There’s not enough” became the ruling theme. I saw it everywhere. Not enough money hence my debt, not enough love hence a toxic relationship, not enough good of any kind hence stressful work.
I loved the idea that I read in Charles Fillmore’s lessons on Prosperity that, “we shall serve for the joy of serving and prosperity will flow to us and through us.” I didn’t really know what that would look like or how I could do that but when the opportunity came to serve I was ready. At first it was doing volunteer work for the Unity community I was part of in Maine. Then when we came back to New Zealand the unpaid position of Director of Unity National School for Australia & New Zealand came up and there was a strong impulse in me that this was mine to do. I serve for the joy of serving and Charles is right. Prosperity flows to me and through me.
What is it that I don’t want to look at regarding me and money?