Entitlement, self esteem, money and the lottery


Doing exercises this morning I ran through what I’d say if I promoted my blog on the radio and spoke specifically about bankruptcy.  I like to think it was more a visualization than a fantasy!  The words that came to me were a lot less clumsy than the ones that come when I write.   I have ideas that seem so clear in my head when I think them, but when I write them too many words come out – my beautiful ideas are smothered with irrelevant crap.

I have to work awfully hard to eliminate the crap, and I’m not at all sure that I always succeed.  But when I was imagining speaking, the words represented the clear ideas, it was a perfect match.  I was surprised.  Nice feeling.

Of course now that I’m writing I can’t remember a thing.  Note: get a voice recorder.  Talk to myself a lot.  Transpose.  Get a reputation for being a lunatic.

At least I’d get a reputation for something.

Right, back to the topic in hand – bankruptcy.  I remember now what I was saying: when you have a financial crisis the first thing you do is believe that the problem is money.  Everything logical points to that being the reality.  Don’t have money, can’t buy food, can’t pay rent, can’t use the phone, drive a car, buy clothes.   Can’t stay warm in winter, can’t protect yourself from the elements.  Then, because society essentially evaluates a person by how financially successful they are, you have to deal with being treated like a loser and feeling like one.

It does seem as though money’s the problem.   It does seem as though the responsible thing to do is to find a way of earning some, and it’s as clear as day that if you could access some your problems would be over.

But I don’t think money – or lack of it – is the cause of the problem, I think it’s the symptom – which always seems to point to disentitlement in one way or another, and that will have affected the way we’ve lived our lives and the decisions we’ve made, how we’ve conducted our relationships.

At this stage in our development as a race, I don’t think we’re very good at embracing the concept of cause and effect in our own lives.  I don’t think we very easily look at ourselves and our current situation and say “this is purely the result of decisions I’ve been making all my life.  Let me look at what’s motivated them, so that I can see what I have to do to make different ones”.

It’s hard to do it.  It really is.  It’s much easier to say it’s just bad luck or coincidence, chance, fate – or other people are to blame.   I think maybe we don’t want to see that our decisions have landed us where we are because we don’t know how to do it without crucifying ourselves with very harsh judgments.  That’s too painful, so we shut our eyes to the truth and blame circumstances etc.  It’s not bad or immoral or evil, it’s just counterproductive.   If we don’t face the truth about what we’re doing, what we believe, how can we learn to do things better?  If we don’t look at the cause of things we can’t change the effect.

Where in the world, in our universe, is there any evidence of anything happening without cause?  I touch you, you feel.  I stab you, you feel pain.  You feel pain you cry or yell or stab me back.   Something will have caused me to stab you in the first place – you can trace it back to the beginning of time.

A plant wilts, it’s because it doesn’t have enough water – or it has too much, or it’s too hot or too cold, or whatever. It doesn’t just wilt for nothing.

We don’t hurt or feel angry or scared for no reason.  Ever.  There’s always a reason.  For everything that happens.   Perhaps Newton was the first one to figure that out in principle.  It doesn’t make sense that the whole universe is governed by cause and effect except for humans!

So, hard as it is to face, I don’t believe we have financial crises for nothing either!   It’s taken me a long time to be able to acknowledge this, but whatever relationship I’m involved in – with a person, with money – it takes two to tango.  I’m participating as much as the other person is.   I can’t change the other person, I can change myself – by healing my self esteem and growing my entitlement.

It’s important to remember that the change isn’t about discipline and “working harder”, it’s about learning how to experience more unconditional love.

Back to the money.  People often say “if only I had the money, things would be different, my life would be better, my problems would be solved” – I’ve said it myself, and still sometimes say it when I get very scared at the prospect of having nothing.  But in my heart I don’t think it’s true.  I think it’s more likely to be true that I don’t have the money because I don’t have the entitlement.

No amount of rescue money will bring you entitlement, and it won’t heal self esteem.   I think that’s possibly why people who have good entitlement but lousy self esteem (they’re not the same thing) can’t make enough money, or garner enough power.  Doesn’t matter how much they make, it’s never enough, they’re driven to make more.   Because they’re trying to fill the self esteem gap with money.  And you can’t.  There’s no cause and effect link between the two!   Lousy self esteem needs unconditional love.

So if there’s a problem, money’s not going to fix it – not in a way that will allow you to live independently, dancing to your own tune.   But entitlement and healed self esteem will lead to you being able to live your life in a way that will bring you fulfillment and prosperity on all levels – including financial.  I’m pretty sure of it.

Sigh.  It would be so much easier to just win the damn lottery.

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