I got a tax bill.
I know it’s not April 15th which is the United States tax due date.
For the second time ever in my life, I allowed an accounting firm to do my taxes, and for the first time, I filed an extension six months ago.
I had been doing them myself for my whole life. Even in my previous marriage, I always did the taxes. I kind of liked getting Turbo Tax and entering the data, finishing the project.
But in the past, I never owed much.
I often either broke even, or had a small payment, or got some money back.
Last year, I received an audit letter that I owed the government $30,000.
Yes, of course it was a big fat mistake!! I didn’t!!
But I didn’t like seeing those huge numbers written on the same page as IRS.
With an anxious heart (and a trickle of self-inquiry initially) I searched in my emails for a newsletter. I’ve been on this woman’s email newsletter list for 7 years, since I heard her speak very eloquently at a meeting for small service businesses, before I even had one.
Her accounting firm quickly helped me re-do my 2013 taxes (the year in question).
Turns out I put one thing on the wrong line, and it doubled my income.
The taxes were amended, and resubmitted, and guess what IRS?
Yeah, that’s right!
I overpaid in 2013 once everything was completely overhauled by a professional.
Now, YOU owe ME some money, IRS!!
So of course, I decided to stick with this much better, clearer plan with the experts and have the accounting firm do my 2014 taxes, too.
I asked my husband to be the primary go-between so I wouldn’t have to focus on it.
It made me nervous to have other people doing my taxes, after all those years.
Receipts, credit card bills, bank account withdrawals, checks….
….such an exposure and story of what I spend, what I earn, what my values are, who I appear to be as a person, what I care about, where the money goes.
(What if they think I spend too much going to silent meditation retreats? Can’t a person take some workshops once in awhile, I mean come on!)
After everything is added up.
Not just a small check. Like, a big one.
Are you sure you did it right, accounting people?
I ask my husband what he included, all the work he did to gather everything together….Are you sure you didn’t miss some deductions?
Husband says something like “Hey! It’s a good thing! It means you’re doing fabulous and successful and rocking it!”
Send electronic transfer. To the IRS.
Images of Those People spending all my money on weapons. And other dumb things.
I could USE this money.
Who would I be without the belief it is too much, I shouldn’t have to pay, they’ll use it badly, this is an outrage?
Who would I be without the belief that this is a threat??
(Now where’s that information a friend sent me last year about protestors who refuse to pay taxes, I suddenly much more interested).
Who would I be?
Am I really going to go off on grabbing tightly to every dollar bill that comes near me?
Do I really need to raise complaints about money going and coming?
Can I actually just imagine for a little while what it’s like without the belief that money must always, always stay with me and never, ever go away?
Am I that needy and co-dependent and grabby and desperate and tense and lost?
Over numbers and green pieces of paper?
What would it feel like to Not Believe in the Greatness of Money?
I’d be noticing that moments after I sent my taxes to the IRS, I dialed in to Year of Inquiry group and we investigated some powerfully stressful thoughts.
They weren’t about money at all.
I notice nothing in the room has changed. Absolutely nothing. There is nothing less in my environment after the digits went from something I’m calling “mine” to something I’m calling “IRS”.
I turn the thought around: I did not get a tax bill. It’s awesome that a tax bill arrived, and I paid it. My thinking got taxed, and has essentially been taxed when it comes to beliefs about money for much of my life.
OK, well….examples: I earned the most money I’ve ever earned in my life in one year. Including all the jobs I’ve ever had. Wow. Maybe my husband was right, that’s cool now that I think about it.
My thinking has been so taxed when it comes to money: getting, keeping, holding, losing, suffering and feeling frightened. It’s practically burned itself to the ground with so much worry.
In fact, my thinking did burn itself right down to the ground, and the money followed, I began from complete scratch about ten years ago.
I investigated like a mothah-f&$#%h and I found that my joy is not dependent on money, and that I can lose almost everything and still be here.
Alive, free, breathing in the deep cool air.
I’ve learned that people are incredibly caring and supportive, and they helped me climb out of debt, and encouraged me to keep going and keep noticing what I have instead of what I lack when it comes to money.
Friends and relatives supported me and sent me aid, in love and in money.
And while I still feel a pull to stressful thinking, like fear that I shouldn’t even tell you I had a tax bill yesterday, or I shouldn’t talk about making money because that’s rude and I’ll appear better off than I am or something….
….inside I feel a gentle smile.
A place that lives without needing money, or love, or people, or attention, or security, or health, or my definition of a good life, or vigilance about safety, or anything outside of what is.
“Believing that what you want equals what’s best for you is a dead end. It makes the mind stiff, inflexible, caught in a picture of reality, rather than open to the wisdom of the way of it. What is, is immovable, and it’s constantly changing, it flows like water, it has as many supple, beautiful forms as the mind can create–an infinity of forms–and inside them all, behind them all, it just waits.The heart doesn’t move, it just waits. You don’t have to listen to it, but until you do, you’re going to hurt.” ~ Byron Katie in 1000 Names For Joy