It’s the fifth month of Year of Inquiry, the amazing group who gather to practice the work regularly for an entire year.
The fifth month is Money.
The Money teleclass happens to be underway at the very same time. I’m hearing lots of painful thoughts about money.
It’s so fascinating, and touching.
Several people recently shared with our YOI group “I thought this was going to be an easy month!”
Maybe they feel like they have enough, they aren’t concerned daily about money, there isn’t much bothering them about finances….
….but then, once they landed on a moment with money that felt stressful….
They have more than me. She should save better. He shouldn’t have charged me so much. They conned me. They should pay better. I don’t make enough. He owes me. They are losers. It’s unfair.
Recently I was talking with a dear inquirer who’s taken teleclasses with me. He’s in a relationship and about to get married.
He shared about a moment with money, and his partner, when he had a stressful feeling.
He had expected to split a vacation expense 50/50 with his partner.
She wanted him to pay the whole bill.
Fortunately they had inquiry, and a way to speak out loud all they were thinking and feeling, and a deep appreciation for arriving at peace and clarity no matter what the final outcome.
From his own self-inquiry, this willing inquirer asked himself what was going on, that he should want this 50/50 split?
He also asked his partner what him paying meant for her, what she liked about it, what it could offer her?
He wanted to hear it.
In the end….
….he paid for the whole vacation, with joy and appreciation for what he was giving.
But he couldn’t have done that without walking through inquiry first.
And it doesn’t mean that was the “right” way for it to turn out. It could have been that the 50/50 contribution was the best and most balanced way as well. Everyone has a different situation, a different experience.
The story reminded me of my own work, in the same department about who’s picking up the bill, who’s forking over the cash.
It’s a little embarrassing to admit.
But here’s the thought, the way it came out of me:
I HATE paying 100% for a partner on a romantic date! Offensive! Unsupportive! Used! Wrong! Boring! Stupid! Jerk!
What I came to see was how afraid I was of running out of money, that it meant I was completely unappreciated, and I could not practice receiving.
(I like receiving!)
So who would I be without the belief that I was unsupported, unappreciated, that some part of myself (I imagined a feminine part)wasn’t held, admired, or celebrated IF and WHEN I was the one paying?
All my social conditioning broke down, without that belief.
I noticed, I had plenty of money, enough to cover the fancy dinner. I noticed the appreciation from the other person for what was being given.
I noticed most of all, what I thought it meant to “pay” (losing, my resources depleting, my pot getting smaller).
What if paying wasn’t a bad thing? What if I was receiving, or I was getting paid, right in that same situation? Could that be as true?
There was money, apparently money from my purse to the restaurant.
I could notice there was no need to have a heart attack about the situation.
It doesn’t mean I’m trying to force myself to do something I don’t want to do.
In fact, I notice I absolutely adore my partner picking up the tab. That’s my favorite, still, in the restaurant scene.
But through my own inquiry, I became aware of how in this situation, I got to feel the thrill of being the one supporting, finally. After many years and moments of a partner, or my parents, or my grandparents, being the ones to open the wallet.
How is it a good thing for you to pay for whatever it is you’re doing, enjoying, eating at a restaurant, learning, receiving?
What if you didn’t complain about money moving from you towards that other thing?
What if paying was absolutely safe? And you’re free to choose?
“The reason you feel all this turmoil is that you’re stuck in the center of a lie….’He owes me’–is that true? Can you absolutely know that it’s true? How do you react when you think that thought? Ask yourself. And who would you be without the thought? You would be responsible for yourself.” ~ Byron Katie