He shouldn’t be so focused on money.
Have you ever had this thought?
You’re watching, listening, noticing that other person over there and hearing them care oh so much about spending, income, salary, investing, wills, counting, saving, having.
Wow. He brings the conversation back to money, no matter where we start out or whatever the topic.
He’s so suspicious, bitter, frightened. Kind of scrooge-like. Unable to let go of imagining money issues, or people taking his money, or the need for greater and greater quantities of money.
He’s worked independently to amass a fortune. Yet, he still dickers with others to get a bargain, negotiate a good deal.
I feel a strange repulsion and fascination.
I notice the conviction that he shouldn’t care so much about making more money, having a windfall, winning the lottery, buying nice stuff. He’s got so much, he doesn’t even have to work for a living, and yet he’s working. Very hard.
Is it true he shouldn’t be so focused, or care so much, about money?
Yes. It’s ridiculous. Who wants to live like that? I don’t see him as free, or happy, at all.
But can you absolutely know it’s true he shouldn’t care so much, when he does?
Well, he appears to be a very unhappy, obsessive, uncomfortable person when it comes to money. I can’t absolutely know it’s true he shouldn’t care about it, though. I’ve witnessed this same energy in others. The reality, it appears, is people sometimes care a whole lot about money. In a really nervous, freaked-out, upset kind of way. They go to war over it. Families get broken over it. People leave each other because of it.
So I can’t say it’s absolutely true he shouldn’t be like that. He is.
How do I react when I see him over there acting so nervous, and saying outrageous things about people trying to scam him?
I feel scared. I wonder if he’s right. Maybe I should care more! I remember when I almost lost my house, and had $10.16 left in the bank, and how I could barely stand the tension of wondering what was going to happen next.
When I believe he shouldn’t care so much about money, I feel some doubt. I imagine that if I had been more like him, I might never have gotten into a position of losing so much or having almost no money.
It’s a no-win perspective, when I believe this thought about him. I have no winning view of him, I have no winning view of myself, I have no winning view of money.
Who would I be without this thought he shouldn’t care so much about money?
I’d simply be a person listening to my friend rant and rave about money, and people and money, and anxiety and money, and families and money, and marriage and money. I’d be present with him. I’d remain centered. I wouldn’t feel thrown off-balance about money, or my own approach to money which feels like an ever-evolving, expanding experience.
Without this thought about him and what he shouldn’t care about….
….I’d be back with myself, in my own business, noticing much more than moods about money in the room.
I’d be breathing, hearing, seeing, not pushing anything, including concepts, away or out. I may even be honoring the awareness of what happens when people focus on something they believe they need in order to be safe, or happy, and how hard this can be. It reminds me to relax with what is.
Turning the thought around: I shouldn’t care so much about money. Especially in the moment other people (like my friend) talk about it or bring it into the conversation. I shouldn’t care so much about them caring about it. I shouldn’t care so much about my own past regret, when it comes to money, when there’s nothing I can do about any of that. The past is over, after all.
I shouldn’t care so much about money and the future, like needing to leave my little cottage to my kids debt-free. Or having visions of working forever into my old age because I started so late in earning much of anything.
Turning the thought around again: he SHOULD care so much about money. First of all, he does. He doesn’t feel very capable of working a normal job, if he lost what he has. He doesn’t feel very caring about much in the world. His focus is survival. He’s been afraid since a very young age. Maybe money is his only true friend. It shows up, can always be traded for things that help him be a little more comfortable, and he likes playing with it.
All I can do is notice my own relationship with money, and what arises when hearing other peoples’ thoughts about it. Who used my friend’s comments to trigger worry, doubt, and regret about money?
That was me.
And my own thoughts are what I can do something about. Not his.
“As long as you think that the cause of your problem is ‘out there’–as long as you think that anyone or anything is responsible for your suffering–the situation is hopeless.” ~ Byron Katie
He thinks money is responsible for his suffering, I think his comments about money are responsible for my suffering.
Everybody suffering. Nobody sane.
I know how to get back to sanity. The Work.