During the gathering portion of my last teleclass, while we were waiting for the starting time, we were creating a list of topics that actually are taboo. Those things we know to not talk about, to keep secret, hidden and out of sight.
Here’s what we came up with in both general and specific terms:
Sex: Porn Kinky Stuff
Health: Mental Illness Medication Bodily Functions (poop, periods, etc)
Addictions: Alcohol Drugs Gambling
Legal: Arrests Law Suits
Oh yes, and what was that other one? I remember: MONEY.
There are a couple of things that most of these have in common. First, they are considered to be BAD. Secondly, we worry how we would be judged around them. There is an element of shame and recrimination.
The fact that money is in this pile explains a lot about how we are with it. What other topic that is Taboo is actually neutral in nature? Doesn’t ‘taboo’ mean bad? Our parents sure acted like talking about money was bad. So it must be true, right?
No, money isn’t actually ‘bad’, and it’s not even ‘good’. It’s neutral. It’s whatever we say it is, and whatever we stick on it emotionally is what it is.
Money in itself isn’t shameful either. What we do with it may or may not be shameful. See, there’s the rub. Money is only a tool that we use. We put the emotion and judgment on money. We still carry it over to ourselves through the money, but I think this mislaid blame on money serves to just create a bigger knot. If we recognize that we spend money on things that we don’t care about, that is completely different than thinking that money is somehow bad and doesn’t support us. This blaming money thing distracts us from being clear about what we are really up to. It keeps us stuck in old traps.
Good ‘ole Dr. Phil says “You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge.” I agree, especially around money. Money doesn’t happen to you by itself. You make choices, millions of them, and money just reflects those choices.
It seems to start with money being in the same pile as all those other taboo topics, bad and shameful. What might be different if you could just change that perspective?