Is the grass or cash really greener on the other side?

Discussing these issues in a trusted circle can help you discover just what a two-edged sword money is. You’ll find allies who you’ve thought were on Easy Street are also having personal money struggles.

For instance, someone may see she’s been harboring buried resentments or even shame rooted in feelings of impoverishment, while another has felt weighed down by guilt arising in privilege and ease.

Consider how some people compulsively “save for a rainy day,” even when it’s storming in their own life. Others fear putting anything aside for the future.

Some may realize they’ve been using money to buy friends or personal attention. Others may admit feeling used, in factuality or in their secretive imagination.

You may be one of them. Either way, there’s no escaping the emotional wallop. But you can come up with corrective actions that gently release the bondage.

As you unearth these buried foundations, can you suggest an appropriate corrective action? For yourself or someone else?

Some people, for example, have a hard time spending on themselves. Maybe they feel they don’t deserve it, or that others are more in need. For them, the corrective action may come in discovering little ways to pamper themselves. It may be nothing more than a cup of gourmet coffee, a piece of chocolate, a bar of scented soap, or fresh flowers. Nothing lavish, mind you. Keep it simple.

Some people are more inclined to spend for causes outside their own locality or event their congregation than within it. “Why does it seem we’re more willing to open up our checkbooks for a project in Africa than for one just down the block?” one workshop participant quipped. In that instance, we could look for opportunities to care for financial needs within our closest circle.

Some people think money was invented for their indulgence. For them, the corrective action may require curtailing their personal consumption while finding ways to help others. Volunteering to work one shift a month at the local soup kitchen, for instance, may do the job.

You begin where you are.

Once you identify negative childhood impressions or dysfunctional adult outlooks, countering a tendency can often be easy, even inexpensive. Sometimes it may require drastic action, such as taking scissors to credit cards. Again, we begin where we are.

What’s surprised you the most in these exercises so far?

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