Money is important—it’s the grease in the economic machine. Some of us, though, get that grease all over our clothes, hair, and skin. When our body is overlaid with it, and every pore sealed up, the smear of cold cash turns our humanity blue.
Money can be greasy to the touch, whether we have a lot of it or a little. A shortage of it provides us with the opportunity to feel deprived, refused, helpless, abandoned, unworthy and unloved. A big stash of it enables us to feel smug, intolerant, greedy, and fearful of losing it. We can use money to feel elation and to know despair. Like sex, romance, and food, it offers us a smorgasbord of positive and negative emotions.
How do plain old dollar bills get so entangled in our emotional life? All of us have unresolved conflicts in our psyche that produce emotional and behavioral difficulties, including self-doubt. This sense that we’re lacking in value is a widespread human weakness. For many of us, it’s part of our identity. Sometimes it’s just a vague, uncertain sense of uneasiness. Giving up (or letting go of) this self-doubt can be difficult, even when we know we’re good people trying our best to do what’s right. [Read more…]