Your Journey to Money Maturity

Your journey to money maturity begins when you are finally able as an adult to step aside from your engagement with money and see both the emotive and the realistic sides to this commodity. For many years you have been affected by the messages received from your family, our culture and your own childhood experiences with money. Your journey to maturity does not really begin until you are able to see and articulate your money-learning backgound. Until then it will be difficult to separate yourself from your history and make choices that reflect your current values, emotions and reality with money.

Why is this so difficult? It is tempting to take only one aspect of money and cling to it, as if it were the whole story. Many of us only want to deal with one side of money and refuse to see the rest of the picture. Perhaps we are afraid it will be too confusing or we have been trained to look at one side and no other. Our culture has powerful messages that we can stereotype as typically “male” and “female” points of view regarding money. These points of view are reinforced in stories, advertisements, the media,our neighborhood gossip and what we have been taught to aspire to in our lives. We come into partnerships with mates and hope that our mate will carry the money task that we do not want to deal with : earning it, counting it, saving it, planning it’s use, spending it , sharing it and leaving it behind. Secretly we hope to be able to do only the tasks that are familiar and comfortable for us….or perhaps to have nothing to do with any of it and avoid it as much as possible. It seems we are less likely to let ourselves know what our truth is about money and to discuss it openly and without embarassment . Some of us may only discuss it in the heat of an argument and never any other time…others may never mention it. Let’s face it… is the new sex in terms of how we as individuals need to overcome the taboo of mentioning it, asking others about it and being honest with ourselves and interested in how we and our loved ones relate to this powerful symbol and commodity.

Ask yourself some important questions. Are you in trouble with money either in the spending or saving of it? Are you able to share your money when you need to show others you value them? Are you able to withold money when others are wasting it? Do you have your own ideas of what constitutes a good life and is worth spending your life’s energy on ? Are you in serious confict with others about a money matter that seems unresolvable?

Amazingly, not enough people consider examining ther own issues with money in the therapists’ office. “Surely this is at least one area where I can get it together on my own when…..(fill in the blank)”. Most people think it is simply a matter of getting others to change or finally implementing whatever plan or dream is gathering dust within themselves. Except that when we do finally get down to the work together it turns out that this is a complicated topic with lots of different layers that do not coordinate beautifully with each other. Each layer holds a piece of what we need, want and remember in its own slice of looking at geological eras in the side of an old canyon. What works to solve one need will create conflicts in another area and so forth. It is not easy to face all the pieces at once as the puzzle can become overwhelming.