Money. I have this strange relationship with money and fear… well fear is the what makes our relationship strange. See dad had a huge fear of money. It was his sickness… yes, he had cancer… but I don’t look at the cancer. I look at all the other things that drove him mentality and spirituality insane… And… well, money was one of them. And I don’t really know why. Actually I’ve never thought about why. All of these years have gone by and we’ve talked about this problem, but I never took the time to ask why he felt that way or how he came to feel that way.
Obviously his fear became mine, so I know why I am this way… But I don’t know where his came from at all. And that makes me feel a little disappointed in myself for not ever asking or thinking to ask. Maybe I didn’t ask because it was such a sore subject for both of us. We both hated talking about money on any given day.
So… What does fear of money look like? Well… the day after dad passed mom and I went looking for papers in his office and the entire atmosphere of the room overwhelmed us. Then it was the way he had papers filed and stored. It took our breathes away and all we could say was “gosh he was so sick.” If my dad could do it on his own, he would. Spending was not a quality. And yes, we have a beautiful home and nice things, but this little thing called money always stood in the middle of all of us when we argued. It was the center of the argument… even if it took 10 minutes to get to it.
And… honestly, thought I hate to admit it to myself…. but there’s peace in this house that was never here before. Peace because that fear left when dad died. The negative energy he carried around on a daily basis, that sucked the life from all of us… well, it’s gone. And I’m happy. I’m happy I don’t feel pressure anymore. I don’t feel like a sickness is looming over my shoulders. It’s peaceful in this home and it’s good. And that makes me feel strange too because the fear is dead… well it’s not dead but it’s gone. It’s presence, like dad’s, isn’t here anymore. But I don’t feel realness with it’s absence like I do with dad’s…. and I don’t know what to make of that. Really….. how do I wrap my mind around the fact that dad is dead and death is such an alive topic… and the negative energy is gone now, but that doesn’t feel like an alive topic. Is it because the negative energy isn’t gone? It just went somewhere else? So it didn’t truly die out… more like went away… and it’s just dead in this home? But then dad, well his presence being gone means so much more because it was a different kind of energy or energy source? Oh, I don’t know… I don’t know at all… But making sense of all of this is such a goal for me.
And… Yes, I would give anything to have my dad back, but I am so happy that the negative energy is gone. And it didn’t just leave on it’s own. That office felt so eery until mom and Bridge prayed and told the negative energy to leave. So… now I sit here and I miss my dad like crazy…. but being honest with myself, I don’t miss his fear or control.
And… I don’t plan on cultivating that fear in my own life. I write about this fear because I need a better understanding of it. I need to continue to make clear sense of it so I can become it’s enemy and move forward with my life in health. Fearing money and then controlling what you have isn’t living at all. It’s torture. It’s bondage. It’s allowing money to be your master… And like my best friend told me, “Amanda, it’s paper. Paper with numbers on it. You’re letting paper with numbers control your life.” And I was.
It controlled my entire life, dictating orders and sending me into shear panic when it was time to pay for something, anything. I would get to the checkout and all of a sudden turn stupid or something. That’s how powerful the fear was. I’ve gotten so much better since moving to Cali though because I’ve been placed in a situation that asks me to pay out of pocket and then I am reimbursed. But… at first, I was so afraid. So afraid to spend anything.. and I have more than I need.
When I spend, my body clams up and I can’t think straight. The last time this happened I was in FedEx mailing a package and I couldn’t even tell her the address. When we left the store, Bridge said, “is something wrong?”… and I just explain that’s how powerful having a fear of money can be. It turns me stupid when spending.
For dad, well… it did worse. He never went on vacation at all. He needed to control everything and hold onto his money so tightly. The truth is… he couldn’t take it with him. It’s here now. Here for us to figure out how to handle it… how to pay bills and manage it all. It’s our responsibility to create some kind of system that makes sense so we can move forward.
Mom said yesterday that dad told her in the hospital, “when I’m gone, I’ll be looking down saying… well, you figure it out now.” And while that might seem mean, harsh and cruel.. and it is… it was the extent of his sickness. I believe in his mind he had had enough of it. He was so fed up with himself and this fear that he was halfway hoping he’d die so the burden of the money would be gone. He wanted mom to have it so he wouldn’t have to carry it anymore. And… when my mom told me this, I looked at her and said, “Oh mom, you’ll be fine. You’ll be fine because you don’t have dad’s sickness.” I believe that too. She may be afraid of spending, and it may have controlled her while they were married… but he’s gone now and it’s gone… so she will become healthy and cultivate a new lifestyle for herself. And I believe she will handle this situation with such grace. She will have the understanding to see it was just a sickness talking and that she has the capability to get all of the finances in order. Honestly, she needs the confidence to do this right now… because finances and money do stress her out.
But… I’m trying to learn from her, rather than continue to follow old mindsets. But, gosh it’s a challenge sometimes. She looks at it all and says, “well, I can pay these bills whatever way I want now. Dad’s no longer telling me how to do it or doing it himself.” And in a way, I think it’s liberating for her to figure it all out. It’s actually beautiful. In the midst of this chaotic situation, there is so much beauty because we are all learning and growing closer. And, yes… we are growing closer without dad… moving on without him in our lives, but I’m so blessed to know that a tragic event is moving us closer rather than moving us father apart.
** the picture is from 3 Christmases ago. Dad told Bridge they needed to talk about her spending habits and she got down on her knees with a bowl and said, “please sir I’d like some more.” We all laughed. Dad didn’t and said, “this is serious.” But to Bridge… well money isn’t serious at all. She spends, travels and enjoys life all the time… and you know what, she always has money. I should continue to learn from her.