My Relationship with Money, Me… and Shopping

by Katerina Nikolaidis, Australia

Recently I took my car in for what I knew would be a very expensive service. It had just clocked up 100,000 k’s and I knew this involved the replacement of the timing belt and that I was looking at a bill of around $1400. Unlike other times I’ve taken my car for a service where I’ve felt the anxiety of parting with the money that was due, on this occasion it was the most wonderful experience. From the journey to my mechanic, to the interactions before leaving my car with him, to paying the bill and to driving my car home… it all felt absolutely amazing.

It felt amazing because for as long as I can remember I have had a challenging relationship with money. It wouldn’t matter whether I had a lot of money or a small amount; I could never seem to keep it and it always seemed to be running out. It was as if I was in a perpetual panic state about money, wondering where it was going to come from, fearful of losing it and terrified as to whether I would be OK… I had this deep-seated, unexplained fear of becoming destitute.

Of course, this attitude and relationship with money, had ramifications with how I interacted with the world. At work for example, I would have this underlying fear that if my boss decided I wasn’t good enough, he would get rid of me, I’d have no money, I’d be left destitute (that word again) and so on. So I would never really be at ease, trusting that perhaps I’m actually doing a great job just as it is and that I don’t have to be so anxious. Having this constant anxiety meant that there was no room for creativity. Whatever task I’d perform would feel constricted and stifled, always terrified that it might not be up to par, and of the horrendous consequences that could follow.

This, was not a fun way to live on a day to day basis.

Up until the time I came across Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine, I put a lot of effort into ignoring how awful this felt. I did this by never sitting still, never wanting to feel how horrible it actually felt in my body to have this constant anxiety. With the support offered through Universal Medicine, I started to connect to myself more and I realised how disconnected I had been up until then. The more I connected to myself, the more I could feel that my issues around money were bringing up an enormous amount of anxiety in my body and that this felt horrible. So I started to examine my attitudes and behaviours around money.

What I came to realise was that my relationship with money had a huge amount to do with how I saw myself and how I would treat myself: I didn’t value myself very highly, but I didn’t really want to look at this. So I would look outwards always seeking a distraction or a fix, be it at a clothes shop, a workshop, a trip away. It was all about the quality I was in when I was deciding what to do with my money or how to spend my money. If I felt inadequate and didn’t want to feel this, I would often smother that feeling by buying something. The trouble was, I would be making the purchase in the quality of feeling unworthy and even though I might have been getting a bit of a buzz initially, deep down I would still feel pretty low about myself.

On the other hand, if I purchased something knowing that this product or service would nurture me and support me to take more care of myself, then the quality would be totally different. The item I would purchase would feel lovely, regardless of what it actually was, and I would feel lovely as I was making the purchase and afterwards. There would be none of those yucky feelings of anxiousness or guilt around it – instead, lots of joy.

The more I would ‘get’ this, the more the choices I would make around money started to change. I would start to enjoy this very different feeling: I’d meander around shops, look at items that appealed to me and feel whether it was true to purchase them or not. I would do this by registering the feeling in my body. If it didn’t feel right, I would feel the start of the anxiousness I was very familiar with from the past. And I didn’t want that! If it did feel right, my body would feel expanded, I would feel the resounding ‘yes’, that this item or service would support me, be it in a fun-loving way or whatever way that may be. This, was a much more joyful way to shop!!

What I also started to notice was that I trusted myself more. It was as if I could hear and feel a warm and steady foundation in me that knew that, provided I take responsibility, I would be looked after, because I was making the choice to take care of myself first. This has been a massive turnaround. It has meant that less and less do I go into my workplace in the anxiety that I’m not performing as well as I should be. It has meant that my confidence in myself is building. And it is this that is building a totally new relationship with money and with me.

So my trip to the mechanic for my most recent car service simply confirmed to me how joyful it actually is, when I commit to making loving choices with money, choices that will look after me. I felt more joy paying for my car service than I’ve felt buying a gorgeous dress or piece of jewellery. This was because it was not so much about the actual ‘thing’ I had purchased. It was the dedication I could feel to committing to looking after me, and using my finances to support this. And that, is priceless…

270 thoughts on “My Relationship with Money, Me… and Shopping

  1. So many people struggle in their relationship with money and never come to the awareness needed to overcome or transform it into something deeply supportive like you have. The commitment and the foundation you have developed for yourself is remarkable and your sharing invaluable in what it can offer another.

  2. I like how you relate money to the way you live, to the support that it brings, instead of seeing it as something separate that can have one either worry a lot and keep one in constant anxiousness or having a carelessness about it.

  3. Such an interesting and inspiring blog Katerina, thank you. It is great to look at our relationship with ourselves and we are then more likely to have a deeper understanding of our relationship with money. It can often be a stressful topic for many people and what you’ve shared is hugely supportive in so many ways.

  4. On re-reading this I feel the grace of being given a stop moment. I have pondered some on my relationship with money recently and have come to understand I have had a tendency to not appreciate how much it really does support me. On reflection I can see that there is a deeper invitation to support myself with deep appreciation and acceptance of the beauty, tenderness and love that I am.

  5. An article full of a wisdom we all know, but don’t want to be responsible for knowing, and hence, have to see just how little we truly support ourselves. Yet it is only through feeling that we deserve way more love and support, will we then give it to ourselves.

  6. I bought a winter jacket recently. It was more money than I would usually pay for a jacket but my criteria was different this time. The purchase was based on self-love, a choice made to buy something that would ensure I stayed warm even on the coldest of days – and I love it – it feels like pulling on a duvet to go out walking the dog in. Despite the cost it was for sure, money well spent and an act of love for myself that is in fact ‘priceless’.

  7. It is interesting to note that when we buy something to attempt to change how we feel – in my experience we simply end up confirming what we felt in the first place. It seems to me that this is because whatever our desire – i.e. to change how we feel – our actions are first and foremost based on the fact that we don’t feel good and hence are in fact a confirmation of the feeling we don’t want in the first place. We need to go deeper than this superficial level of interaction and change the fundamental root of the feeling if we really want to change it.

  8. I’ve found that when I’ve bought something with a lack of worth, like should I really buy it, either then opting to buy a version that is cheaper and not something I really like’… I don’t enjoy using or wearing it at all and eventually give it away. But when I value myself and why I’m buying something, I love using what I’ve purchased.

  9. I can relate to this a lot. My relationship with money up until just the last couple of years has been one of lack – always living hand to mouth and feeling guilty if I bought even necessary items, but then splurging when I couldn’t stand the control any longer. This has all changed now. In our family we now budget everything so when an unexpected bill comes up, or the car needs servicing, or as happened recently I need to buy some new clothes, the money is already there so we are not ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’. I now feel abundant and at ease with money – no longer seeking the quick fix, ‘retail therapy’ aka anxiety numbing, I always used to use to make myself feel better (temporarily anyway). It’s awesome.

  10. A brilliant blog Katerina uncovering the relationship many of us can have around money. You raise some great points around buying and the difference felt when buying an item from a lack of self-worth or from a place of truly valuing oneself and making a purchase that is in deep appreciation of you.

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