Where does frugality come from? Is it good or bad? Is it something that is entrenched in the way we are raised and determined by our parents’ outlook on life and their financial standing? Is it lingering from times of war and depression? Why is it so entrenched in Christianity? Is it only about money or does it permeate much deeper than dollars and cents alone?
These are questions that have arisen over recent times as I begin to realise that I have lived my life with no true connection to who I truly am, just a reduced version of the real me that I now know is an avoidance of the responsibility I have to bring my true power to everything I do. This way of living life is the polar opposite of how it can be and as I unpick each layer built up to cover my true essence, I look into the nooks and crannies of what has influenced me throughout my life.
I grew up in very modest post war means, living in Government supported housing. My father had fought in WWII and was employed in a longstanding job, as many did in those days, but as I see it now, well below his capabilities.
Our life was simple – we never owned a car – so I caught the bus to school and we walked everywhere we could, and I still enjoy walking wherever I can. Otherwise it was public transport and groceries were delivered from the store in the city out to us in the suburbs. Growing up, nothing was wasted yet there was no feeling of abundance except at Christmas time, when we would buy a Christmas hamper with all sorts of goodies, including some we didn’t like, and Dad would buy a live chicken from the nearby chicken farm, and slaughter it for us for Christmas Dinner.
I started dressmaking at a young age, and remember being very proud of my outfit for my Year 8 School Fair (age 13), where I met my first boyfriend. From then on I made nearly all of my clothes including swimsuits, business attire and then my wedding gown. I remember that it cost me $33 for the fabric and pattern, when something similar would have cost many hundreds of dollars, if not more.
Frugality had permeated my way of life, and it was partnering up with my then undetected lack of self-worth, to become something different. It was about minimalist living, saving as much as possible and doing as much work as possible, negating what my body may have been telling me. There was no thought of taking a break and most long weekends were for doing bigger projects around the house.
Along came the children: one, two, three! I loved being pregnant. I loved having babies. I loved being a wife and mother. But somewhere along the way I lost loving me and it was about everyone else. The changing face of frugality extended to not even considering there should be some time devoted to my self-nurturing. Every moment was filled with chores and projects; so much so that I recall feeling so accomplished that I could squeeze even more into my day. Frugality became about short changing myself from the abundance that I truly am.
Making the family’s clothes, growing vegetables, baking bread, cakes and biscuits and every meal from scratch, learning how to be the family hairdresser – all this, even when I went back to work. This face of frugality was intertwined with every decision.
So, you may ask, in how many ways can one see frugality differently? Here are but a few I have discovered:
Being frugal with:
My time –
Doing things as fast as possible, and not in the quality that I now know to be me in activities such as:
- Walking and exercising
- Doing tasks at work and returning to my desk by cutting corners and bumping into edges.
My tenderness –
- Not cuddling my babies off to sleep, but letting them settle in their cot so I could get on to the next task (I definitely did not want to ‘spoil’ them, as the belief was in those times)
- Not pegging and folding washing in a tender way, but as quickly as possible
- Applying creams, lotions and makeup at lightning speed.
My expression –
- Not speaking up about how I feel
- Not sharing with others the many ideas that pop into my awareness
- Swallowing hurts
- Not allowing myself space to grieve the sudden death of my mother when I had a new baby, a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old to care for.
Fast forward to my introduction to Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon, who bring everything back to love. I have been re-introduced to true abundance and am still grasping how to live that every day. Why would I not take the time to gently and lovingly apply cleanser, toner and moisturiser to my face, lotion to my body – how much extra time and tenderness does it take? Being frugal is being turned around, yet again, and I am learning to spend time with me in preparation for each day.
From an untrue use of frugality towards true abundance – discovering pockets where this twist of frugality is hiding and calling it out – is an ongoing process and I’m learning from others much younger than me to not short cut my own needs (being frugal) to satisfy another.
Abundance abounds through my devotion to self-nurturing and self-love, which leads to self-worth through appreciation and confirmation of who I am. Abundance abounds, and I am learning to allow myself to feel it with every breath. No more ‘that will do’ when I feel to do something differently. I just made myself an omelette, so I took the time to pick some parsley from the garden, to take some (previously prepared in the true nature of frugality) kale and onion from the freezer, to include some roast vegies from the fridge and some spices too. Frugality and abundance working together!
By NP, an elder with great wisdom to share, and more yet to discover, Australia