Last week, I wrote about how I created an honesty matrix. It lead me to a money memory exercise, where I list every negative memory I've associated with money (usually, the lack of money).
I'm a very private person. And I share these intimate memories not to generate sympathy or pity, but in hopes of triggering one of your money memories. By bringing money memories to awareness, then we can begin to forgive the people and/or circumstances that created that memory... including forgiving ourselves. Why? It's so that we can be light-hearted and free... so that we can prosper and live. Truly live.
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Here are my 20 money memories that blocked my path to prosperity.
- Mom and dad fighting on the high-traffic boulevard about Disney World tickets. My inner child took away that… pleasure and fun creates embarrassing arguments, so don’t have any pleasure, nor fun, nor arguments.
- Feeling embarrassed at having to drive a family car with terrible breaks and no left turn signal. My inner child took away that… asking for helps is embarrassing and shows other that we're poor, so never ask for help.
- My parent forgot to pick me up. I felt especially embarrassed because I offered a friend a ride home. We waited 1.5hrs and had to call her mom to pick us up. My inner child took away that… the world will always disappoint you, so never count on others and never offer things that you can’t deliver yourself.
- Never going away on holiday by plane because we can't afford it and it's unnecessary. My inner child took away that… we should only work hard and never have fun.
- Felt such a major injustice that a girl I knew in school is an only child, her parents bought her everything she asked for, and a condo and paid her mortgage, and gave her a credit card for fuel. My inner child took away that… since I'm not born rich, I'll never be rich.
- Feeling so ashamed that I didn't have any talent for the talent show because we couldn't afford any extra curricular activities. My inner child took away that… you only get ahead in life if you have rich parents.
- I loved going to my friends' homes because I feared them coming to mine and seeing that we were using their furniture that they dumped in the back alleyway. My inner child took away that… happiness is always out there and don't ever show people the garbage that's behind closed doors.
- Watching friends go on ski trips to their cabins every year while I work my ass off to maintain my scholarships. My inner child took away that… the world is unfair and I will always have to work like a horse if I want a good life.
- Feeling so alone and burdened that I'd have to single-handedly justify my parents' arduous immigration to North America. My inner child took away that… there are no freebies in life, no support, no handout
- Coming home in -35C (-31 F) weather from visiting family and splurging on a taxi was as painful as spilling blood. My inner child took away that… you don't deserve to be treated well and taken care of.
- Being locked out of the house at five years old after school because parents were too busy occupying the grandparents. My inner child took away that… you're all alone, they don't care about you, and you must fend for yourself because nobody else will.
- Not being popular in kindergarten because we couldn't afford candies to take to school to trade. My inner child took away that… you'll never fit in, so stop trying.
- Every year being jealous that my neighbor had brand new back-to-school clothes and I only ever had hand-me-downs until age 23. My inner child took away that… if you want something, get it yourself, don't ever expect anyone else to get it for you.
- Having to take enormous amounts of notes because I knew I couldn't keep textbooks. I had to sell them to afford next year's books. My inner child took away that… you will always be poor, so get used to it!
- There was a time when I wrapped plastic bags around my feet because my boots leaked but we couldn't afford new boots. My inner child took away that… the only way to survive was to suffer, so if you're not suffering, you're not living.
- Growing up, I was only allowed to buy one pair of shoes at a time. I got a new pear when I bore a hole through the old pair. My inner child took away that… you can have one thing or the other, never both, and definitely not all of the above.
- As soon as I started earning money, I was guilted into giving it away by a close acquaintance. My inner child took away that… no matter how hard I work, my money will never be mine. Someone else will take it away, so what's the point of earning any.
- I saved a company $1.2 million and they couldn't increase my salary because it’d make my colleague jealous. My inner child took away that… no matter how hard you work, there will always be a ridiculous glass ceiling that you can't bust.
- I was sick and tired of living in a 250 square-foot apartment. That's not a high quality of life. My inner child took away that… you will only ever have the bare basics, you don't deserve luxury or excess.
- Dad not letting us throw stuff away as he'd go inspect the dumpster and bring stuff back. Gross! And such an invasion of privacy! My inner child took away that… you are never safe and everyone is watching and judging your every move.
Holy shit, when I re-read these, a small part of me wants to slap this inner child upside the head and shake it by the ankles. The bigger part of me wants to hug her so tight, soothe all her tears and give her a $20 Million inheritance. Once I was aware of these memories, I started seeing connections and patterns of why I made the choices I made and why I behaved the way I did. Those memories made me sad and mad... and glad... and eventually free... then rich ;)
- Like this blog if it resonated with you
- Share in the comments one money memory
Thank you for being a lone nut, a leader, and a friend! <3