Guest Writer for Wake Up World
I have realized I am a saver. Frugality gone haywire.
Sometimes I have dreams in which I want to go somewhere but I don’t believe I have, or am not willing to invest what is required in order to get there.
The other night I had one of those dreams again. I woke up with inner disturbance.
In the dream, I was ready to go back to school, only it was a journey to get there. I didn’t have my own transportation. I was trying to figure out how I would get there. I remembered the school bus from when I was in high school, but I didn’t know if that was feasible. Riding my bike was doable but would be a lot of energy and time. School was a distance away; in order to arrive in time, I’d have to leave very early and I might arrive late or not even make it. I was asking some people if they’d drive me – I was depending on others to get me to where it was time for me to go, and they weren’t offering.What is this not wanting to spend in order to get what I want?
Fear of Running Out
I do have a fear of running out of money, of not having enough.
I’ve been frugal for so long, that I don’t even consider some activities that would require what for me is an uncomfortable amount of money.
On one hand, I believe in honoring my feelings and trusting them. If I’m not comfortable, I’m not comfortable. Lately, I’ve been up front about this with certain friends in this regard; when I’m invited to meet for lunch or for a daytime expedition, I share clearly my limits and needs. I don’t proclaim an absolute “No,” but I do express the desire to find activities that cost little (to me) or no money. There are so many of them. For me, simply sitting together on the grass somewhere, or in a garden, or on a park bench, is lovely and perfectly satisfying.
I don’t need fancy meals out as the only way to be with friends. Also, to be clear, when I feel drawn to a luxurious (again, to me) meal out once in a while, I treat myself to it, with ease. So it is not an always situation, but a sometimes one. More than anything, speaking my desires and needs around spending money is me not shaming myself, hiding, or trying to be who I think I need to be in order to be accepted.
But this “saving” appears in other aspects of my life as well.
What Happens When Saving Equals Not Using
I have realized recently that I am worried about using up my vocal chords. Literally.
I have a prayer that I have been reciting for years. The instructions I received about how to optimally make the prayer told me to say it out loud.
For years I spoke the prayer out loud or quietly, or as a mumble, and also silently.
Silently feels safer and contained: it’s all within me and I feel it there, most potently.
But I have been instructed that voice has power.
Sometimes the energy involved in using my vocal chords to speak words feels like too grand an exertion. This might really be called laziness!
One day upon saying my prayer silently, I realized, that behind this was the fear of wearing out my vocal chords. What if I used them and spoke out loud and then when I’m an old lady I can’t speak anymore. Wouldn’t I be sorry?
But, who knows about the future and what will happen and if by speaking my prayers and other sentiments, or singing, out loud, I will in fact wear out my vocal chords, rendering me speechless?
What if I’m saving my vocal chords for nothing?
Speaking Out Loud is Powerful
I know from experience that prayers (and other motives for speaking,) spoken with voice, actually feel more powerful. Rather than holding and protecting them inside myself, prayers spoken with voice connect me with the divine, the universal consciousness, the Great Being.
When I speak my prayers out loud, yes, it takes more energy. And yes, I am using my physical resources. The powerful pivot is that in saying my prayers out loud, it is no longer just about me; safe and sound but alone. Now, I am in communion, the best feeling ever. The saving grace of living.
Why Not Spend What I Have Been Bestowed With?
It’s hard enough being here on the earth. Why not take advantage of the gift of voice my body has in place and perfectly functioning, and use it to connect with that which helps me feel accompaniment? Why deny myself that?
I have taken earth life in some ways as a punishment. I have felt abandonded by Great Being. Have felt hurt, angry and afraid to come out and play. I have hidden, forming myself into a tight ball, hard and immovable as a boulder.
Besides feeling too scared to come out and play – “saving” my body, heart and emotions from more hurt, with fear of making mistakes as my foundational belief – I hide, save (horde, really,) and protect myself from living on the planet in other ways, as well.
Saving my Heart
I have lived feeling so damaged and traumatized by being in this body, that I decided years ago, not to love too deeply.
Because love can be fleeting.
Because I can love and it will end.
Because people I love will leave or die.
Because I know that the degree to which I allow myself to feel love, is the exact proportion of pain that I will feel when that love is no longer with me.
This includes people and nature.
I have been afraid to love life and therefore live it with heartfelt submission, because I have been afraid of not having life anymore.
In other words, I have been so afraid of loss and grief, that I have been keeping myself from its contrasting partner: the light of the universe, the joy, exuberance and ecstatic bliss of loving, actively, out loud.
Too Hurt to Love and Spend my Gifts
Thus, I’ve spoken my prayers silently, ironically keeping myself from Divine with a passive-aggressive and non-trusting stance.
Thus, I haven’t spent money, or invested in getting to where I want to go, because I’ve been afraid of losing what I have and running out; keeping myself from living fully. So afraid of not being alive that I have kept myself in a living death state.
Thus, I don’t spend my heart: keeping myself apart, separate from messy and scary loving and love’s loss.
I have been given heart, skills, talents, health, abundance, people and opportunities – and I’ve not been using them.
Out of fear of losing life, I am not living life. I have been squandering the gifts of life that Life bestowed upon me. I’ve been essentially spitting on Great Being and the Mystery of Being in Physical Form on the Earth Plane.
Re-evaluating Currency and Spending
So, what is another possible way of responding to living and the necessary hurt that is part of that?
Suppose that Great Being has given me the currency of so many resources: physical, mental and emotional, so that I have them to spend in this life? Suppose my life is a great big bank account abundant with a multitude of energies specifically meant to be used?
This is sounding like “jing” – the traditional chinese medical concept of the original life force energy that each of us is born with, a specific quantity for each of us that will run out, (thus ending our life).
If I unfurl from my fetal position as a boulder, if I soften a little, enough to stand; if I advance into life, using my energetic and literal money consciously, what will happen?
Will I be okay?
Will I be hurt?
Will I die?
Dying with a Full Bank Account
The question is, do I want to die with all the investment Great Being has given to me intact, safely in its bank account? Will I feel proud about that looking back on this life?
Or, do I want to use all the varieties of prosperity that I have been given in order to follow where I’m led, living and learning with greater joy, surrendering to this unique and temporary human experience? It’s going to end anyways. What do I choose?
What I Choose
Uncurl fist’s grip gradually. Breathe. Step. Be gentle with self. Forgive long-standing reactions to (especially,) early hard life experiences.
Start now. Honor self. No hurry, yet also nudged forward by a sense of urgency.
And you, dearest reader, ever-evolving into luminescent elderhood, do you want to use all the varieties of prosperity that you have been given in order to follow where you’re led, living and learning with greater joy, surrendering to this unique and temporary human experience?
It’s going to end anyways.
What do you choose?
Originally published at Take Good Care of You Wellness and reproduced here with permission.
Also by Robin Rainbow Gate:
- Outrageousness at Midlife and Beyond: Creative Dissonance and Your Inner Hag
- When Mothers Forgive Themselves: Tips for Adult Daughters on Not Getting What You (Still!) Want
- Healing Your Relationship with Winter…and All That It Implies
- Home Decoration, Altars and Magic: 8 Steps to Beautifying Your Home While Attracting What You Value, Appreciate and Desire
About the author:
Robin Rainbow Gate was born in Chicago to a family of artists. Along the way, she lived in England, India and Kentucky. Since 2006 Robin has lived in an indigenous mountain village in Mexico where she learned from elder teachers and traditional healers. She teaches authentic Indian cuisine, is author of Calling Myself Home: Living Simply, Following Your Heart and
What Happens When You Jump, is an intentional living guide and teacher who writes and coaches to midlife women seeking to experience a soulful, connected life of self-care, listening, honoring and respect – with focus on simple living, nature, and care of the earth.