It started on Facebook, when someone commented beneath a link to The Money Study that “money is evil,” to which someone else replied: “Money is paper; people project their fears onto money, and that evokes evil acts.” That someone else was writer, Melanie Votaw, author of 11 nonfiction books and a nature photographer in New York City.
I understood about projecting fears onto another person—but onto an inanimate object? Get. Out. That would be like projecting fears onto a lamppost.
But Melanie’s words resonated. They felt—correct. I sent her a message and asked where this view came from. “My interpretation is essentially Jungian and psycho-spiritual in nature, based largely on my reading and workshop experiences with people like Marion Woodman.
Woodman, a Jungian analyst, teaches us to be wary of emotional projection onto [that which is] physical, as this causes unhealthy attachments, she explained. “It amuses me when people say that money is evil since money is just a tool,” Melanie added. “It would be no more valuable than scrap paper if we didn’t place that value [feeling, emotion] on it.”
I thought about this from a relationship standpoint. In one way or another, every one of our relationships (and how we view them, behave in them and revere or fear them) are in some way a reflection of the self (our own self).
So, in a total re-frame, I’m not talking dollar amounts; I’m talking relationships. In a person-to-person relationship, both sides would, theoretically, have a say about the tone and ground rules of the union. But since money is, in fact, paper, I’m clearly the one with all the power in the relationship. I’m the one doing the imbuing, the projecting—whether I realize it or not.
This leads me to my second money truth: I can improve my relationship with money by noticing (without judgment or disdain) my emotional reactions toward it.
(More from Melanie in Part 2 of “Sometimes money is just money”)
P.S.: Read more about The Money Study here.
Great news! This portion of The Recovering Creative will soon have a new home (address to follow) and a new name: The Money Study. More to be revealed. For now, enjoy the posts right here.
Sign image courtesy Flickr/aga.silva
Photo courtesy of Melanie Votaw.