I grew up with a father who prided himself on always getting a bargain. He’d purchase his clothing at Kmart, and always on sale.
When the family went apple picking, he’d hide apples in the glove box and every nook and cranny in our Volkswagon Squareback.
Dad was always up for a deal.
He always spoke of the value of the dollar.
He’d reminisce about seeing a movie for five cents, getting gas for 23 cents a gallon. “I remember when….”
So as I grew up, I’d buy clothing on sale. For the longest while, I limited myself to buying shirts for no more than $9.99. If they were on sale, better the bargain.
I’d comparison shop for shoes in various stores, waiting for the right pair of shoes at the right price. This consumed hours of my time, but I was driven to get a good deal.
Never did I consider what I really liked or wanted; it was all about saving a buck.
Until it wasn’t. Until I realized how stressed I was at the prospect of shopping, my body tense and constricted. My disdain for shopping paramount.
When I first entered a designer’s shirt boutique in an international mall while visiting my son at college, I made my first splurge. I sprung for a custom designed shirt that I had fallen in love with. It was “on sale” but still pricey. I felt like a rebel, going against the grain. I broke out of the box.
Eventually, I came to the realization that my time was valuable. How much time was I willing to invest in finding a good deal?
After moving to Asheville, NC I learned that my therapy fee was the same as an associate therapist, who was not even licensed, and here I had over 35 years of experience under my belt.
Shocked, I examined my value and sense of self-worth.
I immediately raised my fee. I learned that in valuing myself, my clients still valued me and my services and respected my fee.
Whereas I used to be confined in the box of “I can’t afford it” I saw how that belief and that constriction cut me off from receiving abundance and limited opportunity, experiences and adventure.
I questioned my fear. What I asked my clients, I applied to myself: “Have you ever gone hungry, been homeless, gone bankrupt?” If the answer was “no” why did I fear these possibilities?
In fact, the Universe had always provided for me.
Fear is a powerful energy. It focuses on the future of what may be, not on the present of what is, what is reality. It brings constriction, tension, anxiety all of which keeps us small and contained; we remain in the box of “I can’t,” which thereby limits our options and resources.
The contrary energy of fear is trust. Trust of our passion, whether to splurge on a designer T-shirt or to donate to an organization in which we deeply believe. When we trust that the Universe is bountiful and generous, we become fluid and open to giving and receiving, our conduit open and flowing.
And in fact, in the giving is the receiving. The Universe loves us coming from a deep well of desire and pleasure for life and a spirit of generosity in giving which then allows us to receive. Doors fly open, options present themselves, money flows in.
When we invest in the products and services that enhance our well-being, we invest in ourselves, our self-care.
Although the contrary can also be true. If we chronically seek “things” to fill a vacuous emptiness, we’ll not be sustained. The “need” will be met only momentarily, prompting a continual need to indulge the emptiness; the hunger, never completely sated.
Discern your truth.
The next time you believe you can’t afford something, tune into your body. What is it saying? Is it tense, taut, bound up? Feel into the energy of the mind. Does it box you in, close doors on opportunity, keep you contained in its attempt to keep you safe?
And tune into your body when you believe you “need” something. How often have you sought completion from outside sources? Will the item or service enhance your well-being? Will it bring sustained change into your life, or will you feel a continual yearning and seek constant fulfillment only to seek the next sparkly thing? Or does it serve to improve you, challenge you to be your best self?
The “yearning/needing” and the “I can’t afford” converge around the same core wound: “I am not enough,” “I am unworthy.” So rather than depriving yourself or continually indulging yourself, work within with your sense of insufficiency.
Once you embrace yourself with love and compassion and embody the beauty and value of who you are, you become a generous well of giving and an open receptacle for receiving. You become as bountiful as the ever-present and infinite nature of the Universe.