If you can’t answer “yes” to those questions – or if you spilled your coffee laughing while reading them – you are certainly not alone! Most people relate to money with some tension, because our culture has some very confused and inconsistent messages about it. Coming at it as a psychotherapist, I’d like to talk about money as a form of relationship to the world. Since our culture tells us some very mixed up things about how to relate to the world, it makes sense that we would get confusing messages about money as well.
So, how exactly is money a kind of “relationship”?
Money identifies the degree of power we have over resources that other people want. If you have more money, you can appropriate – and consume – more resources than someone who has less money. That is how our culture has set things up. It also means that the more of one resource I appropriate (buying that new 60-inch plasma screen TV at Best Buy), the less of other resources I have access to (oops – no money to pay the gas bill!)