One of the blocks that have come up for many of my Money Cleanse participants is they feel guilty for desiring more money – like they are stealing from those less fortunate, and it’s hugely unfair.
Poverty is a great unfairness of life. There is enough wealth on the planet to erase that. We just don’t have the right people in power with the intention to balance it.
But, that does not mean we hold ourselves back from living a full life. That doesn’t help anyone. It’s similar to choosing not to walk because some people are paralysed.
Why greed happens
Let’s talk about that guilt – as it’s huge in relation to money AND a completely WASTED emotion.
Greed and wastefulness is not a good thing.
But, just because you desire more money – to live a life free from worry with access to things that bring your freedom and joy – does not mean you will instantly become greedy and wasteful.
Greed and wastefulness follow decisions made out of alignment with your values and soul desires.
You don’t know what you want so you blindly throw money to the wind hoping it will stick to happiness. And when it doesn’t fulfil you, you throw it at the next big shiny thing that the advertisers want you to believe you’re no-one unless you have.
Or it’s possibly the Joneses next door making you feel that way?
If you’re attuned to your values and soul purposes then you naturally gravitate towards spending money wisely and in a way that gives back to others.
It might not even be more money you’re searching for, instead feeling safe (and guilt-free) to spend what you do have on things that matter to you.
The right meaning to attach to money
With more money, you have the freedom to create meaningful things that help others. You have the time to give back. You have the mental state to greet others with love and kindness, rather than fear and envy.
Wanting more money for these reasons is not something to feel shame over. Wanting more money to cover your bills AND pursue happiness avenues like guitar lessons, art materials, or a romantic dinner with the love of your life is NOT a bad thing.
You express this joy, you emit a powerful and uplifting energy into the Universe.
The money privilege
I feel travellers suffer from money guilt a lot. It’s because you’ve possibly travelled to countries where luxury is not even something to think about. Nor is happiness. It can’t be a reality when your day is spent finding ways to put food in the mouths of babes.
Studies show that people who have money have more time to consider what happiness is and how to have more of it. Happiness then becomes quite a privilege.
So does that mean because we were born into that privilege that we should shun it because others don’t (at the moment) have access to it?
No. That’s a complete waste of a life and a privilege.
Anyone who does not take full advantage of that privilege is actually doing a greater disservice to those who don’t have it.
I can’t remember where I read this once, or even if it was said to me in person, but I know of this story, where someone from a third world country was told of these feelings of guilt that those in these positions of privilege often feel.
“That’s the greatest insult I’ve ever received. Why would you not take advantage of that privilege and do everything you possibly could to give yourself a great life? Why would you close the door on that gift simply because you feel guilty or unworthy? There are thousands of people who’d take your place in an instant and take full advantage of it for you.”
Remember that the next time you feel guilty about your privilege of access to opportunity and the ability to create more money. You’re spitting in the face of those who’d never get the chance, and in the end, you are doing absolutely nothing to help them.
Western self-indulgent guilt will not help those arise out of poverty. Those in poverty appreciate everything given to them as a gift, something to be savoured and used to its full capacity.
Western privilege can often make people lazy, complacent, and living a life that fails to shine.
It’s too easy to fail and still be fed. It’s too easy to let your fear and guilt give you an excuse to not live the full expression of your privilege.
How can you help anyone from this place of guilt?
Lack doesn’t give anything back to the world.
It’s great that you do think about those less-fortunate, but are you really doing anything to help them by holding yourself back as a result?
Is it just an easy excuse?
Couldn’t you do more if you used your life fully and in complete abundant service?
(btw. If you have suffered from this guilt, don’t use this post to now start feeling bad about yourself. I tell my peeps in the Money Cleanse all the time, there is no room for blame or shame here. It’s just how it is or was and you can easily pivot out of that into something different. Embrace the change and new way of thinking and don’t give the old way another thought.)
Create more wealth in order to help
Use contribution as your focus (value) for attracting more wealth. Commit to making philanthropy part of your work. We have done so with the charities I support, the way I help raise others up, and becoming an ambassador for World Vision.
Being an ambassador for World Vision would NEVER have been an option for me if I played small because I felt bad or guilty. I wanted my life to shine and have meaning so I could give back. It has nothing to do with greed.
Embrace the abundance and use it in empowering ways – to improve your life and so have more time, energy and happiness to give to those in less privileged circumstances who need a boost up.
Study the rich and successful
If you’re still struggling with this concept, I urge you to study wealthy and successful people. Find the proof – not what your small fears believe.
My favourite spiritual mentor and wealthy teacher, Wayne Dyer, lived a life in complete service. His positive impact upon the world has touched millions of people. He didn’t live through greed, in fact, he lived quite a minimalistic life.
Yet, he frequently spoke of the joy that abundance adds to your life and how it is our source we must return to. He also frequently gave thousands of dollars away to those in need – mostly anonymously.
And Bill Gates, who has held titles like richest man in the world, not only donates his money, but he puts his brilliant mind to the task of solving some of the world’s toughest problems like poverty, childhood mortality, clean water, and improved education.
If he was struggling to pay his bills and holding back because of feelings of guilt, his brilliance would not have room to shine.
When people say, Mr. Gates, you should feel guilty because you have so much money he says, “Well, it’s not that I have money, if I’m supposed to feel guilty [about something], it’s my consumption.”
Consume well and contribute deeply.
Flip the guilt into something more empowering
You can’t control the financial situation of other people, but you can control how you feel. That’s it.
- Start feeling good and use that as a powerful force for change.
- Turn that guilt in a bright smile and a joke to warm another’s day.
- Have the intention to treat all people as equals rather than to be pitied.
- Give up judging others based upon how much money they have and connect with who they really are.
- Believe in others and let them know you support them.
The list of positive ways you can flip guilt and contribute something worthwhile instead is endless.
Do you struggle with guilt around money? What’s one thing you are going to do today to change that?