Most of us feel deficient in making, managing and growing money, and yet we do not understand how to change our relationship with it.
Although economically, money is simply a medium of exchange and a measure of worth, psychologically and socially, money holds much more for us than financial value alone. For example, we project on to money – we can see it as the source of our suffering, or as the root of all evil, or as dirty and disgusting and corrupt; alternatively, we can see money as our saviour, or protector, or as having the power to make our dreams come true; we can see it as security, happiness, power, freedom… These are not just simple projections: money does gives us choice, power, security, and peace, and more. However, the danger is that we forget these things are also inner qualities that are available to us without money.
Our attitudes to money are often the same as our attitudes to things elsewhere in our lives – and so money becomes a powerful mirror of our relating. This is probably because our relationship with money is imbued with the resonances that our own families put on money when we were growing up. In this sense, not only does money elicit our projections, it can also form an important object relation: without awareness, we have learned to relate to money in the ways we related to our parents as very young children.
In Constellations theory, the purpose of money is to serve life. As Bert Hellinger, the founder of Constellations work puts it:
“Money belongs to life, and it wants to be spent and passed on in the service of life. Money is happy to be spent. All the richer will it return to us.”
Our ability to take money, to enjoy it, celebrate it, and cherish it without stressfully holding on to it, is related to our ability to accept our life fully – ultimately from our parents. So many constellations show that our ability to accept money and use it wisely is strongly correlated to our relationship with our parents. Many constellators believe that our relationship to our male line – to our father and grandfather – is especially important in working through our issues with money.
It seems true in my experience that if we want to make money, our male line has importance. However, I also find it true that if we want to attract and keep money, our relationship with our maternal line is no less important. Sometimes, for example, clients who refuse to receive or hold on to money do so because unconsciously, they do not want to have a happier and healthier life than their mother.
Hellinger also notes the importance of us having a ‘right relationship’ to money – where we allow money to flow freely through our lives, to run its own course, and to go where it is needed, rather than have us hold on to it or push it away. He says that, “Money behaves like a messenger sent from elsewhere. It wants us to acquire it in order to achieve something with it, and when its time is up, it wants us to let go of it.”
When we respect money, and give money its place in our lives, as the nourishment that moves life on, money has a beneficial flow. So the gateway to transformation of our relationship with money, is wherever we are right now. Therefore, the focus of money constellations is not to help us make more money, but rather to enquire in to and be conscious of the inner meanings of money in our lives, both personally and systemically. Then, money can become a clearer conduit of who we are in the world, and we can be happy and fulfilled – with or without money.