The Mind Creates Illusions About Money that we React to with Fear
People will often refer to their emotions or fears as irrational. But if we learn how emotions are created, we can see that they are not irrational. They are actually the practical result of what the mind and imagination are doing. It is what the mind and imagination are doing that are completely irrational. Or I should say fabricated in a virtual reality of illusions.
MP3 audio on overcoming fear (20 min)
When we understand how the mind creates illusions through stories and how emotions are created from believing these scenarios, then we see that emotions make complete sense. Once we understand this, we no longer fear our emotions. Emotions are just a result of the mind telling stories without our direction over the outcome. To gain self mastery over the mind and the direction of the imagination is how we will get a handle on our emotions.
The mind is like a train engine and the emotions are the box cars that follow. People attempt to control, and repress their emotions by tugging at the boxcars to no avail. The easy way to stop all the cars is to get in the locomotive manage the controls and the boxcars of emotions will follow.
With that said, lets look at an example demonstrating how emotions are created in the mind. In this case they happen to be about money. But this doesn’t have to be about money. This is really about the mind. I use this example with reference to money because the actual financial situation is so different from the virtual reality.
You can use your own life situation and incongruent imagination and follow along with the concepts.
One client I had, let’s call him Bill, was very secure financially. While working in a professional job, he had started his own business and done very well. He was able to retire early from his profession and now just manages his money through stock and real estate investments. (In case you are curious he did not make his money in real estate.) He is quite comfortable financially and doesn’t need to even work at his investment business. However, Bill discovered that while he has handled the practical side of money, he has only just begun to address the mental and emotional side.
This was emotionally obvious when an investment he made turned south. He received title to a house but had not accurately appraised the market value and was now out about $30,000 on the deal. While some may consider this a lot of money, Bill pulled out a list of financial assets and income for the year and could clearly see that it was an insignificant portion and would have no impact on his livelihood. But this didn’t seem to help his mind or his emotions any.
He worried about selling the property at a loss. He stressed about managing the property and losing more money on the deal over time. The Critical Voice in his head kept kicking him for being so stupid for doing the deal. It told him all the things he “should” have done differently so as not to get into this mess. Bill became depressed and had difficulty sleeping. He became angry at himself and at the people that he had dealings with.
To add insult to self inflicted emotional injury, Bill was “aware” that “he” was having all these emotional reactions and that it was “his” Critical Voice in “his” head that was keeping him up at night and abusing him during he day. Bill was also “knew” that he didn’t have to buy into what it was saying. He “knew” that with all his work on himself that he didn’t have to be affected by this. He had an “image of himself” as a person that should be able to just shrug this off and not react. After all it really wasn’t that much money and it wasn’t going to affect his life.
Yet “knowing” this didn’t seem to help any. As a matter of fact, it seemed to make things worse. Because “knowing” that he didn’t “need” to react to the loss of money. “Knowing” that he “shouldn’t” be reacting to this loss of money, and still not being able to stop made him feel like a failure. He was trying to change his emotional state, trying to let go of the issue, and failing.
He was now beating himself up for two counts. The first emotional beating was for failing at the business dealing. The second emotional beating was for not being able to get away from the first emotional beating. Beating ourselves up for beating ourselves up? Sometimes we are just not that rational.
What Bill realized is that while he is very capable at dealing with money in the world, he had very little skill at dealing with the critical voice in his head and the emotional reactions that it creates. This is the case with many people. It is often only when things go against us that we have reactions and the critical voice in our head takes us for a ride through unpleasant emotions. Money can be a big trigger for this emotional suffering.
I don’t specifically teach money management. But I do teach people how to deal with the stories and emotions in their mind about such things as money management. This skill just might be more valuable to the emotional quality of your life than money.
When I first wrote this piece a few months ago Bill had just started to identify the issues around money. We dont' talk that often and usually not about this issue. But even without focused attention, Bill has had some new experiences where he doesn't worry about money the same way, and is enjoying his life more. He has done an inventory of core beliefs around this issue and found that it connects to being smart, self worth, and feeling not good enough criteria that really bring out the emotion. This makes it an issue intertwined with many other agreements and emotions. All the more reason to clean it from our mind.
Making and having money is an easy way to placate and cover our fears of not having money. More money is just a compensating strategy but doesn't make fears go away. They just lie dormant under a rug of our activities. Sometimes having more money just exacerbates the fears because now there is more to lose. No matter the case we may notice them creeping out, or jumping out in a way that we didn’t see before. It is often in times of change or challenge when beliefs hidden in our subconscious become active.
If we are to have lasting authentic happiness then we will have to do more than just placate and cover our fears. We will have to clean up what is hiding in our belief system that we can no longer cover over. Many of our fears around money come from agreements in our mind instead of from real financial issues. Addressing our core beliefs about money and about what determines our happiness can be challenging. But not addressing them and living in emotional reactions of fear can be an even harder nightmare.
If you are wondering, if the lessons in the Audio Sessions in Self Mastery course can be applied to money matters,the answer is yes. The Audio Sessions walk you through how to get your attention back from all the irrational stories in your mind including money. It teaches you how to drive the train, instead of how to fight with the boxcars. If we are to live well, then we will have to manage our mind and emotions as well as our finances. The first two sessions are free.
Resistance to Letting go of Fears - Blog post with mp3 audio