Who is The Prospering Hero? Two weeks ago Rev. Melanie talked about the use of our imaginations to create the lives we are here to live. Last week, Easter Sunday, she talked about rolling away the stone to let our light shine. But what is that stone that blocks our way all about? We created it so it is up to us to remove it. Especially when it comes to our finances.
We are the heroes of our own lives . . .
. . . and just like the heroes of old, whether we are Hercules facing the Hydra or Perseus facing the Medusa, we too have challenges to overcome. We usually think that the challenges we face come from the outside. The truth is that the real challenge is what we think about what is happening in our lives. Joseph Campbell said, “Money is congealed energy, and releasing it releases life’s possibilities.” It is these possibilities that overcome our challenges.
So what are the financial possibilities you would like to release?
Is it a job, or a business you would like to start? Each of us is filled with all kinds of possibilities. So what stops us?
Maria Nemeth, author of The Energy of Money, talks about trouble at the border. It’s the block that happens when we are moving ideas from the metaphysical to the physical. It’s the rock that Melanie talked about last week. What makes up that block and, more importantly, how do we release it?
Maria talks about the basic assumption we each have made about ourselves in relationship to money. It is usually formed in childhood. It is a fundamental decision we made about life and once made, we gather incident after incident to prove it’s true. Some of these beliefs come from our families, and they could be positive or negative. I know I heard repeatedly from my Mother something her Mother, my Grandmother said: “If you want it badly enough you will find a way to pay for it.”
My Mother wanted to be a teacher so she needed to go to college
This was during the Depression a time when no one had much money, especially my Mom’s family. My Grandmother went with her to the college nearby, which at that time was on the quarter system instead of semesters. She wrote out a check for the $25.00 admission fee and told them that the check would be good by the end of the quarter . . . and they accepted it!
Mom qualified for some scholarships, and even though she could teach with a 2 year certificate at that time, it took her 15 years to finish her degree. My mother became the first in her family to earn a college degree.
What about you? What messages did you receive about money from your family whether they are positive or negative?
So what do we do about these assumptions: paradox and confusion?
To move beyond our basic belief about money we must confront the twin sentinels on the hero’s path: paradox and confusion, often represented as twin dogs at the entrance of Buddhist temples. They are a reminder that we must embrace our misconceptions and misunderstandings to gain enlightenment.
As we dismantle these long held beliefs about ourselves we can become confused. I had a woman in a women’s support group I led say, “If I am not a victim, who am I”? I went through an identity crisis myself when I retired and was no longer a senior minister, and then my husband died. I didn’t have a clue who I was and had to start recreating my identity all over.
Maria says that confusion gives us breathing room if we stay with it. It gives us the opportunity to leave old thought judgements, memories, and feelings behind. They have served their purpose, but now it’s time for a change.
Also, look to see if a paradox arises when you think about money. A paradox is a self-canceling statement or thought that forces the mind into sort of a logical gridlock. A typical paradox would sound like this: “My name is Sydney. I live in East Cobb. Everyone who lives in East Cobb are snobs.”
Am I lying about this or am I telling the truth? Wrap your mind about this. The person I heard this from actually believed it, she said, until she met me. Suddenly I disproved a belief she truly believed. Does that mean she would look for more people who weren’t snobs or would she stop looking at East Cobb people as being snobs automatically? It’s interesting in how invested we get in these beliefs. The true challenge is to be comfortable in not knowing, to embrace the questions instead of being so attached to our answers. It’s not what we know, it’s how we hold on to what we know about money.
The ultimate task of the hero
Heroes develop the capacity to sit with paradox and confusion as they occur. Heroes do not jump to premature conclusions and allow the gap of not knowing to be there. New answers can then appear as we release old beliefs and move into a new way of being. It is his or her contribution to others, and to the larger world, that makes the hero into a hero, for the ultimate task of the hero is to bring knowledge, energy, and power back to the people they love and to share it with them.
Each of us has unique talents to contribute to the world, and we make our contribution by turning our individual dreams — the ones that truly excite and inspire us — into reality. Whatever the vision that calls to us, accomplishing it is a heroic mission.
Blog by Rev. Sydney Magill, Prayer Chaplain Ministry Director
This blog is based on Rev. Sydney’s talk on April 23, 2017.