face with his hands, the money still held tightly.
His crying continues until he finally says, “I don’t know what this is about. I don’t even know why I’m crying.”
At first I’m silent, but right there with him. I want to give him the space to see what comes to him.
Eventually I say back to him what he has said: “I want you. I need you. I can’t get enough of you. I’m starving for you. I’m desperate for you. I’ll never have enough of you. Never. There’s no way out.” I ask him other than money, who else could he say that to?
“My mother,” he replies. “I never had enough of her. Even if I begged. Even if I worked hard. Even if I was a good boy. Even if I did everything I could to make her happy. I learned very early that it was no use trying. And then I became even more desperate.”
“Do you see what you’re uncovering here?” I ask John.
“Not really,” he replies.
“You’re uncovering and we’re discovering that you have transferred your feelings toward mother – who was your first source of your resources – onto money, one of your resources in the world today. You have transferred your thoughts, feelings, perceptions, experiences, decisions, behavior, fantasies, body responses, and more from mom onto money.”
“So I’m raging like a little boy when I can’t have my mommy?” he asks with a glint of understanding in his eye.
“Exactly,” I respond. “Good for you, John. Want to take it a step further?”
“I don’t know how, Judith.”
“I’ll help. What are you feeling beneath the rage, John?”
“I’m terrified I won’t have enough. Terrified. Terrified.”
“And what do you do when you’re terrified, John, other than rage?”
“I want more and more and more, Judith, and manipulate to get it and take it. I grab and hoard.”
“You’re getting the hang of this, John. How are you feeling about what you’re doing?”
“This is amazing, Judith. How did we get here?”
“We followed you, John. The clues that came from within you. Shall we go even further?”
“I don’t know if I can? Will you show me?”
“Of course I will, John. Next step . . . What is the effect on you of your raging?”
“Uh. I feel out of control and scared. I scare people around me. People don’t want to get close to me. I feel like I’m a monster. And that scares me.”
“Wonderful, John. It takes you right back to feeling scared. And what is the effect on those around you – you’ve just said it – I want to be sure it’s clear.”
“What did I say, Judith? That I scare them and they don’t want to get close to me?”
“Yes, John. In addition to that, may I share what I see with you?”
“Yes, please, don’t hold back from me now, Judith.”
“Your raging scares other people, and probably triggers fear in them from when they were children. That’s why they cringe and hide and withdraw from you instead of telling you to stop it.”
“I seeeee. So here we are in an international corporation and we’re in these big bodies but we’re children inside – all of us?”
“Right! John. That’s the heart of it. So if they do their jobs like children, without even realizing it, they impact all the customers you serve all over the world. And when those customers are affected, the child in each of them gets scared and angry and reacts in ways that aren’t grown up. And that affects the next people and so on. You see, John, the effect of your childhood deprivation – the feelings you’ve buried inside you, the childhood decisions you made about never having enough, the actions you’ve taken and will take as a result – acts like a line of dominoes causing everything to tumble into a regression.”
“That’s mind-blowing, Judith. Why don’t we all know that? Why aren’t we taught that?”
“A story for another time, John. In essence, people are afraid of their memories and their feelings, and because of the fear, they try to keep it all buried. But as with you, John, when we try to keep it buried, it somehow explodes out into the world and affects everyone.
“I’ve wondered a lot, John, if the recession we’re in is really the consequence of many, many ‘lines of dominoes tumbling into a regression – a recession regression.’ I know that’s an unusual way to put it, but I’m serious.”
“I can barely understand what you’re saying, Judith. I’m filled with all I’ve learned with you today, both in my head and my feelings. I have to go think about it. Can I come back and talk with you again, when I’m ready?”
“Of course, John. Just give me a call any time.”
And as John stands at the door on his way out, I add, “By the way, John, you did great work today. And just like your feelings, decisions, and behaviors have an impact on the world, so also does the work you do to heal yourself.”
John smiles, waves goodbye, and walks to his car with his step a bit lighter than it was on the way in.
Imagine: Each one of us has our own version of young relationship with money needing to be healed. Each one of us affects our world with the current relationship we have with money. And each one of us can help heal our world by doing our own inner work with our relationship with money. Imagine the effect on you. Imagine the effect on your family, friends, business associates. Imagine the effect on our nation’s economy. Imagine the effect on our world!
*This is not something to be done with people if you are not a healing professional who has been trained to work with someone’s psyche. You don’t know what will be opened up for the person. It can be dangerous if you aren’t trained to help them.
© 2008, Judith Barr
Judith Barr has been a depth psychotherapist in private practice since 1975, now practices in Brookfield, CT, and has earned an M.S. in Counseling and licensure as a Mental Health Counselor in Florida, New York, and Connecticut. She is an affiliate member of NAPFA (The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors), and has written for the NAPFA professional journal. In addition to sessions, consultations, and workshops, Judith informs, inspires, and invites people into their own awareness and healing through her book, Power Abused, Power Healed , her speaking engagements, media interviews, and many articles in print online and off. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.