Is More Money Really Going to Make You Happy?

iStock_000006667499XSmall“Everything else in my life is great. If only I was making an extra $1200 a month, I’d be the happiest woman on the planet.”

I said that. I really did. Fortunately I said it to my really great friend and co-author Darren Weissman in one of our Skype calls. He let the words sit and steam a bit (fresh manure does that when it hits cooler air temperatures). Then, without a hint of incredulity, he asked, “You really believe that?”

In that moment I did. It was true! If I had just that little bit of extra cash on a steady basis I wouldn’t have to keep dipping into my diminishing savings to pay all the bills. I wouldn’t be afraid anymore. I’d feel secure. I’d be secure!

Yeah, right.

In the face of his quiet question, the bubble of delusion popped. My vision of a safe, predictable future based on a little extra cash evaporated. I laughed as I admitted I’d let the lie of “security comes from externally-based tangible assets” seduce me yet one more time.

But Darren didn’t let me off the hook. Instead he guided me through his LifeLine Technique—a process designed to reveal and transform subconscious emotions, memories and programs and just as swiftly rewire the brain into new, more intentional patterns.

In that hour I processed buried memories of the harrowing life and death drama that had been my birth experience: mother in a coma, premature caesarian delivery, baby me shoved in an incubator… a full-on drama with residual fears and trauma that hadn’t been dealt with in 62 years.

We finished the LifeLine and Darren left me with an intention I’d set during the process: I am absolute connection feeling beautiful. But more than anything else I was left with a stunning reminder that personal transformation and developing inner security is a process that doesn’t happen overnight.

Peace comes and goes. One minute I’m happy and gloriously confident for no reason at all. I know that life works—that whatever I’m doing is fine and that I’m exactly where I need to be.  The next moment an unexpected expense, a casual comment or a memory trigger a typhoon of emotions and fears that in turn stir up old beliefs and a desire to race back to old solutions (like a steady paycheck!).

Now I’m up, now I’m down. It’s like I’m riding an old, wooden, splintery seesaw in my underpants. OUCH! Worse, my whipsawing emotions stir up judgment. I shouldn’t feel this way.

I should radiate happiness at all times. I should feel assured that following my heart means success. I shouldn’t fret over bills or snap at a friend telling me how poor the room service was at the last fabulous resort she visited in Spain. An inner spiritual glow of peace should follow me everywhere, gracing all others in my path.

Right. And I should sign my charge slips Mother Theresa.

Where did I pick up all this “sweetness and light” crap? Apparently there’s a tell-all biography revealing that even our iconic Sister Mary Mother to the World wasn’t nice all the time—or even very happy. And JK Rowling of Harry Potter fame whose personal net worth is now somewhere in the vicinity of $1 billion confesses to having fear and feelings of financial insecurity.

“I still worry about money,” she said in a recent interview. “Funnily enough it bears no relation to what is in your bank account, it is purely emotional.”

No kidding.

So, if taking a vow of chastity and poverty and serving the world’s poor for a lifetime isn’t enough to generate constant joy, and being a fabulously wealthy, beautiful, more-famous-than-God author isn’t enough to generate constant security and happiness… what the hell am I beating myself up for?

Maybe I’m just human. Maybe, like Mother Theresa and Rowling, I have emotions and hidden programs and subconscious fears and issues driving me. How not? I was forced to draw my very first breath of air on this planet by being slapped on my very wet, very naked ass. We all were. And it just got tougher from there—and a lot more beautiful.

Accept it all. Let it all in. Breathe. Embrace the pain and joy. See it. Feel it. Hear it. Embrace the fear and the wonder. Don’t try to change any of it or glue on a smiley face. It’s all okay. And if it’s all okay, I’m okay.

I tell myself this a thousand times a day. And it’s okay that I need to.

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About Cate Montana

Cate Montana, MA, is a freelance journalist, screenwriter and author of Unearthing Venus: My Search for the Woman Within and co-author of The Heart of the Matter with Dr. Darren Weissman. She lives in the Pacific Northwest. Connect with Cate at www.unearthingvenus.com