by Larke Blanton, Guest Contributor

Money. Just saying the word can bring anxiety shivering up the spine. Why is it that any time money is addressed the topic is clouded by a sense of shame? Perhaps our mindset of money is one that does not allow for positive progress. Brené Brown writes in her chapter, Daring Greatly, of a culture shrouded in shame. “We are struggling enough with the issue of worthiness that it is beginning to shape our culture as seen, for example, in the love of money.” So if it is a feeling of worthiness we seek, let’s imagine how that can be fostered through a sacred relationship with resources of which money is only one option.

Values are wrapped in money. Recently, I was asked to keep a spending journal for a class. During the meeting time we each had the opportunity to perform an examen over the spending journal. It was interesting to see how most of my purchases lined up with what I value most. A deeper look into those purchases produced a sense of where I invest my energies. Value is sacred.

Investment is another important concept when discussing money. We must start by asking the question, “why invest?” Aristotle writes that we should be aiming for blessedness. Recognizing blessedness results from the mature experience of knowing one’s mission, pursuing it, and valuing relationships through it. We have to break from confines that limit our thoughts about wealth – it is more than giving and receiving or risk and reward. All investments return value. In our consumerist society, value is most often interpreted with a price tag. Looking at an investment through the lens of the sacred shows investments that return real value cannot be quantitatively measured. We take care of ourselves – mind, heart, body, and soul as well as the social engagements around us. They are a wealth that cannot be ignored with our desires to get return. They carry us through the times of greatest need. Investments have the potential to make us whole. Wholeness is sacred.

Brené Brown suggests that wholeheartedness is the opposite of scarcity. She says it is only through coming together to heal in our vulnerabilities that we can debunk the notion of scarcity finally seeing that I am enough. The mindset of scarcity limits our recognition of resources. It defines worthiness. It says there is either abundance or scarcity. In that place, shame grows.

Rather than taking a mindset of scarcity this holiday season, I invite us to make a list of at least ten resources (other than money) that bring value to life. These resources should be ones that draw life towards a holistic space. Only then can we invest more in these resources and transform feelings around money from scarce to sacred.