I share my stories of personal growth and transformation because I learned long ago that as I heal these wounds in myself, similar wounds are somehow being healed in others…especially when I am courageous enough to share.
So….here goes another sharing….this one confessing a long-held jealousy and hatred of the rich – especially those who seem to bask in their privilege bragging, boasting, showing off all that their wealth provides (ala Kim Kardashian and Kanye West).
I am totally aware that this pattern of jealously is merely a projection of my resentment over “not being rich.” I also now understand that it has also been a reflection of the way in which I have rejected the part of me that longs for a life of comfort where my financial needs are all being met and in which I don’t have to worry where my next rent payment will come from. Deeply imbedded in this rejection is a coping mechanism that I was only able to identify today – I had somehow, somewhere decided that there is something noble and courageous in being poor (I sense this somehow stems from my Catholic upbringing). In spite of Jesus’ admonishment about it being more difficult for the rich to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven that it would be for a camel to fit into the eye of a needle (the explanation of which is a whole other blog entirely!), there is nothing noble or courageous about being poor!
My earliest recollection of “hating the rich” started with my grade school nemesis, who here shall remain unnamed. This nemesis was not initially an enemy, in fact, she was a friend (or so I thought). She was the only one among my classmates who was obvious about what her parents possessed in the way of status, power, position and “wealth.” Most of us didn’t care, (which is perhaps why she was so loud about it.) and it truly wasn’t her verbosity that soured our friendship….it was her cruelty. Somewhere, somehow, she decided I was her competition. This envy then came through in duplicitous acts – being kind to me and inviting me to her parties, then being downright cruel to me every chance she got. In my young mind, mean and rich must mean the rich are mean, right?
Then came “Jane P. Morgan” (name changed to protect the guilty). “JP Morgan” was a sorority “sister.” She was also “new rich.” Every single day, she would descend the front staircase of the TriDelt house and loudly proclaim to anyone who was within earshot, an inventory of what she was wearing that day (or should I say “who”), and how much each item cost. Her $700.00 Gucci shoes, $300.00 Coach purse, $300.00 Ellen Tracey skirt, and $400.00 Ralph Lauren sweater. Nobody gave a crap what, who or the price of what she was wearing that day. Because the seed of money-hate had already been planted in me, I self-righteously echoed the inventory of my own clothing choice for the day – My $30.00 Target knock-off Coach bag, my $5.00 vest and $7.00 skirt from Ragstock and my dad’s old Hanes T-shirt. Upon reflection, I was as proud of my “Little Orphan Annie” wardrobe as JPM was of her designer fare. Me thinks we both protesteth too much.
For 35 years, the ghosts of the nemesis and JPM have haunted me – hurling their taunts and jeers over all they have, reminding me of what I do not – Success. Fame. Status. Power. Riches. Wealth. Money. I have intermittently run from these ghosts and when I tire of running, returning their jeers with my own self-righteous poverty. When it isn’t the voice of the nemesis or JPM whispering in my ear, it is the Pepsodent smile of a certain disgustingly rich Christian minister, Kanye and Kim, “The Donald” and every other filthy rich individual who waves the banner of their wealth for all to see. And when I grew tired of their whispering, I dug my heels even more deeply into my “noble” poverty.
Jesus was poor, right?! (or was he really?????? Scripture doesn’t really say). The Church always lauded the blessings of the poor, the sick, the lame….they will be the first welcomed into the Kingdom of Heaven. If I want to be perfect, loved, welcome home by our “Heavenly Creator” it would be better if I were poor, right? And then I look into the faces of the truly poor and decide that if they are to be fed, clothed, housed, it is best if I make do with only the bare essentials so that they may one day live. If the rest of the world won’t take care of them, then Lauri Lumby needs to. Right????
WRONG! And if I didn’t get this message the fourteenth time, God made sure this past weekend that I would get it! After not just one….but three….encounters with my own resentment toward wealth, I had to ask myself a difficult question:
“How is my repulsion of the rich reflective of my own unhealed wounds around money?”
OUCH. OUCH. OUCH….and… OUCH!
Not just ouch……world spinning, bring me to my knees, full-blown panic attack OUCH!
(Karen Schmidt….are you listening? Thank you for being the first to TRULY see the source of my panic attacks! I love you!)
Again, OUCH which brings me full-circle:
There is nothing courageous or noble about being poor! In fact, it sucks! I’m damn tired of putting the burden of poverty on my own shoulders out of some misplaced wound (lie) about money and those who wield it.
Because here is something I know about the world….
Not every person who is rich is evil. In fact, many rich, kind, benevolent people come to mind: JK Rowling, Kate Middleton, Oprah Winfrey, Ellen Degeneres (aka “generous”), Meryl Streep, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie….all kinds of rich and famous people do amazingly loving and generous things with their money….money about which they make no boasts.
I also know that within everyone who boasts of their wealth, or shows off what they have, is a wound greater than any wound I could possible imagine. So for them I pray – for their fear, unhealed wounds, insecurities, lack of self-knowledge, etc. the same fear, unhealed wounds, insecurities and lack of self-knowledge that led me to judge the rich in the first place!
I’m sorry. Please Forgive Me. I love you. Thank you!
And so it is…..AMEN!
When Lauri Ann Lumby isn’t being a self-righteous hag, she is helping others to identify and bring healing to the unhealed wounds within themselves – those wounds which are preventing them from being their most authentic, self-actualized and fulfilled selves. Click here to learn more about what Lauri Ann Lumby provides through Authentic Freedom Academy.