Thursday, March 12, 2009
Thoughts on the Economy and Spirituality
Our income will be cut by 20 percent in the next few months because of the declining value of our retirement portfolio, which is half of what it was a year ago. Amazing, isn't it, that something so amorphous as a portfolio, which really isn't on paper at all but in a computer bank several places, could affect our lives so profoundly? Paper money has baffled me from the beginning. When they recalled the silver certificates of one dollar bills, I realized that the actual one dollar bill had no meaning at all except that which "the economy" gave it. And, it actually costs more to manufacture a penny than it's worth. You can sell pennies for scrap metal and make more money...except that I suspect the law prohibits that.
Back to our declining income. I admit that "I see, I buy". Usually it's yarn or clothes, sometimes books, occasionally beads. However, I already have so much that I don't need more. My therapist says that sometimes I'm trying to fill the "love tank" because I don't get the responses I need from those who love me - not that they don't love me enough, but I don't recognize their ways of expressing that love enough to fill up my needs.
I know that my partner loves me, and I know that God loves me. Whose love am I missing? Both. Do I fail to see/hear/know God's love for me? How does God show that love to me? How does my partner show love for me? Why don't I recognize it? Why do I feel compelled to do things that "make me feel good" to supplement love?
Of course, you know that I don't have answers to those questions. And, you may be wondering what declining income has to do with recognizing love. For me, I spend money if I don't recognize love...partner's love, God's love, friends' love. In a month, I will have much less to spend, and I will need to be able to recognize that love more and more.
I am minded of Janis Joplin's "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose." If I have love, then losing income won't matter so much. We will have enough for our basic needs and more. My concentration could be on filling my basic need for love by perceiving how much I am loved.
My prayer is that I learn to recognize expressions of love and let them fill my heart and soul and mind and body.