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Day 37: Real Growth

“Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of filling a vacuum, it makes one.” -Benjamin Franklin

Our relationship to money affects every other relationship we maintain- to ourselves, to our partner, family, employers, even the government. It is the currency of exchange that creates reality. In very real and basic ways it creates our feeling of security and trust in life or lack of it. It is so loaded with meaning about who we are and how we see ourselves that it is also one of the biggest sources of divisiveness in relationships. These issues hold true for most people regardless of how much money they have. 

Financial success is defined by growth. The model of continued growth applies whether you are talking about a nation, a business or personal net worth. Yet, as a nation, the only thing that seems to be continuously expanding is our debt. It is hard to know what it means to owe trillions of dollars. Thinking of it, reminds me of trying to imagine how many days you would have to travel in a light year. Yet still, economists insist on imagining and measuring with the misguided belief that through a continuously expanding economy, we will catch up to this debt.

As a business owner, the pressure to increase sales continuously weighs heavily. The bottom line is what makes your business viable or not. I have not been viable in these terms for all the years that I have been growing this love business. Instead I have always had to rely on the love that we spread as my way of measuring whether we are succeeding at our mission. I can do this because I am married to a man who is a physician and who values my attempt to make love real. This privilege is not lost on me. I know that I live in a blessed state of being able to “Go out in the world and work like money doesn’t matter.”

Still, oddly enough it doesn’t entirely free me from my relationship with money. While I am continuously grateful for the comforts my life offers and the ways it has taught me generosity, I still often find myself struggling with my experience of lack. I know that what is missing is in me and that I will not find it somewhere out there, not even in ever- expanding sales.