Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I think money is the root of my worries

I'm just a relatively ordinary middle-class person trying to make a living, trying to save for my retirement. What have I achieved in all my years of trying to hoard and save for the future? Mostly just more worries for my future along with fear, despair and anger. Lately my worries have been consuming me and making me very unhappy.

A few days ago I was sitting out in the wilderness when a pair of ravens flew over my campsite. They flew low and stared at me with one eye the way birds do. I watched them for a while. I wondered if maybe I had prevented them from getting water as I was camped near a spring, but then I remembered that there was a creek just up the trail so I didn't worry. Did you know fresh, clean delicious water comes right out of the ground -- for FREE? Of course you did. I have known this forever, too. But I saw it in a new way suddenly, as evidence that there's a higher power that loves us and gives us what we need for life freely. It is a miracle.

As I watched the birds, one of them flew to a grassy hillside and did a bunch of low circles over the hill. Suddenly both birds came flying back over the campsite and one of them had a mouse in its beak. Imagine a world where when you are hungry, food is everywhere. What a gift each meal would be. What a gift the spring felt to me then. It felt precious. I felt love for it. I felt the presence of love all around me. I'm sure the mouse wasn't too happy in all of this, though.

I couldn't help wondering why, when the natural world is full of such abundance, that we humans walked away from that and built a world full of such lack? We have so much and many of us have more than enough, and yet our lives are consumed with wanting more, with fear, lack and insecurity. We went horribly wrong somewhere.

Jesus said to give up all your things. He said not to hoard and save for the future. He said to look to the birds for evidence. The Buddhists say similar things. Non-attachment, to want is to suffer and all that. I see it now. It becomes clearer and the way forward becomes more compelling, and frightening, too.

I try to spend time in nature so that I can remember I am cared for and to try to ease my worries when the world of money starts to make me feel insecure. I see now the way to abundance is to let go of my attachment to material security, to money, to hoarding, but for some reason I still cling to the insecurity of my money.

I've been reading an interesting blog written by Mark Boyle. It shows me there are others thinking similar things and making a new life.

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