"Poverty consciousness" is one of those New Age-y terms that gets thrown around just frequently enough to be widely misunderstood. When we hear these words, we tend to conjure images of hungry and destitute human beings struggling to make ends meet because we lack the vision or fortitude to achieve more. We think that poverty consciousness keeps so many of us caught in a loop of barely getting by due to some deeply rooted fear of success. We think that if we could just shake the delusion of being undeserving, we could build sufficient self-esteem and tap into the ever-present stream of affluence from which we've been holding ourselves back.
That's valid. But, it's only part of the story. Modest means do not necessarily attest to poverty consciousness. In fact, many of the wealthiest and most powerful public figures about whom we regularly read are demonstrating that very mindset, right now. Despite having access to vast wealth, they exhibit a persistent terror of lack. It drives them to hoard, steal and deliberately deceive their fellow human beings for the gain of yet another million. They act from a place of abject desperation and it manifests as nothing more than greed. How is that even possible? What could a person of such financial strength possibly have to fear?
The truth is, poverty consciousness has absolutely nothing to do with having or having-not; it has everything to do with one's personal sense of self-worth and the resultant emotional relationship one has with material resources. The gaping hole in the heart of a person may compel him or her to acquire another company, to construct a more opulent estate or to corrupt another politician. But, rarely if ever does that supposed victory fill the emptiness. There must always be another win, another conquest and an additive cycle festers in the guise of "success." The accumulation of evidence for his or her value still falls far short of satisfaction or peace of mind. In other words, failure to make peace with what exists here and now, what is already available and what is true in the present moment will precipitate failure to provide an adequate foundation for anything that may be gained (or lost, for that matter) in the future.
The way out of the loop, whether we are living hand-to-mouth or summering in the Hamptons, is to bring our attention repeatedly into the present. We must release the past and the future, knowing that our efforts to control them are both futile and unwise. Instead, we must cultivate a new and far less combative relationship with money, dissolving its supposed power over us. Our bank accounts and our cars must cease to be reflections of our intrinsic value as people. We must stop and check in each and every day with the soft, real, human core of our being. We must listen to what hurts, what feels empty and lonely, so that we finally heal from within and become independent of material reinforcement from without.
Prosperity consciousness and the resultant stability will flourish in the space that we create when we no longer need money to validate us.
- Nui of Nui Cobalt Designs
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