A neighbour came to have tea and congratulated me on my success in business (which my other neighbour had mentioned to her). My response was interesting. I felt embarrassed. I found myself minimising the success, and explained it was just a small amount of money I was making after many years of making no money and that it was ‘just good not to be in debt any more’. Kind of an apology you could say? I could have just said thanks.
I feel thrilled about the success I am experiencing. After so many many years of struggle, it is mighty good to be able to pay my bills and save a little each week. Not just that, moving away from the poverty is taking me into a new landscape completely and new experience and lessons. I am no longer focussed on ‘not enough money’ but can relax a bit more and focus on other non money related aspects of life. I always was able to go and enjoy the abundance and beauty life and of nature, I just previously was not willing to include myself in the abundance with regard to money.
Why did I have this response? There was an immediate discomfort felt. I wonder if it is related to the fact that my neighbour is quite poor, (also quite a depressed person) and I didnt want her looking up to me/feeling envious/reflecting on herself negatively…basically feeling ‘separate’ from me in any way. If it had been a successful person congratulating me then I would have just said ‘Thanks!’.
Is this why it is difficult to have friends who are a lot wealthier or poorer than us? I have spent most of my life being around those who are struggling to keep their heads above water, materially, emotionally and psychologically. It suited my own non deserving beliefs and also I found I had a purpose in that, I could try and help out and encourage. Now I am experiencing others who have a different relationship with themselves. People who have mastered a musical instrument and are in demand internationally, those who have risen in their chosen professions, successful business people. It is a whole different circle of people for whom it is normal to be successful, and many came from backgrounds where success was encouraged and even expected.
It is just the way it is. I can no longer walk through life in the pain and agony of wishing others would fulfill their potential when they clearly are not ready for that. I have spent so many many years trying to help those who sabotage their lives consistently, and I find that I just cant be around it any more.
The ‘upper limit problem’ (where people reach a limit in life of what they feel they deserve, based usually on beliefs usually instilled in childhood) is all pervasive in every social strata in society, and especially among the poor who often have very little self confidence and self belief. But it exists among the rich too, the ingrained self limitation is maybe less apparent, but I am seeing it there too. A successful lady I know was just the other day talking about how she can’t bear to expose her arms as she thinks they are fat. (They are definitely not!).
So do we choose friends that have a similar upper limit problem to us? Rather than just the same socio economic status which is maybe a symptom of where we have a our own upper limits set?