Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Money Taboo

“My women's lodge has been meeting for over fifteen years and we've talked about many topics, including aging and death, our own deaths. We spent several meetings telling our sexual history from beginning to end. With that topic we were all able to laugh and cry together as we discovered that the telling of these stories wasn't hard to do. Then we decided to talk about money. In the first evening it was amazing to find that this group of very competent women had so much shame and embarrassment talking about it. We had no difficulty in our meetings about sex, or death. But money was hard to talk about.

There were tears as we told stories revealing how mystifying money was to each of us. Somehow we hadn't been raised to understand it. We had mismanaged our own money, lost money, and almost never asked for the amount of money we deserved for our work. There was guilt about having money, guilt about not having money. For middle-class women of our generation, talking about money had been a family taboo. We stayed with this subject for several meetings because it was so potent, and each time I dreaded going to the circle, thinking, "I really don't want to face this." After that, each woman in the group took various steps to get a handle on the issue. I know I did. Those circles changed our lives.”~Sedonia Cahill

Painting by Arna Baartz

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