I have been feeling the occasional twinge of stress around money lately.
Although I am in transition, starting a new business so it is normal for me not to be bringing in as much money as I did last year when I had my steady job.
My currency this year is mainly in inner growth and happiness. But still, whenever an unexpected bill shows up, as it did recently with a car repair, I have to deal with the fear that arises.
I was dealing with this today as I waited in line at a discount store. My mind was running the numbers, as it likes to do sometimes, and not happy with what it was seeing. As I was doing this, the elderly man in front of me was emptying his cart onto the counter to check out. I wasn’t paying much attention to him, lost in my own world, until the clerk started to engage him in conversation. She asked him how he was—a standard issue question.
But his answer stopped me cold.
“I’m above ground and not below it, so it’s a great day.”
I looked at him more closely. He had to be in his late 80s or early 90s, very frail looking and thin, using a cane, his hands arthritic and bruised.
“But I have had better days. My wife was just put on a new medication.”
His wife is still alive? This surprised but somehow delighted me.
“I picked it up this morning and it cost me $95. Can you believe that? Now we have to watch what we eat for the rest of the month. But we’ve got each other so we’re blessed.”
I glanced at his cart. It was filled with cheap, processed junk food.
In that instant, my heart broke.
For this fragile family just trying to hang on to their last days with dignity and comfort, but apparently doing it alone. For the system we’ve created where it’s normal for folks like that to be isolated and at risk of being bankrupted by things beyond their control. For myself for temporarily forgetting what really matters and how very, very rich I really am.
But suddenly, I was wide-awake again and found myself handing my visa card to the clerk as the man fumbled with his wallet.
“Please let me pay for this. It would make me so happy to be able to give you a gift.”
The man looked at me, stunned and speechless, turned to the clerk and said, “well, I guess it’s a great day after all.” As he slowly shuffled to his car to return to his beloved, ill wife, clutching his bag of chemical-laden food, I fought back tears.
He will never know that he is the one who actually gave me the gift. It turned my contraction around money into an expansion. Approximately 6 hours after this event occurred, I received an unexpected check for $1500.
I could not conjure up this kind of magic if I tried.
If you find yourself worried about money, I encourage you to tap in to all the ways you actually are wealthy beyond measure. And share with someone who isn’t. If you keep it flowing, abundance will never leave you.
Author: Erin Sharaf
Editor: Renée Picard
Image: sweetonveg at Flickr