Chocolate, Money, Absence of Shame, & HealingOct 26, 2021
Happy Tuesday, my friend!
Todays’ conversation is about chocolate, money, and the absence of shame and guilt.
When I was a little girl, I loved chocolate. But we didn’t have much chocolate. I was born in the communist Soviet Union, and chocolate was not the country’s priority. It required to trade with other countries. And, if you remember, many of them were against communism, so they stopped the trade altogether.
Well, sometimes, I would still get a glimpse of chocolate. My mom is a doctor. And while bribes with money weren’t allowed, gifts of chocolate were welcomed.
Occasionally, I would have chocolate – either for my birthday or New Year’s. It was delightful. There’s something special about chocolate. It melts in your mouth. The feeling of pleasure & sweetness reverberates through your body. The taste is exquisite. It’s a different experience from eating sugar candy.
Well, I liked chocolate so much that, at times, I couldn’t help but sneak into the secret treasure box, hidden away from me. I knew I was doing the wrong thing but couldn’t help myself. I would open a box, take a piece or two, enjoy, and leave the rest in hiding. My love for chocolate was stronger than my fear of punishment.
Unfortunately, my parents found me out. My dad sat me down. In front of me, on a table, he laid out all chocolate we had in the house. He said,
“Eat, until you stuff yourself like a pig. Eat so much, so that your
desire for chocolate is gone forever.”
*** A side note: my dad was not the best educator in the world. And, at the time, punishment in various forms, was a common practice (please, do not punish your children!). ***
I cried. I sobbed. I pleaded guilty. I felt ashamed. I felt so bad about my love for chocolate. I concluded I should not have wanted it. I thought there was something wrong with me. It’s astonishing how insensitive parenting can impact a child’s psyche in a negative way.
Oh, sweet friend, if it were only the chocolate. But I had other faults too – I was interested in sexuality, I wanted to wear lipstick, I wanted to dress up and be beautiful. All those faults of mine were distracting.
In communist Russia, the focus was on building communism and happiness for the entire world, while individual happiness was sacrificed. I was lost in vanity and selfish pleasures, while my parents had higher goals in mind.
One of the reasons I am bothering you this Tuesday morning with my chocolate story is because, 30+ years later, I’ve figured out something important:
Desires and pleasure are OK.
Chocolate and money are not so different. We live in a world where many people desire money. And, yes, I know, there are many unethical things that have been done for the sake of money. Probably, the same kinds of things that I’ve done for my love of chocolate. I didn’t kill anyone for chocolate, but I stole it from my parents.
To continue the story. After my dad’s shaming, I went into hiding. I developed an eating disorder. It was a personal battle of many years. I would stuff myself with foods I loved and then purge – a kind word for vomiting over a toilet.
I thought all the terrible things about myself and my body. I hated myself. I wrote hateful letters to my body. I despised my weaknesses. I was disgusted by myself.
And I was able to heal. Not by getting rid of my desire for chocolate. But from self-hate. I accepted my desire. I accepted my body. I started loving myself. Every single day, I would tell myself how much I love and appreciate myself.
Do you know what happened? I still love chocolate, but it’s not ruling my life. I have a bit of it almost every day, but I also eat apples, greens, meat, fish, oatmeal. It stopped being an issue.
I have a gorgeous body. Sexy, curvy, not too thin, and not too big. It’s just right.
In my opinion, to heal our relationship with money, we need the same approach – kind, gentle, patient, and loving. It involves a lot of self-love.
Shaming money or personal desires around money is the same as shaming someone’s desire to be happy and experience pleasure in life. For someone, buying a new dress brings lots of happiness.
When shame is gone, our relationship with money starts becoming more balanced and intentional. Rather than avoiding money, suppressing the desire for money, or developing an unhealthy disorder around money, you feel balanced.
Yes, sometimes you spend money on things that bring you joy. But you stop making crazy decisions, losing self-control, and sacrificing your happiness for money. You also begin to see a big picture – of how money can impact the world in a positive way:
- arts, etc.
All of that – not from a place of shame and guilt, or self-neglect, but from a place of self-love and inner balance. While also honoring your desire for pleasure and happiness.
With all my love,
P.S. I’m super excited to announce that I’m almost done with creating my Money Course. It’s fantastic and has exceeded my expectations. The creation process has brought much healing into my life. I want to bring the same into yours. Next week, I’ll share more details.
P.P.S. Tell yourself today that you love yourself. Do it a thousand times!