Lately, I’ve been finding the cultural obsession with buying things “on-the-cheap” beyond draining.
Whether it’s some tchotchke, an experience, or more often the services of another creative person, for some, the only way to win, or spark joy, is to reduce the value of.
I too was schooled early in the art of bargain hunting and have often felt the rush of adrenalin when my favorite stores have a sale. But I’d be lying if I said that all of the things I came home with were ones that I loved.
And the thing about love is that it’s directly related to expansion, which goes hand in hand with abundance, the core of true wealth. That’s because when you start making decisions through the lens of is this a fit? Or, do I really love this? Instead of, I got it because it was on sale! Or, I bought it because I could afford it. Your world will change. I know mine has.
We’ve turned sale culture into an art, a kind of fun game. Value is intangible. It’s arbitrary but it’s also emotional and subjective and the energy of trying to get something for nothing, or to convince yourself that something you don’t truly desire is meaningful because the price has been reduced, is not.
Women, more than men, struggle with their value, not feeling their own to be intrinsic. It’s insidious, the desirability of being less, whether it’s weight, age and especially when it comes to being visible. Big britches need not apply.
When it comes to getting paid for our creative work, sale culture permeates the psyche and shows up in our negotiations. We’re focused on the getting, on not being screwed over, instead of the level of service we’re offering and the expansion of our creativity. We think we can only have one or the other.
But it’s not only in work, this consciousness seeps into our romantic relationships and friendship too. Don’t worry I can shrink myself! I won’t ask for too much! I will please you! I want you to like me.
So we become magnets for el cheapo. For the guy who would squeeze us into submission during a negotiation. For the man who prefers us when we feel helpless, because it appears we need him more. Or the friend who doesn’t want to know our truth because we’ve made our agreement according to the terms of her ego.
Energetically it’s a perfect match. Neither one can get to full price, terrified of the cost of being whole. Both operate from a scarcity mindset; the false belief that they don’t have enough, will never have enough, will never be enough.
But if life at full price costs too much, what is the cost of living on clearance?
Imagine if everyone was taught to have the same amount of energy and zeal for creating a life aligned with their heart’s desire, as they are for getting a deal? If they understood that their value was by virtue of their existence? What kind of bold, change-making, life-affirming, humanity-moving visions would be unleashed?
What kind of women would we be? What kind of world would we leave?