“Because I have spent generations equating my worth to money, neglecting my heart’s desire in the name of stability, battling every single desire we harbored to create a livelihood on the basis of providing,” – Shelby Moring

By Shelby Moring • 

She’s so relaxed. That hazy daydream of myself that I conjure, praying on her to materialize any day now. She doesn’t exist apart from me, but she’s so far in the future, that it almost seems impossible to reach her sometimes. What does she have that I don’t? Where I long for excess, she is content in abundance of her own kind.

Money, money, money; it means absolutely nothing when I consider it in relation to my happiness. I keep feeling like I’m supposed to care about it, because I know it rules the lives of millions of people around the world. 

I feel myself burning with scorn and contempt. It’s not fair. I want to tear the White House apart, pillar by pillar, brick by brick. I want to dismantle what my foremothers built with bloodied hands in the toiling sun and unearth what they birthed against their will and relinquished their ownership to. I want to undo every single thread of history that interwove these obsessions with consumerism and productivity. It should all be gone. I want every Wall Street and big pharma demon to suffer in the density of their own doing.

I feel my fingers fly across keyboards, or bury themselves in cool, dried herbs that swirl around in pools of glistening oils. I lose myself in creation where my intentions materialize as words, sounds, medicine, healing. My back arches out, out, out to accommodate my enlarging heart; I am in my own imagination crafting worlds of peace and birthing generations fully cleansed. 

Some nights, all I can do is sob, and beat my fists against the walls of the temple that locked me out; the Heaven that I can taste but never fully swallow. Why do I shut myself out of abundance? This isn’t my pain. I obsess over spending money and feel the heaviest shame because I have enough of it that I can. This penny-pinching, this self-doubt and shutting down my own inspiration before it even takes form all over… money. This is not my pain to hold onto, and yet I know this cycle means more to my lineage than I’ll ever understand. Because I have spent generations equating my worth to money, neglecting my heart’s desire in the name of stability, battling every single desire we harbored to create a livelihood on the basis of providing. This is so much bigger than me, and it has nothing to do with wrinkled paper and gritty coins.

My relationship to money shows me exactly where every ancestor before me, who still resides in me, remained imprisoned. When you do not belong to even yourself, what hope do your aspirations and Heart’s callings have? Where in the world can you make your mark if the dollar used to purchase your worfth has more value than your life? The women who live in me never knew security, nor the confirmation of their humanity, but continue to teach me more about creating from my Heart than I ever thought possible. 

We create because we are meant to, and for no other reason. How else can we experience ourselves if not through the myriad of hopes, dreams and visions that we nourish in honor of ourselves, and the women who live within us? We will create during times of scarcity and we will shatter what it means to live in abundance. 

We gotta pour our passion into something, and if not our families, our food, our hair, our gardens, then ourselves and our Spirits. 

We’ll weave freedom out of threads of our sister’s labor, we’ll reap harvest from our mother’s sacrifices. We’ll take what was given to us from the women before us and we’ll multiply what we receive. 

Abundance is accumulated and it is deep seeded in our blood. It’s not fair, but we never needed an even playing field to conjure this kind of magic. I feel my heart beat steadily in my chest, nodding if it could to the sweet song of all the women who live in me, their song of scarcity and their song of harvest.

Shelby Moring is a recent graduate from American University with concentrations in Gender & Critical Race Studies, and energetically, a lifelong student of herbalism, Heart-healing, ancestor reverence and land sovereignty.