Over the last 20 years, I have had many discussions with a long time friend about money. At least, I thought we were talking about money. It turns out, we were talking about worth – as in feeling worthy. Not in how much money anyone has. And as every long term relationship evolves, so have we evolved in our friendship and our feelings about money.

Relationships are a perfect vehicle to learn about Love . . . because there are so many times when we might feel unloving or unloved. Relationships are a wonderful mirror: they hold up a reflection to us of what we are feeling or holding. The relationship is a great way to see our own stuff as we project it on to someone else – for our benefit!

In this case, my friend has always had more money than me. And he has always been very generous and gracious and never made me feel less than in any way. However, in the flow of his generosity of caring as well as money, my feelings of being less than came up. In his kindness, the unkind way I felt and thought of myself became illuminated. And what I felt, more than consciously thought, was that he was better than me in some way because he had more money.

This came from old, erring teachings instilled in me as a child. The teaching, the “myth-understanding” was that money made people more elevated. Money made people better in some way. Maybe they were smarter, or luckier, or maybe they could work the system better . . . but if you didn’t have money, you didn’t have as much value as those who did. And of course, that false idea had its own life in my life and thinking . . . until Life presented me the opportunity to see the truth.

My friend was instrumental in this. Over the years, through all his kindness and generosity, I was continually challenged to accept, to receive. This is the value of long term friendships and relationships. We continually get our buttons pushed and feel and get to explore our reactions, and we are still safe in the relationship.

Why was it so difficult for me to receive? He and his wife never made a big deal out of giving. He was very clear that giving (to me and many others) gave him great pleasure. Once, he told me, I didn’t need to grovel. That really hit me. I knew the importance of completing the cycle, of receiving. I knew it intellectually, in my head . . . I was having trouble opening my heart and letting it in.

I sent my friend the book Your Soul’s Plan by Robert Schwartz. The book talks about how we may have chosen our path which includes the people on our path, in this lifetime. Whether you believe this or not, it makes for interesting reading, good food for thought. Since I read the book many years ago, I have made a practice of going into a short meditation, and asking why did I choose my mother to be my mother in this lifetime? Or my father, or husband or dear friend. So while we were talking about this, my friend and I did just that.

And as I closed my eyes, and asked why did I choose him to be in my life, a great wave of emotion came over me. I teared up. My hand went to my heart. I could hear the answer, but I didn’t want to hear it. Since everything is about Love, I was asking, how was I learning about love from this dear friend? And crystal clear, I heard, you asked him to help you learn about being worthy. That in the challenge and discomfort of receiving his generosity on so many levels, your sense of unworthiness would be illuminated, brought to the light. And you would have the opportunity to remember and feel we all are already worthy – and it has nothing to do with money.

And after all these years of friendship with this wonderful, kind, caring, loving being, we absolutely have helped each other to learn more about Love. And I absolutely know and feel I am worthy, no matter what, just as I am. My heart is overflowing with that loving awareness. I am part of all the Love, all the Grace. So is he, and so are you.