Hoarding is serious. Consequently it has become a reality hit on TV. Often in extreme cases, intensive therapy is required to uncover the need to hold onto everything in order to feel safe.
More subtle hoarding can teach about deeper needs. We all cling to certain things, and often that is an indication of an issue needing attention.
Our family of origin hoards food. Thank God, we each have enough food to feed an army. All five of us! We laugh about it now, but deep down, its a reminder of leaner days when we were young. Money was so tight, we feared not having enough. I remember my mom recalling the rare occasions she was able to shop without counting every penny. “It was so much fun to go to the grocery store and shop freely, buying things we wanted along with what we needed!”
That was long ago, but that deeper need continues its grip. I’ve learned to calm the underlying motive. While I think I’ve gotten better, I’m probably only kidding myself. Thankfully, the gift of hospitality has taken root. It’s how my hurt became my healing. Now I enjoy sharing with others.
Do you hoard? Is there anything you cling to a little too tightly? Money? Clothes? Stuffed closets? Children’s toys? Papers? Pictures? Memories? People? Do you cling to anyone unneccessarily? Too much work? Perhaps nurturing bad habits that keep reality at bay? Keeping important things is not harmful, until you realize you have something frivolous you can’t let go of.
Often physical and emotional actions combined can bring healing.
1. Clean closets. The physical act of “unpacking” brings a sense of accomplishment, and can illicit a desire to loosen up. Letting go of physical things can increase awareness of emotional things that need to be discarded. Grudges, past disappointments, and ancient hurts are deserving of attention so that you can purge what needs to go.
2. Give emotions a voice. After counseling I learned emotions are not bad, unless expressed in harmful ways. One day as my son and I were having a disagreement, he asked if I was angry. I paused. “Yes, that made me angry, here is why.” We discussed it and reached a resolution. My anger was productive. The issue was over. Had I “stuffed” those feelings, we would have suffered the mounting frustration that often results in denied emotions.
Summer is a good time to purge and unpack. Cleaning out is good. Inside and out. Today’s pick of the day.