Thought for today:
In the disease of hoarding, areas of the brain associated with recognizing how important things are get highly stimulated. “Clutter junkies” are an extreme case.* Many underearners and compulsive debtors suffer from some form of this behavior.
A member shares:
“Evaluating and letting go of things became very tough the more debt I was in. I would get ideas to hold on to things, like, “What if I will need this piece of wire and don’t have it because I threw it out?”
“I never thought about the storage cost vs the payoff of keeping an item. But clutter cost me in many ways. There was the literal storage cost for all my stuff, the emotional/mental cost of worrying about my stuff, and the physical cost of navigating around and trying to find stuff
“I got anxious just thinking about throwing something out. Things began to feel like extensions of me.
“In my Pressure Relief Meetings, along with talking about my finances, we would talk about my disorganized thinking and home. They recommended I read some books about decluttering and learn about the psychology of letting go. The next day I found a highly rated and popular book about letting go of ‘stuff’, and I read it voraciously.
“I was ready. In a weekend of personal liberation, I did a ‘clean sweep’. For every item I owned, I practiced what I had learned: To pick the item up, and ask myself, ‘How important is it?’ Usually, it wasn’t very, and to deal with those cases I created two piles: ‘To Donate’, or ‘To Throw Away’.
“I gained clarity and freedom after that weekend. Now, when I think of what’s important, I think of people, not things. Appreciating the care and nurture of my fellow human beings became more important. Others could use the things I had in excess, so I relinquished, and was freed from the ‘tyranny of things’.”
“How important is it? It’s just ‘stuff'”
Acquiring ‘things’ purely for the sake of owning them is not real stewardship, in the sense spiritual sense. It is hoarding, gluttony, a character defect, and we can work The Twelve Steps one day at a time to recover from it. After all, “It’s just stuff”.
Am I noticing the real value of my possessions today? Am I the person who should have them, or is there someone else?
Meditation for today:
There is “plenty of time, money and love“. There is infinite love available to us when we invite people into our lives.
Taking an inventory of our belongings naturally brings order into our lives. By slowing down and processing the true value of each item we own, we can focus with clarity on the eternal values of friendship, and quality of life.
Affirmations for today:
“I will slow down, listen to and experience the deeper feelings that come up when I consider letting go of things.”
“I know the true value of the things I own, and where they are best put to use.”
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- See the July 27, 2014 episode of CBS Sunday Morning, Seeking Help for Hoarding, at http://www.cbsnews.com/news/seeking-help-for-hoarding/