What Is Spiritual Hoarding And Is It Bad?
I have recently been watching a program series that followed the lives or stories of hoarding. This is considered a psychiatric disorder as these individuals collect and retain objects which not only have no material value but are often dangerous and unsanitary. It is also common to find “animal hoarders”; usually they begin by “saving” or the intention to save what they see as vulnerable or neglected animals. Although it’s possible to hoard just about any species, the most common are cats and dogs. While the intention begins with an honest and genuine desire to help these animals, the results of hoarding are not only a dire threat to the humans trying to live amongst out of control numbers, these same risks and health related problems literally affect the animals they originally sought to help.
The problem can become so profound, that these individuals are unable to recognize that most of the animals they assume they are helping or caring for in reality are sick, malnourished, diseased and dying. So what began as a pure and healthy concern for other living beings ends up or results in neglect and being impervious to the significant suffering when their basic needs are no longer able to be met, usually due to the numbers. For example it’s not uncommon for a cat hoarder to house 70+ cats; and without a proper or appropriate setting such as what is found in shelters or rescue. The animals take over all of the living space, defecating and then being forced to breathe and live in a virtually uninhabitable environment.
As I watched both in sympathy, pain and horror; my guides intervened and shared with me an insightful message about humanity and how often times healthy and functional humans become “spiritual hoarders”.
First we define this condition or coping mechanism as going hand in hand with emotional hoarding, with the term being interchangeable. What begins as our intention to control or monitor our emotions and spiritual or core energy and shifts, becomes a dysfunctional pattern of being unable to release ANY negative or toxic spiritual or emotional waste.
Just as the literal hoarder, spiritual/emotional hoarding is often triggered by a traumatic event or by the recall of events earlier in life. As this syndrome or pattern continues, just as the collection of cats grows in a cat hoarder’s home, the buildup and collection of emotions, fears, obstacles and inability to express builds until our entire energy is focused on keeping these contained and we become almost frozen or paralyzed in our lives.
As my guides have mentioned quite often, we are of the trinity or trine; therefore our spiritual, emotional and physical well-being is always influenced in what you might imagine to be a constantly rotating wheel or circle. The more we “hoard” our spiritual needs and emotions, the more our physical body becomes affected with various symptoms. These may range from anxiety, depression, risk taking, headaches, body aches and pains and even difficulty sleeping. While not every person that suffers from anxiety or depression is a hoarder (these are also physiological issues not always controlled by our thoughts or energy) all of those that spiritually/emotionally hoard will after enough time, begin to experience one or more of the above mentioned issues.
In mainstream society and for most developed countries there are certain laws both in the legal sense and in the social sense that are seen as appropriate or inappropriate. When a healthy person becomes a hoarder or begins hoarding, they eventually surpass even the normal or common expectations and are left feeling totally disconnected from their own self and the world around them.
For example most of us would feel that it’s inappropriate to become violently angry over a slow checker at the market. And we have our built in radar or control checks that although we may feel frustration and some anger, we do not allow ourselves to display a “tantrum”. When we become hoarders, we go to the opposite extreme and “hoard” our emotional and spiritual affect so that our ability to show justified anger or frustration becomes impossible. So imagine standing in the same line and another customer pushes you aside to move ahead in the line. It would be considered appropriate and within the range of normal boundaries and expression to speak up. Either directing this action towards the responsible party or notifying the checker or nearby associate. With a hoarder, even when it’s appropriate and actually healthy to establish some rights, they will simply ignore the obvious insult and immediately shut off all feelings or connections to themselves and the situation.
When we hoard emotions, feelings or our individual expressions, we are forced to disconnect as it’s virtually impossible for us to dismantle our inner or core feelings and energy without an outlet. So without an ability to vent or to express, we are literally trying to cope in our spiritual core being amidst hundreds of pent up or denied feelings, emotions or in general our ability to express our selves.
The danger in spiritual hoarding is that we are spiritual beings, and when we force ourselves to cut off our spiritual connection, we are no longer truly living life. It is impossible to find and especially to maintain or build any type of healthy relationship when we have disconnected from our own self. And while many spiritual hoarders may actually turn to literal hoarding, drugs, alcohol or other dysfunctional ways of release, these pent up or “hoarded” components never truly are dealt with-therefore they are not released and can only be shifted into another outlet of unhealthy coping and patterns.
To be healthy, productive beings, we absolutely must be able to share some of our energy, and release some of what is or becomes a toxic build up over time. Like oil and water, it is virtually impossible to remain totally detached from emotions or our spiritual self without compromising out entire life and all of the potential of the future.
So how can we recognize that we have become “hoarders” and what can we do to reconnect or plug back in to self and universe?
The biggest indication that you have developed a hoarding problem is in the ability to recognize detachment. If you are in a constant state of repression, whether that is memories, feelings, (positive or negative) and you literally exert constant energy over controlling your emotions or ability to relate intimately with others, chances are high you are hoarding.
We can often define our general or over all well-being by the stability or instability of personal relationships. For those that find dysfunctional patterns in relationships. Such as being overly tolerant to the point of allowing some form of abuse or a total disregard for our wants, needs, hopes or desires to serve others. Then you are likely hoarding and attempting to store all of your feelings and self-expression within. Isolation is another strong sign that you are hoarding. As one of our natural mechanisms for coping with an inability to release, share or interact we often isolate ourselves to minimize the situations in which we feel we are at risk for “acting out”. We also commonly have feelings of watching the world go by, similar to fish in a tank, we can only look out at the world and are unable to join in or connect.
Spiritual hoarding does not occur overnight, it’s a long process that generally stems from some type of situation or past experience in which we were in some way oppressed or ignored. Because we are each unique, what may be a manageable event for one human, can create significant harm to another. So it stands to reason that learning to reconnect and to release our “collection” takes more than a couple of days or even weeks.
The first step to regaining a healthy perspective is acknowledgement of the problem. Once we are able to relate and accept that we have become spiritual or emotional hoarders we immediately can become aware of the problem and begin to address changes. As we become aware of our hoarding problem, it’s important we begin to reconnect and to keep our energy and emotions open and expressive.
These are some guidelines to help reconnect and release so that you can go from hoarder to healthy and begin to recreate your life and future.
Keeping a journal, for many spiritual hoarders trying to speak out or begin sharing what has been kept hidden for a long time is or can feel insurmountable. Instead begin by writing your feelings and your expression (reactions, desires or envisioned response) down several times a day and make a note of the circumstances. Be sure to always go back and read the prior day’s entries as you will begin to feel the pressure being relieved and this prepares us to interact with self and others.
Although my guides do not generally support the theory of reliving the past or going through years of psycho-therapy to uncover every possible trigger or childhood event. If you have had a profound experience, it can be helpful to write this down and then begin to add to the experience the feelings, the pain, the impact such had on your life. This again helps us to identify with the beginning of our hoarding and allows us to release what may have begun this spiral.
Talk!! Make it a goal (always write down goals and the written word carries great power and energy) to speak to at least one or two persons each day. Perhaps you greet your mail carrier, or ask the bank teller how his day is going. It’s not expected that you are going to begin communicating your deepest feelings with strangers; however each interaction or encounter we have with another human begins to break the barriers and walls and creates a positive influence on our eventual outcome.
Try to form scenarios in your mind and work at deciphering a healthy reaction versus overreaction versus non-reactive. Not reacting can be just as dysfunctional as overreacting and in some ways can actually cause greater spiritual harm.
Evaluate your current relationships (if you have people you are close to) and as you work on letting go of the “junk” slowly begin to share your thoughts, ideas or feelings. While some of us may need to begin very slowly, the most important aspect is to embrace the intention of moving in a new direction, and taking steps to share something personal with those that we have established relationships with. Even if you choose to discuss a general topic rather than begin with something personal, learn to express yourself. Part of hoarding is the fear of judgment and the perception of being pushed away, viewed as odd or in general fear of not being accepted. For most of us we will find that our ability to share is actually a delight to those around us and that our opinions, ideas are accepted and possibly even shared by those around us.
Just as the literal hoarder would not expect 10 years of collecting junk and trash that fills their home to where it is literally uninhabitable to be removed in a couple of days. It’s also important to be realistic and we serve always our highest good by taking one small step rather than no steps.
If you find yourself still struggling with releasing and expressing, this may be the perfect time to seek spiritual guidance. A light worker or spiritual expert has the gift or ability to help read your unique energy signature and can offer insight and guidance for your particular situation. Also there are many forms of healing that can be very useful.
Spiritual/emotional hoarding can become a deep core issue and no matter how we got here, it’s important we move ahead. We are meant to express and share; it is how we maintain our connection to all things including self. When we cut off our spiritual connection, we are simply unable to embrace a future or grow as people. There is always potential abundance, and always room for change. There is nothing we carry in our spiritual self that cannot be shifted or altered to our highest good and path because ultimately that is our highest purpose here on earth!