Yep. That’s me. I was a hoarder. Not a hoarder of knick-knacks or cats. No. I was a hoarder of thoughts. Sounds a bit strange, I know, but I’ll bet as you following my unburdening you will relate to it.
Ouch. That’s uncomfortable, isn’t it? To be likened to those horrific images of homes filled with discarded food containers, unwashed dishes, and stacks and stacks and stacks of stuff makes you squirm. But, please don’t misunderstand. I’m not trying to shed a judgemental light on those afflicted with hoarding. What I am doing is identifying with how painful it is. Stick with me here…
It’s true that I don’t fill rooms with accumulated things, but I’ve discovered that I have filled my head these past 50 years to the point where there is just no more room. All these ideas, opinions, concepts and beliefs were practically dribbling out of my ears. And it was more than uncomfortable. It was painful. Physically and emotionally painful.
It got so bad I found myself contemplating suicide often. Now, before you shrink in horror or judgement, let me continue. There was also something else working behind the scenes of my filled-to-bursting brain. A magnetism, a force, that peeped over the top of and through the tiny gaps between the thoughts, and the misery, and the thoughts of misery. Something whispering, “You’re missing something. There’s something you’re not seeing.”
I’m driven by curiosity. I thrive on it. The gauntlet had been thrown down and that strange magnetic pull lit a fire inside of me. I began digging through the mess and tangle of my crowded “house”. At first, and for years and years, I expended a lot of energy and attention on each thing I encountered. Crazy, right? I mean, who in their right mind examines the garbage they’re tossing out? Who obsesses over rotten banana peels and used tissues? No one in their “right” mind does.
But this is what I did with every thought, every obsession, every belief I held and all the emotions associated with them. Over and over and over. Decade after decade. And it was exhausting. I gave up many times only to amass more “junk” and then start the process of garbage fondling all over again. Yuck. And I can tell you without hesitating this is what drove my misery to the point of breaking me.
And I celebrate that moment. The moment where I was so fed up with whoever this train wreck of myself was that I put down the garbage, tore open my heart, and shouted to the ethers, “I give up! I don’t want to be me anymore. I just QUIT!”
And that’s when that strange but magnetic force reached out and touched the core of my tired mind. It was like a cool fragrant cloth on a fevered brow. The smell of rain after a drought. Pure magic. That’s when everything began to change.
I discovered that all I had to do was return that loving magnetic touch emanating from the core of me and all that junk just started to disappear. Imagine if house work was so easy. But it was. I’ve stopped caring about any of the stories I had written in my mind. Not about who I am or what I believe or what I thought about anything. They’re all just stories. Well, most of the stories anyway. The emptying out is still going on. I occasionally succumb to the old habit of fondling the garbage on its way out the door, but I quickly put it down and send it on its way. It’s not important.
What’s truly amazing is the amount of space the removal of all this junk has left. I can now stretch out in my mind without bumping into anything. I can run, leap and dance without bruising myself. It’s like my “house” is now filled with sunshine and the sweet smell of a grace I never knew existed. It sure beats the stench of the garbage that was there before. And what really excites me and keeps me holding hands with that wonderful force is the intuition that one day soon, not only will my “house” be swept clean, but the walls are coming down too. I don’t need them anymore.
I know what this magnetic force is. It’s my true self. My completely natural state of being. It’s what was there before my “house” was built and will remain long after it’s gone. This is the real me. Not all those ideas, stories and beliefs. And this real me is so joyously spacious and so filled with unbreakable love that I can dance my way into infinity without ever suffering a bruise again.
So, yeah, I’m an ex-hoarder. Even this story will be swept away soon. For I am disappearing, or at least who and what I thought I was. I am nobody and it feels so amazing. I am nothing, yet here I am. And I am free.