hoarding and being with space

22 09 2009

i was going to blog about this hoarding show/thing i saw (again) last night, and then saw this blog (below) this morning.

this writer says almost verbatim what i was thinking after watching the show “hoarders” last night on a&e so i decided to attach his words and add a few of my own.

it is truly amazing the pickles we sentient beings can get ourselves into and all the intricate forms our suffering can take.

the basic existential loneliness that we are always feeling like a constant throb or ache either just below the surface or deeper down depending on our level of self-awareness and sensitivity, is the thing we are so unfriendly with and so therefore do all sorts of things to fill that hole. we seem to always need to fill it up. it actually feels counterintuitive to NOT fill it up right?

we get home and turn things on–the computer, the tv, we open things–the mail, the fridge, we check our phone. we re-check our phone. have you ever walked into your empty house or apartment and just sat down on the couch and did nothing but breathe? or listen to the sounds around you? or closed your eyes and checked in with what your body was feeling?

hoarding is no different from all the other things we do to ourselves and others out of our basic fear of space. out of our fear of being with ourselves alone.

i was reading a blog the other day at http://www.mnmlist.com and this guy did an experiment of making a list of everything he owned and trying to get it down to just 100 things.

he does live in Guam and works from home so maybe those of us who have seasons and go out to work could double the number to 200 if he wouldn’t mind, but the premise is genius.

what about the pantry stock-piling we do? the sock drawer? the proverbial “junk-drawer” in the kitchen? drawings from our kids when they were in second grade? the clothes problem can get crazy, and don’t even mention those of us women who do love our shoes. and gentlemen, how is that “wood-shop” you have in the basement?

something to consider; do i really need all the things i have? could i get rid of some things and clear some space for new ideas, new energy, new ways of being to find a home in my home?

i’m going to engage with my kitchen junk drawer this weekend and as i’m switching over summer clothes to winter in the next few weeks, i’m gonna take a fresh look at what i can let go of.

you too?

the link below will bring to you to where the blog originated, or you can just read the writing here as i’ve pasted it in for you.


Of “Hoarders” and our relationship with “stuff”

hoarders1.jpgAfter hearing all about it from a good friend, I finally saw A&E’s new show, Hoarders, “a fascinating look inside the lives of people whose inability to part with their belongings is so out of control that they are on the verge of a personal crisis.”

I haven’t seen anything like it in my life — and I hope you haven’t, either. One’s thing for sure: it will make you question your relationship to material things. And that’s the basis my question for you today.

typicalhoardershome.jpgWhat Hoarders makes heartbreakingly clear is just how easy it is for the human animal to become lost and trapped by its own possessions, and how this is caused by our untamed minds. When the episode I watched ended — to the left you see a still from one of the subjects’ homes, and honestly, it’s almost tame compared to the overall mess the hoarders create for themselves — my eyes were darting around our apartment: All this has to go! No clutter! No tchotchkes! No bric-a-brac! Maybe I should convert the entire dining room into a nice, spare, furniture-less zendo.

Ah, but this is just the other side of the hoarders’ coin, is it not? Our healthiest approaches to life are not about extremes; they’re about a middle way; the right way for ourselves and our loved ones. The question is, what is that way? It’s hard to study Buddhism, though, and not develop at least a little of the crucial non-attachment that allows us to discern what must stay, and what can go.

In the end, though, it all depends, of course: one person’s treasure is another’s trash, and all that. So what I’d like to know is, what’s your relationship to your stuff? Granted, it’s statistically unlikely that you might identify as a hoarder, but is your approach to your possessions unhealthy, or healthy? Is it working for you?




3 responses

23 09 2009

We are ALL so interconnected that it shouldn’t be a surprise, yet I always find it a little amusing when my thoughts coincide with another. I didn’t watch horders, yet I did by invite step into my neighbors house the other day, and was shocked by what I saw. She literally had so much stuff that there was a small path to walk through, and I mean small – one foot in front of another as if walking a tight rope. My heart broke a little for her, as I recognized for the first time how extrinscly lonely she must be. It affected me so grately, that I posed the question for discussion to my high school class this week. I wrote down, “It was never what I wanted to buy that held my heart’s hope. It was what I wanted to BE”, and then we discussed buying, be-ing and doing. Great post Bindu!

25 09 2009

I grew up with one. That is why i am a corners girl!

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