Tuesday, July 27, 2010

To Keep or Not to Keep That Is the Question

The other day some friends and I were talking about our hoarding practices. I am by nature a pack-rat. I can find some reason to keep anything I own: "I might wear that again someday...you never know, styles come in and out!" "But what if I need that one day? I know the second I give this away I am gonna need it and have to buy a new one, so I am really saving money buy keeping it!" etc. This got me wondering where this came from. Why am I like this?

I am not sure exactly, but I think it is related to my childhood poverty. In the grand scope of things, we weren't truly poor, especially compared to others, but we did pinch and save, and struggle a bit here and there. I have one vivid memory of wanting to get some Fruit Stripe Zebra Gum (remember that?) and my mom telling me she couldn't afford it. I could see how she hated denying me that small gift, and I never wanted her to feel that way again. Somehow I think this story is part of the formation of my inner pack-rat.

But recently I have been wondering if that is what I want to be. One of my friends said she is a purger, to excess sometimes. We giggled over her tales of realizing she gave too many clothes away and had nothing left to wear. Yet at the same time I found myself drawn to her ways.

I have moved quite a bit over the last 5 years, and each time I do I have the burden of moving all my hoarded items. And I haven't enjoyed it. Each time I get rid of stuff, but never quite enough.

And now I wonder if what I am holding onto is worth holding onto. They say when you die you can't take your treasures with you. Maybe I need to spend less time collecting items, and more time collecting experiences. There is a purifying element to purging, a cleansing.

Perhaps a purging of past memories is what is needed, and the first step is to outwardly purge, that I would invite my soul to an inward release and cleansing...