“We spend so much of our life forming attachments to things, people, places, thoughts and emotions that our lives become overburdened with trivial things that really do not matter.”
We’ve all heard of the word “hoarding” and often guilty of this habit. I personally have a box in my wardrobe filled with cards, letters and tickets from when I was in high school that have some kind of memory attached to it. I dare not throw it away because I fear by losing the physical item the “memory” in which it holds will be lost too.
What I want to share with you is a different kind of hoarding, I want to talk about emotional hoarding.
Behold the emotional hoarder – an individual stricken by an epidemic that’s holding their joy hostage and robbing them of their fulfillment. An emotional hoarder stockpiles every traumatic memory, slight embarrassment, and heartbreak, past and present, only to live with the burden of each one every day. – Huffington Post
We are all carrying something…
Truth is, we are all carrying something. A part of our past that is hidden deep within us. What we carry comes in all different shapes, sizes and forms. It can be a rumour you heard that was detrimental to your self-esteem, regret from that one night you drank too much, bitterness harboured towards people you thought would never hurt you or a previous relationship that you can’t seem to let go of despite how far your life has evolved since then. Perhaps none of these scenarios relate to you but it doesn’t take away from the very fact, we are all carrying something.
Emotional hoarding became apparent to me this year. Certain things triggered my emotional being but rather than dealing with it front on I thought I’d just bury it internally.
It wasn’t until I was doing a devotion called “The deadly trio” on the Bible App (would highly recommend) that I was able to call my internal battle by its name…. lust.
Did she just say the “L” word?
If you’ve been in Church for a minute you’ve been brought up to believe that lust is the devil’s doing and while there is no denying it is in the same breath, we cannot deny that we become a victim of lust when we choose to engage.
When we hear the statement, “Lust of the flesh” we usually gravitate towards sexual sins only, but lust is so much more than that. The word lust in the Greek is epithumia, and it means desire, eagerness for, inordinate desire. The meaning is derived from two words epi – which means “focused on” and theymos – which means “passionate desire.” When put the two together we get the definition, “passion built on strong feelings or urges.” These can be positive or negative, depending on how this desire is inspired.
From this break down of the word lust, we can see that the source of our focus will lead to our desires. Have you ever been in a situation where you swore to yourself you won’t do that “thing” that always seems to cause you more bad than good?
Whether that be checking your ex’s profile, breaking your diet for the 500th time or replying to that booty call when you know damn well you’re just using each other, my friend, we’ve all been there. The question is why. Why do we always revert to what once was rather than embracing what we have in front of us? I’ll have a solid crack at answering this.
Avoiding is not enough…
We focus so much on trying to avoid “that thing” when truth of the matter is, avoiding is not enough. Avoiding doesn’t actually change situations it escalates problems. What avoidance does is keep us trapped in a situation and stops us from moving on.
In my case, by avoiding what was going on inside of me, I was making a home for things that had stopped serving me a long time ago.
If we focus on what we don’t have we always act from a place of scarcity rather than gratefulness. If we focus on not trying to do that “one thing” more times than often we will end up doing it. Why? Because we are focused on it. You get what I mean?
“What I focus on will lead to my desire.”
If it no longer serves you, let it go…
To my own merit, while I thought I had dealt with some of my shit, I hadn’t. Everyone has different methods of how they let go of things, here is insight to how I have let go of the people, places and things that have stopped serving me.
- God: I am not the perfect example of a Christian (seriously who is?) however I know in my heart of hearts only God can untangle those emotional triggers so rather than trying to fix myself, I put my trust in Him throughout this journey. Disclaimer: It ain’t easy and I am still working through it.
- Change my focus: The urge creeps in from time to time to focus on things that no longer serve me however I now know what I focus on will become what I become enthralled in. There is no overnight fix for letting things go, it is a journey. Everytime I choose to look the other way, not in the name of avoidance but growth – I ultimately release myself from the very things that keep me bound.
- Choose to let go: Nothing changes if nothing changes. There is so much unnecessary emotional baggage we cling onto and for what? That perhaps we’d lose the memory. Reality check, no one can steal our memories however we can accept what once was and look ahead with much expectancy that out best days are yet to be lived.
I’ve wasted time focusing on people, places and things that no longer serve me that ultimately I have failed. Failed to look in front of me and notice I am living in the days I prayed for.
So I challenge you when you look at yourself in the mirror, ask yourself this – am I holding onto something that is no longer serving me? If the answer is yes I will leave you with the words of sister gal Elsa from Frozen…. let it go!
Blessings and love,
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