Emotional Poverty.

Ever watch the show “Hoarders” on television? If you’ve ever seen it (or even watched the commercials for it) you have witnessed the insanity. What fear hoarders have of parting with their stuff!  And by “stuff” I’m talking rooms so filled with pizza boxes, and garbage bags, and old magazines (or, heaven forbid, dozens of cats) that they literally cannot walk through their houses or use their rooms for the intended purposes. All this stuff they don’t need is robbing them of the very peace they SO desperately need and want! But many choose the stuff anyway.

It’s easy to watch an episode of “Hoarders” and feel all self-righteous as we gasp in horror. But when we get right down to it, this kind of emotional poverty is constantly trying sneak its way into our own minds every day. Maybe it isn’t 8-foot-walls ‘o crap we are wading through (or maybe it is), but it’s very likely things we don’t realize are building walls between us and the peace we long for. It might be draining relationships, habits that are not feeding our best selves, negativity, unrealistic expectations we’ve put on ourselves or others that aren’t being met, excuses we make for ourselves. We don’t intend to allow this stuff to rob our peace. It just happens.

It is so easy to believe that these self-constructed structures will become enough one of these days. But it never happens. And it never will.

The truth is, when we pack our lives with the unnecessary, the unhealthy, the unsatisfying, we don’t have room for the greater gifts we were really seeking all along. It is a fearful thing to strip away all we have depended on – physically, emotionally, financially and spiritually – that we hoped would make us feel that we have enough.  That we are enough.  But really, think about it. Has all that stuff really succeeded in chipping away at fear, insecurity, or lack of fulfillment up to this point?

The truth is, brokenness can never be filled. Ever try to store water in a bucket with a hole in it?  It just won’t work. The same is true of our hearts. We can throw stuff in there all day long thinking it will be enough at some point, yet that point never comes.

We are always going to feel less-than, instead of more-than, if we believe that one more day, one more success, one more financial victory, one more purchase, one more helping of “whatever” will finally fix that gnawing inside us. This kind of emotional poverty only traps us in a state of ingratitude.

We were made for wholeness. Our longing for peace, deep-down joy and fulfillment are built into the human DNA. But if wholeness could be achieved with “stuff” there would be so many more happy, fulfilled people in the world. Wholeness only comes when we have the courage to let go of what is seen and venture into the unseen territory we’ve always desired but never had the courage to explore. And it will always, always come from a Source greater than ourselves.

If you’ve tried filling the bucket, no one has to tell you it  doesn’t work. Maybe it’s time to knock out some internal walls, clear the rooms of your mind and heart (or house), and live in the peaceful realization that the resources are very available for finding peace at this very moment. Look up. Let go of all that stuff that’s getting in your way.

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