A hoarder confuses a sense of having, with s sense of BE-ing.
Hoarding displays a lack of security. A person holds onto to objects, and often attaches to them unrealistic expectations of what happiness (future) or value they hold. The value may be both monetary, and sentimental. Often the hoarder values both, and finds it easier to build a “safe” life around material objects or animals, than to risk hurt and rejection from human relationships. This is especially true for people who hoard pets, and who realize that with animals, conflicts and judgments do not arise in their fragile emotions through interaction. Animals seem needed, while often, other humans become associated with pain, and loss of control.
In this way the hoarder often begins to alienate other people. Others do not feel comfortable being around so much clutter, distraction, fire hazard and often poor sanitation.
At the very core of any hoarding lie issues of loss and pain that people routinely experience in complex human relationships. Losing a loved one, for example, could result in someone naturally wishing to possess something associated with the lost person, or they wish to freeze in time, that person’s room, wardrobe, or hobby. Constant buying rewards the brain with a short pleasure about giving, or thinking of another, and then the object goes onto the pile.
Also, at the core, is a true separation from real connection to the natural world. Few people who routinely spend time outdoors value indoor clutter time more that quality time. For many human beings the consumer culture, since they are taught it is “normal” emphasizes having more as the way to be content, when in reality, having quality time and less clutter is more satisfying, and liberating.
Today many counselors and home organizers deal with hoarders. There are even many reality shows that display that pathetic state of people buried by stuff. Many tricks taught in these types of intervention shows are helpful, but few cure the core cause. Still, there is yet to be a show where people are directed to true belonging, rather than trying to own, control and manage “belongings.”
Where is true belonging? It is in the natural world that makes all life supportive, including human community and relationships.
The core cause is that people fear connection. In a dangerously disrupted and overpopulated world, resources are routinely disappearing and it s no wonder that people feel a need to cling and hold on. Fear of losing “mine,” makes people afraid to know too much about “yours.”
People who recognize the greater, sustaining world of sunlight, fresh air, clean water, food and fuel generally are not lost under hoards of clutter. They do not hold on with fierce determination to possess. Instead, they accept, and are grateful rather than fearful.
A true solution involves real connection to a sustaining world as a true healthy answer. The best cure for the over all culture of clutter, trash, madness and wanting more “belongings” is for humans to realize they belong to earth. In belonging is connection to community, reciprocity and a sense of true inter-dependence that will always feel better for the person’s sense of worth as a BE-ing rather than someone merely “having.” In fact the cure is in the very word, something to think about in the wounded psyche of humanity. Many today feel both threatened and threatening toward the communal and sustaining aspect of inter connection.
Belonging to sustainable community that supports life and love is of greater value than trying to control “belongings.”