Are You An Emotional Hoarder?

Conceptual image of young businessman choosing which face expresIt's been in the past few years that the TV show "The Hoarders" has aired and become a big hit. I think that when we watch that show, it's for one of a couple of reasons:

  • To reinforce that we actually are "normal" and we don't do things like that,
  • To see if the junk we have around us would constitute hoarding to the professionals, and make us feel better if ours is not messy,
  • Just to see how others live - "How could they possibly live like that?" (isn't this part of the basis for all reality TV shows?)

I'm sure there are many other reasons for watching the show. Some people just want to see people who are messed up in life. I think it makes them feel their lot in life is better than those they are watching and it's important (unfortunately) that we feel better than someone else - it feeds our self-worth even though it shouldn't.

But I digress (what else is new).

It's easy to spot hoarding when it comes to physical items - you can see them. But I would bet that most of you who are reading this are "emotional hoarders". I can hear you muttering to yourself right now "what the heck are you talking about Terrie?"

Right this minute I ask you to take a few seconds (or it may take you a bit longer) and look around you. What emotions come up when you look at certain things, people, places? What memories do you have right now? What emotions are associated with these memories.


Here's the Mayo Clinic definition of "hoarding":

Hoarding is the excessive collection of items, along with the inability to discard them. Hoarding often creates such cramped living conditions that homes may be filled to capacity, with only narrow pathways winding through stacks of clutter.

They also go on to say:

People who hoard often don't see it as a problem, making treatment challenging.

Emotional hoarding involves the excessive collection of emotions but more importantly the second part of the above definition applies here - "The inability to DISCARD them".  With emotional hoarding your minds become filled to capacity with only narrow pathways through the clutter of your mind. Some people continue to amass their emotions to the point where there is absolutely no movement through the clutter.

Even more with emotional hoarding is the problem of people not seeing that they have a problem. I bet your first response was "no way, you're full of it Terrie." But if you're honest with yourself and examine how much anger, resentment, hurt, bad feelings, jealousy, envy, bitterness, greed, negativity etc are cluttering up your mind, you'll begin to see at least some of the problem.

This is one reason we put so much emphasis on clearing, whether you use denials, Hoʻoponopono, the Sedona method, EFT or any other clearing method. Identifying and clearing are so vital not only for getting rid of your limiting beliefs but also getting rid of these useless emotions. They really are useless - what good do they serve you?

Resentment is one of the most damaging (physically speaking) emotions there is. Resentment is usually deep seated and when you don't release it, it can cause a myriad of complaints and problems, including cancer. What happens when you harbor resentment? It eats at you, right? Well, what do you think cancer does? Look at people you know who have had cancer and see if you can spot any resentment in their lives. If you can't, then ask how well you know them.

We'll look at this issue more in the upcoming months but I wanted you to start 2014 looking at yourself and the emotions that are swirling around inside of you, taking up space that keeps you from being happy.


Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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One thought on “Are You An Emotional Hoarder?

  1. Terry,
    You raise a very good point about emotional hording. While many people believe that they are acting in a rational manner, actually their thoughts are and behavior are being driven by deep emotional issues that have been compounded over the years. It gets to the point for some where they don’t believe they are being irrational, illogical and unrealistic. Their minds are set – they are “right” and everyone else is wrong. As for cancer you are on the right track. As a retired hypnpotherapist, I worked with many cancer clients with emotional issues related to the onset of their cancer. Looking forward to what else you will be sharing with us.