Ripping Out the Roots of PackRatism

May 12, 2010

Hello. My name is Michelle, and I’m a PackRat.
I have been battling clutter for my entire life. I was born to PackRat parents – one organized (that’s you, Mom!), one not. This is really something that I want to shift in my life. I know that the roots of PackRatism are emotional. Let’s see if I can unravel those roots and rip them out of the ground.

I realize that I have a fear of not having what I need, and of not being enough. This would, at its core, stem from me not trusting in the Universe/God/Being/WhateverYouWannaCallIt, and not trusting in myself. For example, I have a bunch of bottles of hair products that I never use. The root of my purchasing of these products (and this would apply to most other purchases, when you get down to it) is that it will make me more attractive; and if I’m more attractive, I’ll get more love, and be happier. Of course, this isn’t necessarily true (though sadly, science does back up the fact that beautiful people are paid more, etc). However this message is being constantly pounded into our heads by one of the Satans – Advertising. (One of the other Satans, in my opinion, is Monsanto, or as I like to call them, MonSatan. Whole ‘nother blog. I should make that an acronym, because I know I will be using it often – W’NB).

But anyways, yeah, being beautiful may get you a little more than the next unattractive schmuck, but it won’t (on its own) get you the soul connection you desire, and it won’t make you happy. So I have all these hair products, that either didn’t work like I wanted them to, or actually made me break out (the many chemicals in main-stream hair products and cosmetics are absorbed through your skin – W’NB).

And yet, I hang onto these things that I don’t use, and don’t need. One of the reasons is that I always intended to look at all the products that made me break out, and try to narrow it down to a common factor. The problem is, each of these products has upwards of twenty crazy-named chemicals, so the narrowing down would be a daunting task. I’m actually pretty sure that one of the breakout-inducers is Partially Hydrogenated Castor Oil. So another reason I hang on to these useless things is that I have future plans, which, once completed, could make me happier (by identifying what causes breakouts=not having any more breakouts=better skin=more love=happier life).

I suppose I also have an irrational belief that these hair products that I don’t use might still have some magical beautifying qualities, and if I get rid of them, I’ll be losing out. (Another factor to the hair product hoarding – I’m really lazy/impatient when it comes to styling my hair. I just don’t care enough to spend more than 3 minutes on it, so I’m always hoping that I’ll find some spray that will make my hair look like I spent an hour curling it. I suppose this isn’t realistic….). Anyways, the losing out – this again relates back to not truly believing in my intrinsic worth, that I’m already a whole, total, complete, perfect person, exactly as I am, regardless of what’s going on with my hair. Lack of self love, not being “good enough,” fear – these are the fundamental roots of all suffering, pain and evil in our world. I was listening to one of Brian Johnson’s Philosophers Notes this morning, and he (or one of the authors he covers) made a good point about the golden rule – how do you expect people to love their neighbors as themselves, when they don’t even know how to love themselves first? How many people truly love themselves, 100%? How many people even know what true love is? W’NB!!!!!!!!

Back to the PackRat fears. I’m afraid that if I get rid of stuff, I’ll need or want it later, because I don’t truly believe that I’m ok exactly as I am. I need certain clothes to make me look good, or JUST IN CASE I end up in a situation I might need them in (wet suit I’ve never worn, ski pants that are way too big for me). So I’m working on getting a more connected, grounded, loving sense of myself, so that I won’t feel like I “need” these exterior things. I’m working on trusting that when I DO need something, I’ll have the resources to buy it.

Got this quote from my friend China’s blog:

“Who I am becoming is far more important than what I own.” – Robin Sharma

I like that.

I’m also aware that I buy things to make me feel better, whether it’s something that holds the (untrue or short-lived) promise of making me happier, or something to distract me from thinking, or being present with emotional pain.

I also believe in Universal Laws of abundance and balance and flow. I think you need to create space in your life for the things that you REALLY want to come into your life – after you’ve actually identified exactly what it is that you REALLY want, of course. I believe that what you give comes back to you in other forms. I want to have less stuff, and appreciate it more. I aspire to stop feeling like I NEED so much stuff, stuff that I don’t absolutely love or use or even want.

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10 Responses to “Ripping Out the Roots of PackRatism”

  1. Tarah said

    i’ve spent many hours at Ross trying to avoid emotional pain. and that fact causes me emotional pain.

  2. Andrea said

    Good blog Michelle,

    I am the exact opposite of pack rat. I get rid of everything. My home is fully refined into things I love!!!! and it feels great! It also feels great to recycle/gift or keep these things I’m giving away in the flow.

    The more you do it, the easier it becomes, and then one day you’ll discover your “attachment” to things just doesn’t exist. It’s a really fine line between loving something and realizing that it’s just not that “important”.

    If you have any friends that are hair stylists, i bet they’d really appreciate the free products.

    • lunasealife said

      That’s awesome. You inspire me!

      The hair stylist tip is great! I’ve got a stylist friend, I’ll ask her! : D

  3. Gloria said

    Very good blog, Michelle!

    I can totally empathize, as I’ve been terrible at getting rid of things, though I’m getting better at no acquiring things. I frequently think about it cleaning and getting rid of stuff. I’d be able to free up some of that brain energy too if it wasn’t weighing on me. I’m going to try to remember what you say, “…create space in your life for the things that you REALLY want to come into your life…” and continue to aspire to stop feeling like I need stuff that I don’t absolutely love or use or even want.

    I try to keep in mind that I can’t have this stuff when I’m away and that helps me a bit more motivated! Got to keep channeling that.

    • lunasealife said

      Thanks G! You’re one of my inspirations. You sell stuff on ebay right? I want to do that!!!

      I was thinking about pulling everything out of my closet that I don’t LOVE (and that isn’t seasonal) and putting it in a box in the garage. Then seeing if I needed/wanted any of it during a set time period and getting rid of the stuff a few months later. By the way, I’m planning another clothing swap!!! 😉

  4. Keep fighting the packratism!

  5. […] enough… I’ve been trying to change that programming for as long as I remember, being a child of packrats (or “collectors”); I keep letting go, letting go, letting go, but I still don’t feel […]

  6. […] I’ve been a nomad for almost two years now and I still feel like I’ve got too much stuff. […]

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