My Life As A "Holistic Hoarder": How I Realized There's More To Spirituality Than Knickknacks
"I think I might be a spiritual hoarder," I said to my husband while trying to find something under a pile of crystals.
To me, this statement was little more than a casual musing. But it was the opening he had been waiting for.
"Have you taken a look around our house lately?" he asked, not missing a beat. "We have spiritual knickknacks everywhere!"
I knew where this was going.
"Do you realize that when I couldn't find the strainer to steam vegetables today, my first thought was to look outside," he said. "Sure enough, there it was, filled with little crystals, because you were probably using it to cleanse them or something."
"So what's your point?" I interjected.
"My point is that I'm glad you brought this up."
Clearly, I wasn't the only one holding onto something. A list of buried frustrations poured out of him, from the amethyst he stubbed his toe on the other day to the meditation chairs I kept in the attic.
My heart was racing. I felt like I was going to faint. Every object he mentioned held a memory from my spiritual journey. Each crystal felt human to me, holding the space for me with its energy. It's like with people; everyone comes into your life for a reason, whether it be to support you at that time in your life, teach you a lesson, or give you an opportunity to grow. You don't just give them away!
The objects I was "hoarding" symbolized something I was working on or had worked through. They represented my spiritual evolution.
I somehow had convinced myself over the years that hanging onto spiritual items would help me to be more spiritual, protected, and nurtured.
"Every time I walk into our home, I feel as if I have all these eyes watching me." He continued as the blood drained from my face.
He pointed to the walls, every inch of which were filled with Tibetan imagery, sacred symbols, and deities. While he appreciates having the spiritual A-Team on his side, he told me, the house was beginning to feel as crowded as if the actual A-Team had moved in. I was speechless.
"I know this is not going to be easy for you, but it's time to let go," he said. "Purge and release some of this spiritual stuff."
I couldn't move. My eyes immediately went to my rose quartz idol of Ganesh, a Hindu deity. I know I had about 10 quartz crystals lying around (OK, maybe more), but this one could not go. I mean it was pure rose quartz and took one full month to shape! For one whole month, someone's love, patience, and attention to detail was solely devoted to bringing Ganesh to life, and I couldn't bear to part with him. Every time I laid eyes on him, my soul filled with joy. What did he expect me to do? Box him up and drop him off to the Goodwill?
I looked at him with tears in my eyes, "Obviously you don't get me."
He softened a bit, "Heather, I get you. Every February, rain or shine, we move our entire bedroom to whichever room has the better feng shui that year. I do that for you. Believe me, I get you, but the reality is that you have to let go of some of this stuff so that you can continue to grow and evolve."
He asked me if I was ready to take on the challenge. I was. He tasked me with finding two things that I was ready to get rid of. I rolled my eyes—no big deal. Thirty minutes turned into an hour, and then another hour, and, still, there was nothing I could part with. I had nowhere to run. No excuse. I had to own it.
"I have become a spiritual hoarder," I said, this time not as casually.
Once I got my head around the fact that my spiritual journey was less about what surrounded me and more about who I was inside, I was able to let go.
I realized I had somehow convinced myself that hanging onto spiritual items would help me feel more spiritual, protected, and nurtured. In reality, the same items that I had leaned on as supportive tools were beginning to consume me. I had to do something.
My husband suggested that I have a "spiritual garage sale," or start giving things to people who were struggling so they could harness the good energy like I had. The moment I heard that, everything clicked.
I started with two cardboard boxes—one for items I'd give away and the other for those I couldn't decide on. I promised to keep the second one closed and reopen it in three months to see what I'd missed and what I could live without.
I've always considered magazines, clothes, books, jewelry, and kitchen goods easy things to let go of. The spiritual items, though, things like my Tibetan bells, crystals, copper pyramids, and dream catchers—these were hard. But once I got my head around the fact that my spiritual journey was less about what surrounded me and more about who I was inside, I was able to let go.
I am still a work in progress. Slowly, I am getting rid of the extra spiritual stuff. My home feels more harmonious than ever, especially since my husband is no longer stubbing his toes. In fact, now it's my husband doing the buying. Recently, he bought some extra vegetable strainers for the kitchen. Because yes, there are still strainers of crystals in my backyard. Some things will never change.