I’m a bit of a hoarder.
Not in the sense of “Oh! I need to keep all my waste in mason jars stacked up to the ceiling” hoarding, building piles to defend me, but rather in the sense of making sure that I have something left. I don’t want to use up the last block of cheese, for example, so I always keep a kind of running inventory in my mind.
I resist going for broke, just consuming what I have, operating without a margin, even in cases, like games, where going bust has no real cost and is just part of the program.
I scale back my expectations, limiting my desire. I stick to simple basics, not expecting more than I can afford. My choices are frugal and constrained.
In part this is about being prepared, having what I need when I need it, but more than that it is part of my deep underlying belief in scarcity. I just don’t tend to think that I can get what I need when I need it.
The first scarcity I experienced, of course, was attention and love. My parents, Aspergers both, lived in their own world, so I had to learn to climb into their world very early.
That also meant that I had to take the shit that existed in their worlds. My mother was always upset that other people didn’t make her happy, always angry at how others caused her nothing but more distress by not doing what she believed she wanted. My father lived in his own thoughts, so that was the place I could connect with him.
I understand that other people have a much greater sense of abundance and entitlement, a sense that they are worthy of getting rewards from the world and an expectation that more will come their way. They understand that while things can get tight, they are never really busted as long as they have some faith that they can get another reward soon.
Most people trust that in the give and take of the world, they get to take and not just to give. They are comfortable being on the economic cycle of life, giving to get, investing for return, betting on wins.
That trust is wicked hard for me. I resist costs and prices rather than just paying them and moving on, which puts me behind the eight ball. By playing to close to the vest, I keep myself from just plain winning.
Learning to trust, though, isn’t something easily attained. There is no simple path to gain that kind of trust we learn as children. Regaining our sense of shark is impossible if we never built that sense in the first place. We have to build something that replaces those empty bits even as people around us can’t comprehend how we got to this point without what they take for granted.
Abundance training is always about going back to a time when you can trust. It is about fitting in and never about standing out.
My own hoarding comes from a deep doubt that what I let go of can be easily replaced.
For example, as a plus size woman on a tiny budget, I know that I can’t just go to the mall and get an outfit off the rack. Instead, I need to find pieces that work and then assemble them, holding on to what I have.
The first time I met Virginia Prince she wanted to prove that I was just another transvestite like all the ones in her FPE/SSS system. I didn’t think, though, that I had only two sides, masculine and feminine, didn’t think I followed the model.
“Well,” she said, “what about the times you purged your clothes, trying to get rid of crossdressing?”
I had never purged. She helped me understand myself when I heard her on the radio at age 13, but even then I knew I wasn’t one of her transvestites. It was when I was 16 and read Harry Benjamin’s “The Transsexual Phenomenon” that I knew I wasn’t one of his transsexuals, either.
Over the years, I have edited what I own, letting go of what doesn’t fit or doesn’t work, but I still have hampers full what are now vintage clothing. I know that they are still useful, hard won and impossible to replace. One of the costs of the neuropathy that came from tending to my parents rather than myself are bins of cute leather shoes I never wore and can never wear, and that loss of footwear can make a gal sad.
I know that I need to move away from scarcity mode, need to limit even the practical kind of hoarding that I do. I need to have belief that there is better, new and more for me down the line.
Understanding that requirement, though, is very different than feeling differently, especially in a world where there are so many reasons to feel marginalized, unmirrored and unsafe.