Adriana’s friends know her as Miss Sentimentality because every little thing has a sentimental value to her. She gives nothing away so her house is filled with old magazines, every single greeting card she ever received, her projects and test scores from grade school, even old clothes she had not worn in twenty years.
Her hoarding was now at a point where she lacked a functional living space. Labeled boxes of past memories surrounded the house. “You never know, what if I need them one day” was her usual response to her friend’s urge to get rid of the clutter. She often enjoyed indulging in reveries, re-reading letters and going over photographs from her teenage and young adult years. She so held on to these memories that there was no room for new ones. She was even blinded to the unlivable condition that her home had become for these items had become more important than all else.
One day in January rain fell, as was the norm this time of the year in São Paulo, but this time it lasted for seven straight days. Flooding became an issue causing a lot of residents to evacuate, including Adriana. Her strong emotional connection to her cherished possessions made the parting extremely difficult causing her serious anxiety and ultimately leading to her fainting. She was rushed to the hospital where she regained consciousness but it will be a long road to recovery for Adriana because she has no anchor from where to draw strength. She never made room for the things that matter most.
How much of what we carry about (past disappointments, grudges, resentment, blame etc) is of any value ? Every difficulty, could we but see, means progress. At the very least, it is an opportunity to develop an increased level of inner calmness and patience. Seeking faults in others, no matter how justified one thinks he is in doing so, is of no spiritual benefit and is therefore an inefficient use of one’s energy. As with Adriana, carrying around all this baggage shrinks our functional living space thus preventing new light and power from penetrating and invigorating the spirit.