Hoarding Wounds From the Past

“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” Matthew 6:20 NIV

“Count your blessings, not your problems. Count your own blessings, not someone else’s. Remember that jealousy is when you count someone else’s blessings instead of your own.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

Confession time here. I am a “hoarder light,” not really the hoarder that has a painful illness, but letting go of stuff is hard. I’m in the process of clearing out, cleaning and donating many items and clothing. The back room is full of boxes and bags of clothing, jewelry, household items and much more. With Covid dominating our society, it’s been heard to donate to thrift stores and other charities.

Here’s the other problem. If the item in question was from a friend, family member or an exciting thrift store find, my fingers won’t let go. If it’s clothing that was a Christmas gift or when I was a slim size six, vowing to fit in it again, back to the closet. I have and will not achieve this but the dream dies hard.

And wounds. I’ve hung onto hurtful words, actions and abandonments hoarding them like they were treasure. How they’ve hurt me! How the giver of these hurts is or was hurting. What’s the payoff? Blame. Ducking my own responsibility Was the person hurtful? Yes. Truth. Was I abandoned? Yes. True. So I hoard it. Ruminate. Pierce myself over and over. Time for a Righteous Purge. Time for a bonfire. Acknowledge these painful times, turn it over to God and let them burn away.

No one can perfectly love me. No one has the right actions all the time. No one has the right words all the time. No one. Me included. Traumas are part of the journey and I don’t know why. Frustrating! It may have been another’s actions that hurt me but it’s still my responsibility to grow and move on. Sometimes I get a clue when I let go in trust. Sometimes it’s not pretty and it may have nothing to do with me—don’t take on another’s failings. Sometimes it’s a lesson. Sometimes it’s to grow into compassion and empathy. Sometimes it’s discipline.

Only our Father can love us and do for us perfectly and I don’t understand it many, many times. Trust walk. Sometimes it becomes a crisis of faith and it has nothing to do with another in my life. But when I look to my Father to provide, love, build and encourage he does so and gives me a small window of understanding into those that have hurt me. He does so in his own timing and mine. He provides others for help.


“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8 – It’s a discipline to be sure! When meditating, sometimes our insides are the problem and not another. Sometimes we nurse and hang onto wounds because they’re familiar—no change required but no growth either.


Dear Father,

Thank you for those in our lives. May we hold them loosely and their hurtful words and actions. If we expect them to meet all of our needs, we will be extremely disappointed. By the same token, we cannot meet all the needs of those in our lives no matter the urgency to do so.  Keep us focused on what’s lovely and true. Help us to discern what is ours and what is another’s responsibility. Each has their own journey with you. I can be a witness to the journey, but it is their journey with you. Thank you for the peace which surpasses all understanding.


Published by Barbara Hinther

Barbara Hinther author of Meditations and Encouragement for the Caregiver of a Loved One with Dementia and What About Me, God. Time to share what she has learned and hopefully, others will know they are not alone. This too, shall pass with beautiful, yet painful, lessons. Barbara lives in a rural town in Idaho where all is community. Bless everyone in the community for their support and their never-ending let’s pitch in attitude! She worked in marketing for over 30 years and volunteered with the Idaho Youth Ranch and St. Vincent’s de Paul Thrift Store. Then her hardest job ever was caring for her husband who died from Lewy body dementia and needed her full-time care. Feelings of abandonment were constant. Life was very difficult for a while, but love, faith and hope will overcome. Let the adventure continue!

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