An episode of Hoarders featured a very pious woman who fervently believed that the return of Jesus Christ is imminent, along with the Rapture that is supposed to follow that return. Belief concerning the Rapture is that those who have lived a righteous life will ascend to heaven with Christ, while the un-righteous will be left behind here on earth. This woman was featured not because of her religious beliefs, but because of her hoarding, hoarding which had filled not just one house but two, each of which was packed to the rafters with clothes, canned and dried food, knickknacks and more. When the on-camera therapist wondered how the hoarding aligned with her religious beliefs, the woman replied that the items were not for her: She stated, unequivocally, that she would be ascending, and that the “hoard” was for those who would be left behind so that they could have what they might need.
When I heard this, my jaw dropped. It seems that there is no end of the rationalizing that we are capable of in order to explain away or cover up our dysfunctionality. For this pious woman the filth and chaos of her homes was okay because she was living that way in order to benefit others. Had I been the therapist I would have told her to leave God out of the picture and clean up the damned house, her mind, and her life.
Her example is an extreme one, but in how many ways do we all foster dysfunction in our lives? Instead of facing an uncomfortable issue in this day, we say “I’ll get to it tomorrow”; when tomorrow comes we are no more able or willing to deal with what dismayed us yesterday, so we again say “I’ll deal with it tomorrow.” Instead of making and living within a fiscal budget we make impulse purchases, and then when the bills come due for which we haven’t the money, we borrow money from loan businesses, thereby putting us already behind in the coming next month. Instead of being honest with someone we lie; having lied we then need to lie for the lie, thereby making our relationship with that person all the more uncomfortable until we finally flee.
We need to face up to things. We need to stop blaming others or circumstances for the unhappiness of our lives. We need to want to know the truth.