I realize how much of my hoarding is really an addiction. The “high” I get from accumulating new treasures is just as rewarding as the high from a drug. The rush of dopamine, serotonin and all the ‘feel good’ chemicals start pumping when I find something awesome at a yard sale. “This pair of shoes with tags is only $1??!!!” Sweet! I’ll add it to the other 100 pairs I already own!” You see, I’m addicted to the high of how dirt cheap I can buy an item for. I wear a badge of honor when I bought a new Coach purse for only $15 at a yard sale. It’s retail cost was $295 which means I bought it 95% off!! I am frugal, fabulous and fierce baby!! I bragged about my golden purchase to friends and family!!! I am a shopping hero…no wait, a shopping LEGEND! That’s how my brain processes my consumer adventures. I give myself such a confidence boost because I’m so good at buying things so cheap. But at what cost? My self worth is based on buying something? Shouldn’t my self worth be based on how much I love myself and others? My self value should be about my natural talents: my love to create arts & crafts, my passion to meet & interact with people and my desire to serve & help other people. That is what truly determines my self worth. Since I base my self esteem on being a “shopping legend” then I must subconsciously attach my self worth to my stuff. All that stuff I bought dirt cheap are my personal trophies for success. So when I go to get rid of that Coach purse, it will feel like I am tossing away my badge of honor. It will lower my self esteem because I attached so much value to that experience. I won’t feel fabulous and fierce…I’ll feel sad and anxious. As I travel farther in my journey, I see how much I attach things to my self worth. That is why I feel like I’m throwing myself away when I toss a simple item away. I need to detach myself. I need to change my self worth into my personal qualities. I am love. I am grateful. I am caring. I am giving. I am prosperous. Those meditating thoughts create the same “feel good” chemicals in my brain. I carry those self values in my heart. I needn’t buy them, store them in a box or forget where I put it. It will always be in my heart, my mind and my soul. This is key for me to break my hoarding habits because I will no longer look at my stuff as my self worth, I will look at it as a separate entity.