Have you ever noticed that when you smile at people, they smile right back? If someone gives you hostility and you do not receive it, it will not affect you. If you instead give that person compassion and understanding (which is what they are really looking for and don’t know how to ask for it), what you receive from them will be entirely different.
On the other hand, keeping everything to yourself and closing your energy off from your environment tells the universe you want nothing from it—even if it isn’t true—and nothing is exactly what you’ll get. Others will perceive you as cold and unfriendly, and in return will be repelled.
To relieve themselves of this isolating feeling, people turn to hoarding the things around them in a vain attempt to counter their solitude; to regain, in a way, that connection to humanity that’s been lost. They don’t realize it was the act of hoarding their energy to themselves that caused the problem in the first place.
Money is a common and easy target for hoarding, but is far from the only method. People collect broken relationships, old self-defeating behaviors, neuroses…anything that distracts them from reality, no matter how temporarily, until it creeps up and overwhelms them again.
A common area where hoarding causes destruction is in information sharing. As the saying goes, information is power. Sometimes people like to keep information a secret so that no one else will get and benefit from it. If we come up with a great product or spot an industry trend or gain any other valuable information, the tendency is to keep it a secret as long as possible so we can get the lion’s share of the profit from the knowledge.
In corporations, this hoarding causes terrible communication problems. In relationships, it breeds mistrust. In vital industries such as pharmaceuticals, it prevents people from healing and benefiting from medical advances. When senior level management doesn’t trust employees with information, efficiency is compromised and opportunities are missed because each person could have taken that piece of information and expanded upon it. In each of these cases, this lack of trust and resentment permeates—and pollutes—the environment.
As we’ve established in previous blog posts, the fabric of the entire universe is made up of energetic exchange. When we hoard, we effectively shut off the exchange between ourselves and our environment. Agents of our own destruction, we end up causing the very isolation we fear. Without participating in the natural process of exchange, dysfunction begins to appear in our lives. Just as giving too much can be detrimental, hoarding tells the universe you no longer trust it to provide what you need to be happy. When that happens, the universe has no choice but to respond in kind.