I was a hoarder.
Because of my codependence I could not tell where I ended or began.
I could not tell what beauty existed outside of me and what was within me.
Therefore I could not throw out things of beauty in case they existed inside me and were important.
But my husband could.
Every time we went to throw out the accumulation of family life he would take something from me that I did not know was precious and that was the first thing to go to the dump.
When my dancing medals and cups from my childhood dancing competitions went to the dump; my mother cried.
Somehow through the years, he kept everything that he had ever owned.
Things seemed to have beauty that only I could see.
My head was so busy being entangled in the demands of codependence that there was nothing left of me.
I am grateful for the habit of hoarding beauty; now beauty hoards me.
It does not distinguish between animals, humans, the poorest, most disabled, buildings, technology, the ocean, sun, moon, earth, wilderness, sickness, death, life.
I am in a conversation with beauty, which at last I understand:
Inside suffering is the birth of love, or a Higher Power.
That is the face I find there, the conversation that is love and sees the ugly or disfigured as the first sentence.
I feel the feelings of everything.
The reason I could not distinguish beauty was because I could not recognize me.
Now I know me — old, alone, arthritic, codependent — but busy in a conversation that I would like to hoard.
But somehow it is enough to be looking at so much beauty, which I find in the Silence first.
I needed to learn to be alone with myself for a long time, so that I could know me, and be my friend.
I know now where I end and other people begin.
The Silence is my Lover and I must not forget her.
Thank you CoDA and the people I listen to in meetings who help me disentangle the beauty inside myself and recognize Higher Power.
Now beauty hoards me.