The other day I was working with a client who kept calling herself a pack rat. She would say, "I'm such a pack rat!" She wasn't present when she said it. It was like a person outside of her was calling her names. There was a mean-spiritedness in it. She mentioned the word to describe how she kept some shoes that her son wore when he was one and two. He was now twenty. I felt like she was uncomfortable with some delicate feelings she wasn't allowing herself to feel.

I said the desire to keep the shoes was natural for her. Those years as a mother were very powerful. Her connection with her son was great. All her attentions were on him to love and take care of him. She might even miss the closeness that she used to have with him. The desire to keep the shoes was the desire for connection.

The pretense that she was showing previously was instantly gone. She relaxed and softened, and tears came from her eyes. She connected with her heart again. She radiated.