My Addiction to Buying Clothes

About 8 years ago I lost 25 kilos. At the time I was using food to fill an emptiness in me, although I now see how I had learnt to control my eating and weight but never really dealt with the issue underneath, so it popped up again in a different form – this time through buying clothes.

When I was a child we didn’t have a lot of money so my mum and grandma would make our clothes. My sister and I got a new dress each year in October to go to a show and if we made our first communion or confirmation, then we got two dresses that year. As I got older and had clothes made for me, I would pick a pattern and design how I wanted it to be made. It was always a joke in my family that I would never get a dress or pattern without wanting to make changes to suit my body.

Before I got married I remember buying three new dresses. I would save my good clothes for good and I didn’t really wear them. Then when I eventually got rid of clothes, they always looked as if they had never been worn and that was because I hardly wore them!

After I had my second baby, my mum and sister took me shopping. They thought that I needed to get a few things as I was still wearing my maternity clothes nine months after my baby was born. That day I bought two outfits that I could mix and match. I loved what I bought, especially a bone top and a khaki pair of long shorts. I felt beautiful in them. I also remember buying a beautiful grey tracksuit. I wore these clothes all the time; I didn’t put these clothes in my cupboard and not wear them.

When my first marriage ended and I shifted to Brisbane, I started to buy more clothes. At first I would buy really expensive dresses to go out in the evening. However I didn’t go out, so I didn’t wear them, and they would sit in my wardrobe. I spent more money on those ‘good’ clothes that I didn’t wear and not on things that I could wear each day. I stopped this and then started to look for a good bargain and I would find myself saying, “It only cost $10.” But I did wear them.

Two years ago I started work in a clothes store and I began to buy clothes on sale. They were now quality things that I was buying because they were on sale, so cheap and such a good buy and I was saving so much money… never giving any thought to, “Do I really want or need this item?” I had gotten sucked into something that I was losing control over. Sometimes I would stop and have short periods of saying to myself, “No, you don’t need that,” but the moment I bought something, it would start all over again. Pretty scary!

I knew my needing to buy clothes was about something else. I felt something was missing. I was missing something and I was using clothes to fill up this something. I felt that I needed something ‘out there’ to fill an emptiness that was in me. The more I bought, the worse I felt.

I wasn’t filling an emptiness, I was feeding the emptiness.

I got to a point where I could feel a change in my body as I would buy something. It was like my body was telling me something, but I didn’t want to stop and feel what it was, – I didn’t want to listen to my body. I noticed how I would start to feel racy, disconnected, unsettled and guilty all at the same time.

One morning I added up all the dockets that I had spent on clothes since I had started working in the clothes store. I was pretty shocked at the amount of money I had spent, and when I looked into my wardrobe, I could feel how I didn’t really like the clothes that I had bought. This was an even bigger shock, as I do wardrobe makeovers with women and support them to buy things that they really love. Looking into my wardrobe I could say there was very little that I loved. Looking into my wardrobe made me feel sick.

It was at this point that I realised that I had an addiction to buying clothes that was no different to any other addiction. I was using something to make me feel better about myself. I was trying to fill something up with clothes, an empty feeling. There was something out there that I needed in order to make me feel better about myself because I didn’t feel ok about me, just being me. I looked the part – confident, well groomed – but I still felt I wasn’t good enough, and I thought that by buying clothes I would look and feel better and that this empty feeling would go away, but it never did.

I continued to buy clothes, with more awareness of what was going on, but I could still feel that I didn’t want to get to the bottom of why I was spending so much money on clothes. What I felt when I went to my wardrobe was the energy that I was in when I was buying the clothes, and that was what was making me feel sick. I had to really stop and feel what was going on and what choices I was making when I bought these clothes. One of the things that I noticed about this addiction was that I had stopped buying for anyone else. It was all focussed on me, what I wanted. That was a big eye opener for me.

What if what I didn’t want to feel was how amazing I was, how simply divine I am and that I don’t need clothes or anything else to fill me?

The clothes we choose to wear can support us far more then we realise. When we buy clothes in the energy of ‘I’m not enough,’ we are setting ourselves up each day to feel less, like we are watering down who we are, our power as women. If I’m hooked into anything that is not about me feeling the fullness of ‘me’, then what am I truly reflecting?

It feels like I have now taken a step back to observe what I had been doing. I was on a roller coaster. All that I needed to do was STOP and FEEL. I was so afraid to feel what was under the emptiness; I couldn’t bear to know what it was. I know this seems crazy now to even think that about myself, but when I was hooked I was not thinking clearly.

When you buy clothes with a connection to you it is a totally different experience. There is no thinking from your head, “Do I love this or not?” There is no part of you that has to get a second opinion: your body is there to tell you. The way you hold yourself, the way you walk, the way the clothes feel on your skin, these are all the signs that you need and they are a true confirmation.

In my raciness, I had forgotten this amazing connection that I used to have with my clothes; how I love wearing clothes that my body feels great in, clothes that I can feel on my body. When I buy things in a need from my head, I don’t feel the clothes that I’m wearing, I don’t get to feel what my body is saying.

Now when I work and the sales are on, and I feel like I want to buy something, I allow myself to stop and give myself the space to ask myself, “What is going on? Why do I want to buy something when I am already enough, already beautiful?” Buying with an addiction is like continually selling out on myself. When I’m connected there is no need, I find that things that I love naturally come to me, I don’t have to go looking for them.

Nothing can ever fill a place inside me. Only I can do that. I am already full of my own beauty.

By Denise Cavanough, Beauty-full Woman, Wife, Mother, Organiser/ Wardrobe Makeovers, Brisbane

Further Reading:
Fashion Styling – Embracing and Appreciating Ourselves
What is Swag and Who Has Got It?
Dressing to Impress: Are You Ever Enough?
Body Image – Beauty Comes From Within

609 thoughts on “My Addiction to Buying Clothes

  1. We can buy clothes to fit so many different pictures of what we want ourselves to look like, rather than feeling into what truly supports us.

    1. Yes I can relate to that Jenny – I have in the past bought clothes that were more like the type of clothes boyfriends wore – but the female version so I’d fit in, or bought the kind of corporate clothes that ‘successful people’ seemed to wear. Nowadays I find my own style and colours and feel so much more empowered and so much more me!

  2. When I go shopping, it is so busy, I often wonder where all the people come from. But you explain so eloquently Denise, how we can bury our heads in the sand, with all our hurts, and look for any outlet to relieve a pain we are feeling without sorting it out. The problem of course is it returns because it hasn’t been sorted, it works much better to deal with it and reconnect to the Love we all are. And much cheaper too!

  3. Can an addiction to buying clothes be a bad thing? It isn’t harming anyone, but hmm lets take a deeper look at our behaviours, isn’t buying excessive things just filling an emptiness we feel inside? which is the same as other forms of drugs :O omg

  4. I recently had some time in a busy day to go into a store where it turned out they have a 50% off summer sale. I was feeling deeply appreciative of me, and very solid in myself – and this was one of the best shopping moments I had – not only did I try on a few things that felt and looked amazing, I got them at a sale price too! It really makes a difference how we feel when we shop. When I feel tired, or troubled, or unsettled etc my shopping choices are not as clear and loving as when I feel appreciative and solid.

    1. This is so true Jane. i have clothes in my wardrobe that I wear over and over again as when I put them on they feel good, and like they are an literally an external expression of how I feel about myself inside. Whereas some of the other clothes I have hardly ever see the light of day as I do not feel they reflect the same joy and vitality that I feel inside when I wear them. Clothes shopping is never a great idea when we are having an off day, as nothing can change how we feel inside other than a willingness to take a look at and be honest with what it is we are trying so hard to avoid feeling.

  5. ‘Buying with an addiction is like continually selling out on myself.’ This is so true of all addictions Denise and all those times we choose to overindulge ourselves.

  6. I love this expose of addiction and how it governs and controls us until we choose differently; it can take many forms but the impact is similar – it keeps us in disconnect from ourselves, relationships and life.

  7. What a great subject to write in, I can say that I relate a huge amount to what you are sharing. I have always had issues with shopping for clothes, which is clearly reflecting a deeper issue. I have never had an addiction but some woman very close to me have and it is a very common among  woman. A common run if events for me is buying things that I end up not liking. Or coming back with things that were just repeats of clothes I already had but not getting things I actually needed…. I loved shopping at the time I was buying things but it would leave a bitter taste in my mouth when I got home.
    After a while, shopping also became a stressful experience, having to check at every place I went what the return policy was, anxious that I would dislike what I choose later. Leaving tags in for weeks, after reading this article I realise that all of this suggests a contraction and disconnection. 
    The more I connect to myself and shop with a true intention, the more I love what I bring home. 

    1. Thank you for sharing this Sarah especially how connection cuts the complication and makes for a far simpler shopping experience…

  8. Wearing clothes in the celebration of our true beauty and exquisite preciousness brings our clothes to life- for our living quality cannot be denied.

  9. This subject of clothes is so revealing! I’ve felt I’ve been not appreciating myself which has brought in comparison. I’ve wanting to copy the amazingness I see in another woman’s and her choice of dress rather than appreciating my choices.

    Through this reflection and though I liked what I wore I did notice that perhaps what I wore wasn’t fully expressive of my new
    awareness of my value.

  10. ‘I wasn’t filling an emptiness, I was feeding the emptiness.’ This is a great point Denise – in trying to fill our emptiness we are in fact feeding it and are missing the connection to the fullness of our true selves, which is always there.

  11. I love buying clothes and always have. Growing up clothes were very functional, practical and they didn’t really mean that much. As I have become more aware of things I feel it’s not that clothes are now more important but they have become apart of how I am, who I am, the quality I am. For example in winter I would pretty much wear the same clothes as summer, possibly I would wear a jumper and yet I was always cold I just didn’t want to put anything else on. I didn’t like wearing long pants at all. As things have changed, as I’ve changed now it has become almost second nature to take care of myself and wearing more clothes in winter is a part of that care. People will comment regularly about what I wear and I appreciate what they say but it’s almost like a surprise in a way as it’s just become a part of my day, a natural part of me.

  12. We have what we call issues, that seem to move from one part of our lives to another, always finding new ways to be expressed and perhaps even to stay hidden under the radar of our conscious mind, sustaining themselves continuously so that every time there appears to be progress it can pop in again to say no, not yet, you’ve not solved this one and so you are not resolved. It is a demoralising cycle that keeps many of us kept in stasis, without feeling like we are going anywhere but backwards and forwards over the same spot again and again. But maybe there is another way. Maybe it is not the issue that needs or even deserves our attention as it plays the game of hide and seek as we try to improve. But rather, maybe, it is the glory and wonderment of who we actually are that deserves all the attention in the world. Maybe from here issues loose their power and life becomes simple and joyful again.

  13. “Nothing can ever fill a place inside me. Only I can do that. I am already full of my own beauty.” It is our inner beauty claimed that makes all the difference to our cloths and shopping with ourselves becomes a lived and lasting delight.

  14. There are a million different things we can choose, a thousand different styles and cuts, a huge variety of colours ‘out there’ but only one true essence of us. We pursue all kinds of past-times in this life to make ourselves feel we ‘alright’ but none of them will ever suffice. For we are designed to live, walk, strut our stuff, knowing we are all amazing. Anything less than this is out of keeping with the way we have been fashioned to live. Thank you Denise for this honest and open account.

  15. It’s only when you bring this focus to become more steady within yourself that you really begin to feel, just how much marketing is not designed to support us feeling connected and content within ourselves. The more settled (internally) we become, the more we can feel all the hooks and temptations that are designed and promoted for us to abandon our connection with ourselves to buy or eat something we have allowed ourselves to be convinced will make us feel better in some way.

  16. Interesting article Denise, thank you for sharing. I remember I used to buy really expensive items that were ‘in fashion’ or had ‘the look’ but I would always come home and feel empty or guilty for buying them because when I did I was ‘trying’ to be something that I was not. I had forgotten this till reading this this morning. More often than not, the clothes wouldn’t work, or I needed more expensive items to pull it all together, so I could never quite get ‘the look’ I wanted and such, the clothes always reminded me that I didn’t have ‘it’ or never would have ‘it’, looking at others who I thought did ‘have it ‘in longing. This however wasn’t just with clothes, it was with the hairdresser I would choose to go to, it was how hard I worked myself in the gym, the diet I was on, the music I made, things that I wrote, all of it was about trying change who I was and fit into a look, a lifestyle or an image I had decided was attractive, all so that I would be attractive. It was a constant pursuit that never quelled the discomfort I started with, showing me that there is nothing in truth we can do to escape ourselves. But why would we? I appreciate now the emptiness that I felt back then and I love the fact that nothing ever settled that tension for that tension was telling me that I was more than all of that, that there was more for me to explore within, that I was bigger than any silly image, fashion trend or cultural ideal, and boy was it right! Falling in love with myself has been the most precious gift for it is I that radiates now and not the image or false ideal. I enjoy my own expression now instead of buying into what’s around me, but most importantly, I feel comfortable in my body, no matter where I am or what I’m wearing and that is very very special to feel. If ever there was a fashion trend I would endorse, that would be it.

    1. I am with you on that Martin, feeling comfortable in our own skin is priceless. Your comment is a blog in itself, which I am sure many can relate to. It is extraordinary the prices that are paid of some clothing, handbags and shoes… that are actually more ‘wearing’ us than us wearing them.

  17. What an honest and reflective sharing on our addictions and emptiness and need to fill ourselves and how beautifully loving to read and feel for ourselves.

  18. We can so get caught up in attempting to fill the void within with either shopping, food, activities, drinks etc etc. In the end these are all distractions for not wanting to feel an inner emptiness. But to allow oneself this awareness is key. And then from here we can understand our behaviours and hence begin to make changes from a point of understanding and not criticism of ourselves.

  19. Shopping in our society is set up to entice and to lure and often comes with hooks and clearly an imposition or an expectation or even a manipulation to get you to buy. It takes a lot to feel this, see it for what it is and not fall for it. How amazing would it be to enter a shop where there was no imposition or expectation to purchase anything, and that you were free to really feel if you needed/wanted to buy something.

  20. It is so different when you buy clothes from a need or emptiness compared to buy clothes that will confirm and support these amazing qualities in you to be lived in full. The clothes could be exactly the same however but it is the intention you buy them with that makes the real difference.

  21. I notice that I still save things for ‘special occasions’ rather than appreciating that any day or even everyday can be a day worth celebrating.

    1. Yes I know this one too. But as you say, every day is worth celebrating. I also save clothes I haven’t worn for ages for a ‘just in case’ moment. Time to let go of this one. What am I waiting for, in either situation?!

  22. buying clothes go hand by hand with the evolutionairy steps I make. If i change a lot i also need to have a different imprint with my clothes

  23. I used to buy lots of clothes in the past . This has changed now, my needing to have new clothes changed, it is now more about how I wear my clothes, the quality of how I wear it and which combination reflects me for the day.

  24. When I cleared my mum’s wardrobes out a couple of years ago, she had certainly shopped to cover her emptiness and I could feel how I was following her pattern too. It was a time to look at what and why I was doing that and feeding the behaviour as you rightly explain Denise. When we are aware of that, it is quite easy to stop and re-imprint the behaviour.

  25. It’s refreshing to read your experience with an addiction. Throughout my years in drug addiction and after that hell, shopping addiction which is definitely not as messy I can relate a bit to your feelings, I at a young age was quite traumatized and spent the next 20 years trying to deal with it or perhaps runaway from it. At first I just wanted to feel “happy ” but after countless years of therapy and rehab s I learnt how self centered I was. All I was really doing was trying not to accept my past and put my needs of feeling better ahead of everyone and everything else. It’s almost always not as simple as you put it and I’m here if you continue to struggle

  26. I love this too Denise for I also find that the things that I love and suit my body figure and height, down to a ‘t’, find me… thus I do not have to spend a long time shopping which I am happy about as going in and out of shops for hours on end is very tiring and draining, which I no longer do.

  27. It is interesting when I think about my relationship with clothes – when I am happy in myself and feeling confident, I find my relationship with clothes is easy – but when I am feeling unconfident or plagued by self-doubt, I have a tense and difficult relationship with clothes, wanting them to make me feel better or more confident. If i go clothes shopping from this point then I am in trouble because I know everything I buy will be tainted by this – I won’t see myself for who I am but through the lenses of all the ideas I have around how I should look.

  28. ‘Nothing can ever fill a place inside me. Only I can do that. I am already full of my own beauty.’ Beautiful Denise.

  29. There are so many ways to numb ourselves away from feeling and thus reading all that is happening both within and around us. But reading energy is a vital tool for life and it must not ever be discounted as a very natural part of ourselves and our relationships with each other.

  30. I love the honesty of this. Whenever we have a need like this for something our alarm bells should go off as in truth we need nothing as we have it all inside.

  31. For moments in my life I am able to connect to a feeling of warmth and joy inside my body. It’s like I feel everything is on fire in the greatest way – like a car that purrs, an oven crackling up your roast at exactly right temperature, or the sun hitting your face on a chilly day – its a feeling of saying ‘Yes!’ to everything today. What would it be like to live this feeling all the time? The fact that I do not, helps me understand why I go looking for substitutes like the dresses you mention Denise. But what could be better to wear than my own joy and celebration.

  32. I love that you have shared that our attempts to ease a sense of emptiness are futile when approached from the outside and the acquisition of something. It is in our relationship with ourselves and a willingness to be honest with how we feel that we realise there is no emptiness, simply the need to let out (expand) who we truly are.

  33. Great to consider whether a purchase is about trying to fill a hole, a need or whether it is a celebration. No amount of clothes will make up for what we can give ourselves in terms of appreciation and nurturing. It is wise to look at this and reflect on why we buy!

  34. To stop, feel and connect is so useful in so many areas of life – from food to clothes shopping. As I clutter clear – again – it supports me to feel what is true for me to keep and what to get rid of that I have kept and not used/worn for far too long.

  35. Clothes are an interesting thing, we like to wear them obviously, but they can be something used to celebrate who we are or hide. They can also be used to protect and blend into ones surroundings. There is so much about our clothes that tells a story about how we feel about ourselves.

  36. I totally agree when we buy clothes or makeup from the sense of not feeling enough, we are looking to the external to create an image that is not felt inside.

  37. Thank you Denise, this is a great expose of the way we can approach buying clothes for ourselves whether we buy items from an emptiness and lack of self-worth which usually ends up costing us and arm and a leg offering little relief as the void still there, or we purchase something in connection to our quality within which more often is what is perfectly needed and also a great bargain!

  38. Yes we get caught up in thinking that beauty is outside of us rather than connecting to the innate beauty within…

  39. When we get a true understanding of what emptiness is all about then we get an understanding that if we do not get to the root cause of being empty then there is a simple replacement energy. So what is emptiness? When opened up to our divine connection their is a full-ness that is felt in the heart and when this Love is maintained we become re-connected to the Soul and this is a complete lack of emptiness. And before Love comes our way of living there is a self-loving way of existence that is needed for a foundation, which is part of our evolution. Then to set the tone for self-love we need to be at-least gentle because from an empty-ness self-love can be too big a leap.

    1. As an empty vessel I first tried to hide behind my humor and jokes, then I went into sports, then smoking by the time I was 10, then at 15 I added drinking, then at 19 I added drugs so what a repertoire and add to this a very addictive diet of pizza’s and junk food I was totally empty, but if anyone told me all that I would have laughed at them. What great vision hindsight gives us?
      Then at 40 I finally stopped all this pollution to my mind and body or so I thought, then I to discovered what I was then doing was just as ugly, which was only burying my emptiness behind a wall of arrogance because I was a vegan and a health nut, but my body was still empty, and racked with all sorts of pain.
      At 51 after attending a Universal Medicine event presented by Serge Benhayon my whole word was turned upside-down and I started to get an understanding about true health and being at least gentle with myself to the best of my ability.

  40. Sometimes I just LOVE periods of economy, a time to stop and appreciate what I already have, who I already am, and how to be creative in how I celebrate that, and it feels super-healthy to do that. I have had times in my life where I used charity shops for a lot of things (I lived near some really good ones) and it really can be as enjoyable to find something you like there as anywhere, its what I do with it that counts.

  41. This sharing sounds all too familiar – clothes, shoes, scarves you name it all bought in a moment of hurt, numbing and not wanting to feel what is truly going on. It is when we stand back many years later and look at the extent of this buying we can appreciate that buying clothes to confirm the body and walk in this confirmation is the key to support ourselves and what this reflect to others.

  42. No wonder we have coined the term ‘retail therapy’ – you make it very clear that this therapy doesn’t work because it does not address the reason why consumers buy things they do not need or even truly want and that can even make them feel sick.

    1. Yes and definitely not a true healing ‘therapy’ when it is used as a distraction from what we’re feeling inside.

  43. Clothes can be a reflection of the essence we are choosing to reflect in all of its beauty and grace, and others can feel and see that sparkle and give credit to the outfit you are wearing, but they are essentially feeling your amazing shining through.

  44. “I wasn’t filling an emptiness, I was feeding the emptiness.” – Great realisation – this is something I remind myself of if I find myself craving something I know isn’t good for me. The only way to genuinely fill ourselves up with love and to be truly content and at ease within our-self is found within us first.

  45. We all know when something is out of control, when we do something ‘to excess’. It stands out because despite what you know is the right thing to do, you end up going ahead with this thing anyway. It can, as you show Denise, destroy and eat away at the natural trust that is there in us. But all of this changes when you bring understanding to yourself and see that we all miss the connection to God that is there naturally. Like a tree missing it’s trunk it only makes sense that we go looking for a replacement instead. So there’s no need to be hard on ourselves just help us to come back to this beauty inside.

  46. When we do not dress ourselves in the garment of truth, we experience a nakedness that has us seeking shelter by way of adopting costumes that will hide us from the truth of what we are choosing.

    1. So true Liane, the garment of truth is transparency so everyone sees all of us and this is without dressing our-self down but being open like a book so we can easily read and be read.

  47. Thanks Denise, this is very powerful to read and I’ll be back many times to review and reflect on the wisdom you have shared from your experiences. I would also like to share how much I appreciate the fullness of your honesty throughout the blog – it’s a very endearing quality. It’s such a big learning curve to feel and appreciate how amazing we are, we spent years in disconnection and filling the void of that emptiness is so normal, but it’s completely worth challenging every behaviour that feeds that emptiness so that we can be full with ourselves.

  48. “The more I bought, the worse I felt”. This doesn’t make sense if buying clothes actually fulfills a need or emptiness within us. But as has been shared it ends up doing the opposite by confirming and feeding the emptiness. The lovely clothes arrive and the ache of emptiness is still there. How simple to just stop and feel what is driving the emptiness and put a stop to it, as it is a lie being fed to us that stops us from feeling our gloriousness.

  49. When we get a true understanding of what emptiness is all about then we get an understanding that if we do not get to the root cause there is a simple replacement always waiting in the wings. So what is emptiness? When opened up to our divine connection their is a full-ness that is felt in the heart and when this is maintained we become re-connected to the Soul and this is a complete lack of emptiness.

    1. So is emptiness in the being or the doing? Could it be in being connected we live a life that is being decent and respect-full, thus we are being-full in a life with true purpose, so we are in a flow from one moment to the next? If we are caught up in the doing then could it be possible that it is just are trying to please others? Then are we being of service, or are we doing service and which one feels energetically true?

      1. Then what is a replacement? Lets say we are doing drugs and we feel what it is doing to our body so we stop and go through all the rejection or symptoms of withdrawal and then in that process we start to drink more wine this is considered a replacement and it is the same with foods that we could indulge in or any other pattern in our life that keeps us from healing thus returning to the Soul.

  50. ” nothing can ever fill a place inside me . Only I can do that .I am already full of my own beauty ”
    This is so true and living ones beauty maintains the fullness of the place inside you .

  51. I love to buy clothes as a celebration of me and not to glorify and make me look good. When I make it about the look alone I often find that when I wear them later on they just don’t feel honouring or supportive and may not even look that good any more! When I make it about the connection and celebration with me I find that the love I purchased the clothing in stays with me whenever I put the clothes on again later.

  52. ‘What if what I didn’t want to feel was how amazing I was, how simply divine I am and that I don’t need clothes or anything else to fill me?’ This is power Denise- knowing our divinity needs nothing but our connection to it.

  53. I love clothes with soft materials and the touch of them on my skin and on my fingers. They support me to be in my delicateness.

  54. ‘When you buy clothes with a connection to you it is a totally different experience…your body is there to tell you. The way you hold yourself, the way you walk, the way the clothes feel on your skin, these are all the signs that you need and they are a true confirmation.’ – `This really sat with me and makes so much sense, as I am someone who used to buy clothes based on how they looked not how they felt – so I now have a very different relationship with my body and with clothes,

  55. Very empowering to understand that whilst clothes and/or sales can be hooking they have no power whatsoever if we choose to stay connected to ourselves.

  56. I love to give a lot of attention to the detail of clothes I buy so they are truly supporting my body and confirm who I am. That is a pure joy as I lived very different before which also reflected in the way I was dressing. To hide myself as a woman.

  57. “All that I needed to do was STOP and FEEL.” this is true, as it is only until then that the momentum we have been living in can be addressed and stopped for good as we are not longer trying to manage life by relying on addictive behaviours but take it head on with what is coming up moment to moment without affecting our quality within.

  58. The clothes we choose to wear can be a beautiful extension of our expression and appreciation for who we are, and in that we are ‘wearing’ an energy that supports us and others all day. And I know the opposite too when I’ve dressed to hide myself or to try and impress others or meet a picture I think I should look like, from a lack of valuing my true expression, which does not feel so great…!

  59. What a great insight this is Denise, “I wasn’t filling an emptiness, I was feeding the emptiness.” There is nothing outside of us that can truly fill us, only when we connect to our inner-essence we find it is full and overflowing. We can then sip from love and not lack.

  60. I love shopping for clothes and even browsing, but there are only so many clothes one body can wear. Sometimes when I am not particularly looking for something I find the greatest treasures, it is more a quality I am in that is confirmed in the purchase.

    1. I have felt the same Victoria – when I am not looking but appreciating a moment, a day, a week I am often offered a great treasure that is half the price when I get to the counter!

    2. Yes, these days I take the opportunity to buy items I find and love, even when I have not had the intention to purchase anything. I am also happy to go shopping and come home empty handed if I don’t find anything that is absolutely right.

  61. “I wasn’t filling an emptiness, I was feeding the emptiness.” Great revelation here. There is an emptiness we can feel within, so we want to fill it up with things, distractions and the like. But what is so true about what you have shared here is that, filling and ‘feeding’ are very different beasts. When we are feeding, it is a deliberate choice to really take ourselves away from who we are.

  62. Buying clothes can be great fun but only if we do not use it to make ourselves feel better. It ought to be about having fun expressing our fullness and our divinity.

    1. This is a great point you have raised here Elizabeth. What about taking the moment to feel our fullness each time we put on the clothes we already have rather than searching for new clothes to fill up what is waiting patiently to be revealed from inside.

  63. I feel like I am just at the beginning of experiencing shopping without the overriding need to fix myself. There are the first signs of it being a confirmation of my developing, respectful and appreciative relationship with myself.

  64. This was good for me to read. Many parts stood out for me here the main being ‘I wasn’t filling an emptiness, I was feeding the emptiness.’ and ‘If I’m hooked into anything that is not about me feeling the fullness of ‘me’, then what am I truly reflecting?’ A great blog with great sharing and honesty, thank you. And also it is very awesome that when customers walk into your shop you are now reflecting to them that they are already enough and already beautifull such a difference to what you were reflecting before when you were addicted to buying clothes .. again something great for me to ponder on and what I currently reflect to others.

  65. We can essentially use anything to fill or to feed that sense of emptiness that we may have, clothes, food, movies. This never works, so we end up using that behaviour more and more so that we don’t feel where we are at. Its amazing that you recognised this behaviour in yourself but even more so that you no longer that behaviour because there is no longer an emptiness. Buying clothes now can be a real celebration of the connection that you have with yourself and a confirmation of all that you are.

  66. Awareness is the key allowing us to make truly informed choices rather than literally buying into what is being sold to us. Hence the question is ‘why do we avoid awareness and instead choose to ignore it and just go along with what we are being sold?’

  67. Buying clothes in the past used to make me squirm, because it reflected me back the low level of self-worth I was living in. The more honesty and awareness I allow in those moments now, the more love for myself I connect with. There is a growing acceptance of my shape and emanation, before and after I wear the clothes and this makes me enjoy bit by bit more, and celebrate the woman I already am. I feel now much more my essence and wearing clothes instead of a fight with myself, is becoming a confirmation of my inner and unique expression… and I celebrate it!

  68. ‘I wasn’t filling an emptiness, I was feeding the emptiness.’ Great point Denise, the emptiness is always hungry.

  69. What I love about shopping is meeting people. So when I don’t feel good I can go shopping and by the interaction with others I am back.

  70. A great blog highlighting how we can choose to set ourselves up each day to feel less simply by the energy we are choosing to express with.

  71. Denise this is very relatable, I find the buying of clothes quite a big topic because even if I do need something I still may not truly buy what I would love to wear or feels right to me. It’s also something we continually need to do, buy more clothes, so I appreciate the detail and honesty with which you shared what you discovered here. The emptiness that motivates the buying is something we can all relate to, and it is a great reminder that the emptiness is a signal we have something inside us to reconnect to and be full of.

  72. The clothes I love the most and I feel the best in are those I have bought, quite often on impulse and when I have been feeling really great within myself.

  73. I recall as a teenager I bought clothes for recognition, I wanted to stand out. Then things started to shift and I used clothes to hide in. Funnily as I write this even though as a teenager I said it was about recognition, it was also about hiding. Hiding me in way out clothing, all so I wasn’t seen, only the way out clothing. Now I buy clothes that are comfortable, practical (most of the time) and fun.

  74. Always great to feel into what is driving a pattern or addiction, ‘I felt that I needed something ‘out there’ to fill an emptiness that was in me.’ Once we have more understanding, we can choose to heal the root or source of the problem.

  75. ” I find that things that I love naturally come to me, I don’t have to go looking for them.” I love this Denise. I have occasionally found myself walking into a shop- not really knowing why I am there – and the right garment just jumps out at me. Just such a recent aquisition has become one of my most loved items of clothing.

  76. “I was using something to make me feel better about myself. I was trying to fill something up with clothes, an empty feeling.” How many of us have used clothes-buying – or spending on other treats to try to fill that void, when in fact, as you say, “Nothing can ever fill a place inside me. Only I can do that. I am already full of my own beauty.”

  77. I love the points you make here especially this one Denise . . . “I wasn’t filling an emptiness, I was feeding the emptiness.” . . . This is such a great point. As with any addition this line reads true.

  78. “When I’m connected there is no need, I find that things that I love naturally come to me, I don’t have to go looking for them.” Yes I find this too Denise there becomes more of a flow and ease to shopping in this way because we are not moving from a need but rather from our own beautiful rhythm. Awesome thank you.

  79. When I first heard the concept of emptiness I was terrified of feeling it but what I have come to know is we simply feel the emptiness, yes it is not nice but as soon as we really feel it and start to appreciate our inner beauty we start to feel amazing, it is that simple, so not scary at all, very beautiful in fact.

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