The Incredible Lightness of Being (Homeless)

Posted by in Change, Freedom, Life, Travel

One of the biggest fears people have is losing their home, their possessions and losing their financial security (or should I say, financial predictability). This is not strange, since one of the basic needs we have is all about certainty and comfort. As long as we can predict the future, all is kinda well in the world.

Yet when we challenge this fear, strange things happen.

During one of the many times I moved countries, I decided to get rid of most of my stuff. I sold what I could and kept only the bare minimum. Turns out, I had an apartment full of stuff I did not value so much. But I did not know that before I actually got rid of it.

Before many different people came into my place and took their newly purchased pieces of furniture, I was nervous. But I love that table! I would think. Oh the couch has supported me so well, I would cry out. I was expecting to feel empty in my echoing apartment, but I didn’t. Once the furniture actually moved out into new loving homes, all I was left with was space.

It was not emptiness, it was space! All I had was my green hammock, which I placed in the middle of my empty living room. As I lay there, I would breathe in the space in my life. I was LIGHT, I was FREE. All of a sudden there was so much space for new adventures, new places, new friends and new discoveries.

What had I been so afraid of?!

I hear this from others as well. Giving up houses, furniture, cars and possessions is not scary. I mean, it is frightening before we do it, because most likely we have never done anything like it before. We are born into this world and are immediately surrounded by STUFF. We have rooms full of toys and comfort, and we rarely (if ever) get to experience the alternative: of having very little.

(DISCLAIMER. We are fortunate enough to be able to choose. There are many who would kill for a home and a couch of their own. Choosing is an incredible blessing, but still very much worth trying.)

So when you make the decision to get rid of just about everything for the first time, it is scary. You have no idea how you will react, how it will feel. We are so attached to everything around us that we fear we are empty as human beings if we are not surrounded by things. I have talked about this with many other similar souls, and they all are saying the same.

What you get is an unbearable lightness of being.

It all makes me think. If it feels so liberating to have nothing, to own (owe) nothing, why do we do it? Why do we accumulate so much? I guess it comes down to the same need of comfort and security. Trying to control the environment, which in fact is uncontrollable (something we so conveniently keep forgetting).

But if you have a chance, try it sometimes. Store your favorite things, give up your apartment (rent out your house) and try how it feels to be homeless. And by homeless I of course mean incredibly FREE.