What Losing All My Stuff Taught Me About Life’s Meaning

The first part— The inevitable

2012. October, 12. 10:30 in the morning.

A sunny and warm morning.

Me and my husband were in the living drinking our coffee, our 12 years daughter was still sleeping and my 87 years old mother was in her room.

Suddenly, we heard hard knocks at the door and people yelling in the building’s hall: “Open, open and get out of here! Get out of here!”

My hubby opened the door and around 20 men flooded inside the apartment ready to take everything and carry out in the street.

The meeting with FEAR

It was the moment I feared the most in the last 3 years since we couldn’t afford to pay the mortgage for our apartment. I hoped it wouldn’t come so soon.

It was my home for 40 years. I grew up there and all my memories were inside that house.

I begun to shake while my husband was trying to talk to them.

Finally, we obtain 3 days to leave the place.

The whole week-end we packed in a rush and succeeded to move in a rented apartment.

We had to carry there a truck full of furniture and a lot of stuff gathered in more than 50 years by my parents and then, my family. Still a lot of things, even if we left in the old place some furniture and what we considered useless things.

Two weeks later, my mother died.

After six month we moved into another apartment, smaller. Two rooms.

We gave up half of the stuff we carried the first time.

I had to sold almost all my books. It was painful.

The second part— The last strike

2015. June, 19. 11:30 in the morning.

A sunny, bright spring morning.

Hard knocks into the door.

My hubby opened and 5 people came in urging us to leave the place.

We hadn’t pay the rent for the last 4 month.

In three days my daughter was supposed to sustain an important test to pass in the high school.

No understanding.

We had to leave only with some stuff we gathered into a suitcase.

They retained all the rest.

A friend offered us to leave for a while in his very small apartment.

Our daughter took the exam brilliantly.

After one month, the owner of the former place announced us to come and take the stuff that remained after they retained the furniture and some other objects they considered of value to cover the due rent.

We came and carried the rest into a warehouse to deposit it in a container in exchange of a $100 monthly rent.

We couldn’t bring anything where we were living, so we kept some stuff into the car.

One night, in the winter, thieves broke the car and steel everything.

We couldn’t pay the rent for the container.

So, we lost everything.

We continued to stay in our friend’s apartment for 1 year.

When things were start going a little bit better, we succeeded to move in another, larger, furnished place.

Empty. Like in a hotel.

The final part— The change

Though, surprisingly, I’m now a different person.

Before that day of 12 of October 2012 (OMG, was it a fatidic number?) I had been scared. For almost three years, every single morning I woke up dreaded. I feared the inevitable moment they would kick us out the house.

And I thought I couldn’t survive it. I thought I would die without that place and without all my stuff which I felt like representing my whole life.

But, you know what?

Not only I survived, I changed.

A lot.

What I lost wasn’t my stuff. I actually lost a delusive comfort zone I clung for a too long time to.

Looking back and analyzing what brought us in that awful situation of not being able to pay for the mortgage, I have the strange feeling that somewhere deep in myself I wanted this to happen.

We mortgaged our house to take a loan for our business (big, big mistake!).

And the business went bad.

We bet on its growth and it didn’t grow enough to cover the loan.

Honestly, there were still decisions to be made that could have changed the course of events.

I admit I wasn’t tough enough to take them.

As I said, deep inside me I wanted to let everything fall apart.

I felt like if I lose everything I could have the power of a brand new beginning and start over.

A part of me, the apparent one, was scared of death while another, hidden and very quiet, secretly expected a fresh start.

I really don’t know from where I’ve received the power to go through.

I think the switch flipped at the moment I faced the fear.

And I calmed down like I’ve never felt scared.

Life Without Stuff’s Burden

Without all our old stuff, the life is at least the same, if it isn’t easier and in some ways, better.

Now we can move anywhere without any effort.

No things to pack and unpack, no truck to pay to carry them.

We feel the need of the old things less and less.

There are moments when, unconsciously, I’m urged to go and get a book or another object and I remember that I haven’t it anymore. And it is ok. I don’t’ regret it and I don’t miss it at all.

It is completely different than I imagined it would be by the time I was waiting for the disaster.

As I said before, I am a completely different person.

I feel free and much more confident, I can express my feelings and thoughts much more easier.

It took me almost four years to arrive here.

But, hey, I evolved!

The pain is now vanished and I took the necessary distance to analyze everything with an objective eye.

Now the question is: Was all this struggle indispensable for me to evolve?

Wouldn’t it have been better for me if I’d deliberately made steps outside my comfort zone and changed avoiding this crisis and its consequences?

The fact is that it happens to many people to encounter a crisis sooner or later in their lives.

When we stand still too much time in a comfort zone, the universe doesn’t like it.

If there’s anything sure on this planet, it is the change.

We are not allowed to close ourselves in secure places. We have to move because only by moving we evolve.

Contrary to our rush toward a secure place, we need to embrace change.

What I’ve Learned and What’s in It For You to Take

Nothing happens in our lives without a meaning. We’re given missions to accomplish.

“Control Your Own Destiny or Someone Else Will” — Jack Welsh

There are 6 important lessons I’ve learned going through this experience that I want to share with you and urge you to think about:

  1. Be clear about what you want to do in your life and take action to get there. I wasn’t clear about where my life was supposed to go.
  2. Don’t play small. If you are afraid to play big, remember life could take this decision in your place. By throwing you into a crisis. Be prepared.
  3. Don’t stay still — set milestones and extend step by step your comfort zone to avoid a possible crisis. Keep in mind that the universe likes movement, change and evolution. If you don’t do it deliberately, it will push you.
  4. Live with a purpose, expand your potential, embrace change and your self evolution.
  5. Don’t forget that you’re here to grow, not to find a secure place and enjoy the empty pleasures of a meaningless life. Secure places don’t exist. Only freedom matters.
  6. Pay attention to what your instinct is telling you. Your instinct is always right.

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Life Stories for GrownUps

Written by

Blogger at PassToRiches.com where I write about entrepreneurship and personal development / Addicted Cool Designs creator on Zazzle, Society 6, RedBubble.