Selling all my possessions and facing the unknown.

We believe that letting go of our material goods somehow means we won’t be a whole human being. But does donating or even trashing that haggard teddy bear our eighth grade boyfriend won us at a carnival really mean we are less than we were before? When I decided I needed a drastic change and began paring down my thirty-six years worth of baggage into two suitcases, a strange thing occurred. It slowly felt right to finally be free from defining myself by my possessions. I felt I was returning to a natural state of being.

Many mementos held cherished memories. Others held the worst of my life’s traumas. For so long I had to hold on to them to hold on to myself when in actuality the opposite was true. I had to let them go to find myself and that was terrifyingly freeing.

Perhaps we hold on to the past because if we didn’t who would we be? We would finally stand fully in our present power and actually have to take responsibility for how our lives turn out each moment. The scariest part? Trusting yourself with yourself. The fact is, we are not our past. The past and the future are not real. They don’t exist. All that is…is right now…and right now…and right now.

No matter where you go – there you are…and so are your insecurities.

Insecurities don’t get left behind with that couch you gave to charity before you moved or that box of cookbooks you sold at the garage sale. They’re always with you; like a terrible 70’s song stuck on repeat and drilling into your temples until you think you’ll go full werewolf if you don’t find respite from it.

No matter what their culture or background, I haven’t been to any country yet where the people weren’t desperately trying to hide their own insecurities from the rest of humanity. It is the human condition and always will be. Accept it or let it grind you to dust. It doesn’t change a thing. Others will try to make you feel small to make themselves feel bigger. We are all absolutely terrified of others seeing who we believe we really are-which is usually the worst possible view we can have of ourselves.

I am guilty of the same facade. It’s exhausting to keep myself in check in the moment and not let the reflexive display from others probe me to react. It is easier to lose my sense of self by playing the blame game. Our sarcasm, cynicism and judgements are ultimately successful in distracting others from seeing our own perceived flaws. If we’re pointing out what’s ‘wrong’ in others, it’s almost impossible for them to see what’s ‘wrong’ with us through the ruffling of their own feathers.

But the more I travel, the more I notice it happening in myself and those around me. By recognizing it more I’ve actually been able to change my automatic responses to all the Houdinis trying to trick and misdirect me away from SEEING them. The fragility of the human ego is all-consuming. A monkey on our backs doesn’t even touch the epic power of the ego. It is an alpha silver back; violently whipping broken tree branches around and bearing its teeth to prove its bigger then any self-love we may acquire. And beware when things actually go our way! Then it turns into fucking Kong Kong; beating its chest on the highest peak it can climb and roaring in our ears that we’ll never be good enough.

But sometimes…once in a while…you meet a person who, even if only for a split second, show their true self in all it’s Technicolor terror and insecurity. In that moment it’s not only incredibly refreshing but also heartbreaking beautiful. That is when I love people as I would an abandoned puppy or a dear friend, or a lover. We are all terrified of revealing our vulnerable filthy selves for other people to crush with their opinions of us. Why? Because we truly believe that we are a failure…stupid…ugly…dirty…worthless. When the truth is…we are all scared, struggling children.

To see ourselves and love ourselves as we would a dear child is the final step to being comfortable in our own skin. And, my God, can you imagine the freedom and wonderment life would hold if we simply let it happen?