I thought I would share with everyone, the very humbling story of someone who is very close to me…..
From the outside, and her ability to keep up appearances, anybody would think her life is just all fine and dandy. However, for the past six months she has been out of a job…..she used up all her savings, couldn’t afford to keep her car, sold most her valuables and got evicted from her apartment. She is now homeless, and has been drifting around from place to place with just enough money to eat, and no stable income. She keeps her head above water with little wind falls of money that come along from different sources.
It’s shocking in a way, because she’s one of those people who comes across to others as always having it together. I guess it goes to show, you never really know what somebody is going through. Nobody would EVER think she’s broke or homeless by looking at her.
I’m sharing this story to make a few points about life that she has shared with me. She told me that with each hit she took financially, and all the material losses, she didn’t fight it, she allowed it to happen and it didn’t shake or break her, cause in a situation where you’re pushing so hard and see nothing changing, all you can do is let go. When she got her eviction letter she smiled, because she was no longer going to be pushed deeper into debt. When her car was taken, she smiled again because it was one less unnecessary thing for her to scramble to pay for every month. She realized that the material things were not what defined her, or things she needed and was empowered by the fact that she could live with nothing more than a mattress on the floor in her apartment and be happy.
However, as time continued, she began to wonder why she lost everything, and was now stuck in a corner with no opportunities coming her way for work, or every opportunity that she thought had her name on it slipped away, or even the odd jobs she tried just ended up falling through…
She eventually realized it was because despite having gotten through all the losses, and remaining in tact, her strong sense of pride and judgement towards others were still running full force. The way she spoke of this really struck me….there was a night where she had nowhere to go, although she had started asking a few friends for help, her lesson hadn’t really hit her yet. She sucked up her pride, and made a call to social services, telling them she needed a place to stay, and had no money. She was surprised that the conditions she ended up staying in were nowhere near as bad as she would have imagined. She took a short nap, and when she woke up it hit her that her pride and judgement were what she was still carrying around and needed to let go of. She had flashes of the first time she walked into the social services office to apply for assistance, she told herself at the time “I don’t belong here, I’m not like these other people” she saw herself as being above them due to her work experience, education, etc. etc. She also had a flashback to one of the jobs she tried out for some quick money….again, her thoughts of the other people working there was “uneducated hicks…” It was her failure to open up to others and see through the barriers we sometimes call differences, but really are judgement that was holding her back from really being humbled.
She now sees that we are all essentially the same in most ways…we eat, we sleep, we breathe, we laugh, we cry all regardless of our looks, education, financial status, cultural background, IQ, etc. etc. and she’s going to carry forward seeing that and trying to relate to others rather than judging from the surface. She’s still a bit lost, but in giving up judgement and being humble the only direction from rock bottom to move is up.
We are all guilty of judging people on a daily basis, it happens because we’re programmed by society to do it from the day we’re born. We’re usually not even conscious we’re doing it. I think this story goes to show that we’re not necessarily damaging the people we judge, but more so ourselves.