A few weeks ago, my husband and I flew from Managua, Nicaragua to Bogota, Colombia. Our plan was to stay overnight in Bogota and make our way to Manizales the next day. We would first fly to Pereira with Viva Colombia (no direct flights to Manizales) and take a bus to Manizales.
As we made our way to the gate to board the plane in Bogota, something very out of the ordinary happened.
All the passengers were given a series of plastified colored and numbered cards. This divided us into groups of 20 people. Each group was called to board a shuttle which took us to another gate. Once we got there, we were told the original flight had been cancelled and replaced by five propeller planes with a capacity of carrying only 20 passengers each. We would board on one of these planes according to the color and number we were given.
Looking at the size of these planes, I figured it would probably take a few hours in Pereira before the luggage would arrive on separate planes.
Well, I was half right!
We made our way to the baggage claim. A guard stood there telling people were to go to fill out a form with the information needed to have our luggage delivered to us the next day. That’s right, our luggage would only be arriving the next day!
Now, this meant we had to give the address of our apartment in Manizales which is approximately one hour away from Pereira. They were not able to tell us the exact time the luggage would arrive and they did not have a phone number we could call in the event the luggage was not delivered.
We filled out the form, left the airport and took a cab to the bus station. During that ten minute cab ride, the thought that there was a good chance I would never see my luggage again came racing in my mind. I suddenly felt an emptiness, stripped naked of all my belongings and left with nothing.
I was in a foreign country with the high probability that I might never see everything I owned while traveling, EVER AGAIN!
Before I tell you how all this ends, let me ask you a question.
Have you ever lost something that meant everything to you?
“Everything” means something different for all of us. For some, it may be a career, a relationship, money, a house, a car, reputation, pride and so on. Or, what if you did lose something that means “everything” to you? Scary isn’t it?
Feels like falling in a deep, dark hole and can’t get out. If it means “EVERYTHING” to you, you’re left with a desperate, lonely feeling and emptiness deep inside. No matter how much you try to look at the bright side. No matter how much you try to put it all behind you. You’re still left with nothing!
That day at the airport, when I walked away without my luggage, I was reminded of a similar emotion I felt years ago. I’ve told you about the major leap I took five years ago in a few posts here on my blog. A decision that took me more than two years before taking the leap. Two years of feeling stuck in a situation I didn’t want to be in. A job that no longer satisfied me. A house, car and all the fancy furniture that had become my prison. I kept thinking, “How can I let go of everything I worked so hard for?” I was afraid. Terrified of losing the things that meant everything to me.
THE BIGGEST, if not the ONLY TRUE reason for my fear of losing everything: I had identified myself and my own worth with all those things.
The job, the house, the routine, had become what I believed to be “everything,” by the person I thought I should be. Not by the person I truly was. I believed all the stories in my mind and worse, I believed the people who told me I was crazy to let go of “everything” and start over. I was afraid to lose the appraisal of others for all the things I had. Their approval gave me a purpose and value. That’s what kept me there for so long, not my passion or love for any of those things. So, I went on pretending that this is what I wanted and accepted a mediocre life.
I was living a lie, not my truth.
The day I learned that I depended on these things to feel I existed and was living my life from a place of fear, I realized that I would NOT be losing anything. These things could never take my true, inner, authentic self away. I didn’t want to go on living pretending to be someone I was not or someone others thought I should be. I didn’t want to continue making decisions from a place a fear.
When I allowed myself to live my life from my truth, the universe began working with me.
It hasn’t always been an easy, smooth journey but, it’s been worthwhile and I’ve never looked back. This time, I was motivated by my passion and love for what I wanted to do. I kept moving forward through the many obstacles with the strength of my own inner value, NOT letting the illusions of having lost “everything” stop me. Let me tell you, I’ve gained so much more!
Getting back to my luggage…
As the bus drove out of the terminal, looking out the window at the spectacular view of the mountains, I took a deep breath and exhaled the emptiness I felt inside. In that moment, I felt a peace. Remembering all this, I knew that whether or not I would get my luggage, I had a choice. I could either spend hours or days (who knew how long) worrying about whether or not my luggage would should up. Or, I could enjoy the breathtaking view for the next hour bus ride and be ok with the possibility of starting over by buying brand new things.
Anyway, the next morning, after breakfast, we advised the doorman of the building, handed him the copy of our form and asked him to keep our luggage aside if it would be delivered. Instead of sitting around waiting for luggage that might or might not have been delivered, we paid a surprise visit to our very dear friend and spend the day together at his beautiful finca (farm).
We got back at 4:30 PM. Our luggage was with the doorman, untouched and in one piece.
If you feel you’ve lost “Everything”, take a deeper look at what you’ve lost. At the time you lost it, did you build it by the person you thought you should be? Or, by the person others wanted you to be? Was it build from your own truth, a place of love? Or, from believing that the “everything” is what gave you meaning, a place of fear?
Take a deep breath, exhale all the emptiness. Connect with YOUR truth, let go and the universe will reveal that it was all a blessing and you didn’t really lose anything. You were probably given the space to see a different path. One that will bring out your riches to the world.
When we learn that we can never really lose anything, that nothing can ever really be taken away from us, that it’s meant to give us what we need to see and live our OWN truth, we experience wonders and miracles beyond the “everything” we thought we lost.