The universe will take care of me. I became homeless for a brief period in 2021. It was a mistake I needed to make, an opportunity to overcome some particularly deluded magical thinking I talked myself into. I couldn't stay in the house I'd been renting a room in for ten years. The owner was planning to sell and move to something smaller. I had to move out by the end of January. Spicing the stew, my car battery had died and I had a flat tire from a slow leak because I didn't drive my car during 2020. I could walk to the store for groceries and I had nowhere else to go in the pandemic. I dreaded moving out. The rent had been dirt cheap. I knew I could never find another deal like that. Leela played on my stinginess to teach me a crucial lesson. She aided and abetted me in concocting an elaborate fantasy that incorporated key elements from the inner work I'd been doing. In my fantasy the upcoming deadline for moving out was a test of surrender. To pass the test I had to stand strong and trust, steadfastly refusing to take any step toward finding a new place to live. I wasn't even allowed get my car fixed. Someone would swoop in to rescue me, fixing my car and giving me a free place to live. This fantasy fails the due diligence test. Leela gives me extraordinarily good guidance via muscle testing and body sensing but I still have to do my due diligence: I have to use my conscious gifts as well as I possibly can to address whatever's in front of me. Here that would have meant finding a place to live, duh. But I had two deep prejudices I needed to overcome: I believed that living in a household was good and living alone was bad. I also believed I had to leave my savings untouched so I wouldn't run out of money when I got old. In retrospect my fantasy is way too much like winning the lottery. Leela helped me befuddle myself but good so I wouldn't just solve my housing crisis, I'd also overcome those prejudices along the way. It was an extraordinary opportunity for making progress with love.
Hypothermia. Despite mounting pressure from the landlord and intense anxiety, I stood my ground. Deluded as I was, the inner work of standing up to my own anxiety and just bearing it was of immense value. The end of January came. I begged for a few more days. The landlord needed me out. I squatted in his house the first three nights of February. The landlord finally locked me out and I withdrew to my car. After two miserable nights in my car, part of the fantasy came true. A friend paid to have my car fixed. But I still had nowhere to go. I knew I couldn't handle another night in my car. The first night I had to get up in the wee hours and go out into the cold drizzle and walk fast for half an hour to pull myself out of hypothermia. The second night I had to do that twice. My legs were beginning to get damaged by the cold, damage that would take weeks to heal once I got back into a warm place. I gave up hope and drove to a cheap motel to spend the night.
Alone. That cheap motel felt like heaven after being homeless. But I still wasn't out of the water. I was still suffering from magical thinking. I didn't know what to do next. I stayed in the cheap motel for six nights. Over that time I rounded the bend from living in a fantasy to doing what I needed to do for myself. I found an apartment and moved in. Living alone, which I had so dreaded, is fabulous. It's exactly what I need. One core lesson among several: voluntary homelessness is an abdication of privilege. It was a bone chilling lesson in more ways than one.
Setting the stage. I can now see the circumstances that conspired to make me homeless beginning years before. I'm sure they go back even further that what I can see. Leela sees all possible outcomes from 5-space, a perspective outside time. If I surrender and let myself be guided, Leela will lead me to the best possible outcome, the one that results in the most love. I needed that experience of homelessness for a number of reasons, and Leela took great care to make sure I got it. I left my failed marriage in 2008, moving into a small rented room. A year later I got laid off from the well paid professional job I'd worked for ten years. I freaked out about the loss of income, but when I calmed back down I had a plan: to live frugally. I had a small regular income from Waltz etcetera. I learned to live within those means. I got very good at living well off a little bit of money. My income was well below the US poverty level. It was a wonderful lesson. I learned a lot about what matters and what doesn't. But in the process I developed an unhealthy relationship with money. I took great care not to dip into my savings, and my savings became a sacred cow. I unconsciously believed my savings were like blood I couldn't afford to spill. Only moreso because my body can make more blood. That set the stage for the loss of my home. In 2018 it became clear the house I was living in was no longer a good fit for the owner. He needed to live in a home without stairs. So he began planning to sell the house sometime in the next few years. I didn't realize it at the time but when he told me that I lost the sense of security home is supposed to give. All through 2019 my anxiety about my living situation slowly built. In December I had my wakeup call, which launched me into a full blown panic attack. Then in January 2020 I broke up with Ruth. That devastated me even more profoundly. A month or so later the pandemic arrived, just when I thought things couldn't get worse. All of that set the stage for my final descent into homelessness in February 2021.
A hundred. There's a teaching in many traditions that if I take one step toward god, god takes a hundred toward me. The one step I had to take was to find a place to live. The thing I'd been steadfastly refusing to do. With Leela's blessing. Leela's like that sometimes. Making me make just the right mistake so I can get the wisdom I need. Being homeless for two nights gave me a treasure beyond compare. It made me learn about homelessness and privilege down deep in my guts. It's a lesson that can't be learned without being homeless. It can't be learned experimentally and it can't be faked. I had to be genuinely homeless for a moment. I had to see the undisguised contempt in a former friend's face before I got it. Since I took that step my life has been richly blessed. I'm in a new home, my own home.