REFLECTION: What My Hairdresser and Iquitos (Peru) Taught Me About Letting “Scary” Things Pass…

I blocked up some holes in my tambo in the jungle in August. I always felt sad seeing the scratch marks indented on the toilet paper roll I stuffed high, high up into a corner hole to prevent creatures from coming in. It was clear, one needed that pathway to get out — and now, it was trapped. I was so hell-bent on keeping OUT the “dangers,” that I hadn’t realized that by CONTROLLING the environment, I was keeping them in. Peu importe their ‘nuisance’ now through constant presence within my confines, it was more the arrogance with which I tried to secure MY COMFORTS by obliterating the freedom of another.

This comes up since my hairdresser right now and I were talking about my trip to the Amazon last summer. He listened intently. I was happy to share with him – I’m always nervous around him because he’s so cool, and I feel like I’m 8 when I speak French to him. I feel like a poser, I try hard for him to like me. But post-jungle, that insecurity is less … and so, I shared. I was blown over blissfully and in absolute gratitude at all he exchanged with me.
One of the most profound things he shared was an added metaphor to a tambo occurrence I had (owing to plant medicine journeys) that I could relate as how to manage conflict with someone in a power dynamic. My metaphor of “something hanging in the air” or a gap in which ‘bad stuff’ could enter, inspiring conversation between you and another about their level of importance they attribute to the dangling danger or if they think it, or the hole in the wall, poses any danger at all, was well understood by him. I told him about me being afraid of the bugs. He said … “Let them pass.”

It rang so true! Sometimes you can’t manage a convo with someone to rid a conflict, but you can let them pass you by. Let them return from where they came, or — realize it’s YOU that doesn’t belong, not them. It’s touching to understand also that by controlling — or by thinking you’re controlling — discomforts, you may be increasing them by simply not allowing what will be, BE, however foreign, however bizarre, however new.