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Columns : Love'n Life with Lisa Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM

What is the “ Hard Stuff” for?
By Lisa de Lusignan
Jan 13, 2010 - 12:52:47 PM

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I was thinking about this question as I was still trying to recover from my Apple laptop being stolen from my suitcase traveling from Vancouver to Miami. I picked up my bag and knew with that sinking feeling that my bag was too light, and sure enough my lap top was gone!  I was very upset.  Then when doing a workout with my friends in Freeport today, we put our extra shirts on the side of the bushes where we were running back and forth and when we returned 5 minutes later they were gone. The hard part was the it was my NY City Marathon shirt, only available to anyone who actually can run 26.2 miles in one day and trained for 6 months to do that.  

I am still upset by the loss of my laptop, as it has many personal things on it, including pictures etc, and it will cost at least $1500 to replace, which I cannot do right now.  I also do feel a bit violated, someone was digging in my personal bag.  As for my shirt, it had sentimental value of course and it really is the only long sleeve running shirt I have here on the island, and I more then likely cannot get another one.  

So here I am deciding what to do with my upset. Because even though we think we do not have a choice we have many choices in the middle of  upsetting events.   My philosophy is, it’s not what happens to us that makes us unhappy its how we decide to react to it.

Here are some of the choices I see:

  • Become fearful and mistrustful of running again in that area, deciding that I cannot trust anyone.  “See I was right, people are generally untrustworthy.”  Trash talk the people that live here, and see everyone as like the person that stole our things. This choice does not move us in any new direction.  It is a fear based reality and keeps us separate from ourselves and others, and with more fear we have more stress.
  • Talk myself into believing that whoever took my things must really need it so I pretend I am ok with it, as its only “stuff”, and underneath still feel angry, resentful and fearful. This is what I call “spiritual leapfrogging.” Pretending to be compassionate and understanding and “zen like” but underneath and inside ourselves nothing has changed.
  • Or ask myself the question: What is this for? How can I feel ok again, peaceful? How can I use this to know myself and others better? Is there a way that I can be more connected to myself and others in the middle of this upset? What feelings are surfacing that may not have come up without this upset?

Now this is just “stuff”  as I have said, but you can also ask these questions when experiencing  more difficult losses, such as a job, house, money, or even the most painful, a loved one.  

The feelings that have surfaced are anger, mistrust, and I also felt vulnerable, like I was not safe in the world. And also,  as with my lap top, I did not use my intuition. Just before  my bag was thrown down the ramp after they marked it “Fragile” I had a hunch I should take it on the plane with me.( there was a tight restriction on carry on, because of the recent bomb scare). I had the feeling and did not act on it. And the same with my clothing we dropped, I had a hunch to hide it in the bushes and I didn’t listen. So that is one thing to come out of this, I must not get distracted and I need to pay attention to that little voice, as it might be even more important in a more serious situation.

So what about trust in the world and others? How do we trust others when there is evidence to the contrary? It is actually a decision to trust that the world is a friendly place and that everything that happens is designed to help us, trust and connect more not less. We also need to take precautions as things happen, and we know that we cannot leave clothing in plain sight. There is a fine line that we walk, trusting and at the same time we still lock our doors and make safe choices.  

So how can we connect  in those  really difficult times in our lives when we feel like shutting out the world?   Is there a chance today in my daily life to dig deep and feel compassion for someone else even though I am still angry and upset because my “stuff” was stolen? Is it about being too attached to “stuff?” Do I need my marathon shirt to prove what I did? Is this about my ego? My pride? If everything  was taken from me would I still be me? If I had no computer to write this article what would happen? What would I have to do to make that happen?  

Sometimes when we experience loss in any way, we are faced with feelings. It is what we decide to do with the loss and the feelings that accompany it that is important. So next time you have an upset, major or minor, take some time with yourself and ask some questions.  Pay extra  attention and watch how the universe is supporting your personal growth and fulfillment, not conspiring against you.  

You may be surprised at the gifts that are presented to you.

Ask Lisa:  

Dear Lisa,

I have been married for 5 years, I am in love with my husband, I consider us to be in a good relationship. Sometimes I feel uncomfortable about things my husband wants me to do sexually. Its not anything harmful but I feel uncomfortable with it. I feel badly, I want to be close to him but I am not sure how to deal with it.


Dear Jane,

If you feel uncomfortable with anything sexually with your husband the best thing to do is talk about it. I know that is not always easy but it is easier then what you are feeling right  now. Pick a time to talk about it when you are not in bed, when you are comfortable, maybe run a bath together, some time when you are both relaxed and not rushing somewhere.  Talk about how it makes you feel and what are the things that he could do to make you feel more comfortable. Make sure you ask for what you need, it is as important as what he needs.  If you feel like you would like to try something that is new for you take baby steps towards that. Like if it is making love with the lights on, start with a candle, and  partially dressed for a few times to warm to the idea, then take another step. There are many books on the subject of learning how to please your partner and also how to receive pleasure that are very helpful and fun to read together. A great resource is also your close girlfriends, likely if you feel uncomfortable about something one of your friends does too and they might have some great suggestions for you and be a good support.  

Dear Lisa,

Recently I have noticed that for some reason people have been feeling free to pass on their opinions of me or my life that are not very positive. It makes me feel terrible and at the time I don’t know what to say to stop it. Any ideas of what I can do?


Dear Sondra,

One thing to immediately say is, “thanks but I am not up for hearing any suggestions or help right now”.  If you want to be more honest, depending on who you are speaking to, you can say, “ I am already hard on myself as it is, what would really help is just to listen to me.” or If you do not want to say something right in the moment you can always say it later to the person. Such as, “ I know you were trying to help me today and I appreciate it, what would be really helpful for me when I am upset is to……”then say what would be helpful.  Generally our friends have our best interest at heart, we also however choose people in our lives who have similar personalities and therefore similar challenges as us, so sometimes what they are saying to you is actually about themselves.  

Some people around us will say what they are thinking about us if we don’t stop them.  Its ok to tell someone you don’t want them to share their opinion of you, including your spouse and to talk about how it hurts you.  Most people are already hard enough on themselves without friends and family offering unsolicited advice, camouflaged as help or support.  

Make sure you are paying them the same respect, ask if someone would like your opinion, or advice, possibly you may have to lead by example.  

Be the change that you would like to see in the world


Lisa de Lusignan MA, RPC
Lifestyle Coach and Counselor

Ask Lisa a question at lovenlifewithlisa@gmail.com

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