What is the “ Hard Stuff” for?
By Lisa de Lusignan
Jan 13, 2010 - 12:52:47 PM
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
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
Sometimes when we experience
loss in any way, we are faced with feelings. It is what we
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.
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.
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
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?
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
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