WHETHER WE LOSE A JOB, A FRIEND OR EVEN OUR HAIR, WE CAN LEARN AND GROW FROM THE EXPERIENCE.
I was involved in a spirited conversation the other day with a female client who was experiencing some emotional health issues and subsequently was losing her hair. The doctors were not sure what to make of it; they could offer no explanation that the hair loss was a result of her emotional state and no reassurance that she could expect it to grow back. Naturally, she was devastated; as a woman who prided herself on her looks, she was really down about it. She just looked at me and said, “It feels like I am losing an arm or a leg. It’s like I have to figure out how to engage with people all over again.”
She started to sob softly and mumbled, “I’m losing it.” I told her that that seemed to be the theme: losing her hair, a sense of control over her emotions, her self-confidence, perhaps. I told her I experienced her as being in integrity with her emotions by allowing herself to feel and experience the loss. I could tell she wasn’t buying it.
The fact is your emotions are simply a gateway to your real challenges in life, and therein ultimately exists your opportunity for healing and helping others. You may be asking, exactly what does that mean in English? Let me explain. When we feel, we are revealing an opening into our spirit so that the issues we are here to embrace in this lifetime are exposed for the highest possible healing. What stops most people from taking on the challenge are the intense judgments and stories we tell ourselves and others, which ultimately distracts us from seeing this opportunity and instead causes us to focus on the obstacles it places in front of our own happiness.
I share this with you as an important aside because the timing of this type of logic was not going to shift my client out of her feelings, and quite frankly I didn’t want her to. A few minutes later there seemed to be a pause in her grief. I saw this as an opening and asked her if she could imagine on some level that her hair loss, or any loss, for that matter, could be part of some larger plan to benefit others. Not quite sure of how to respond, she kind of shrugged her shoulders. I reminded her that she had shared earlier that losing her hair was like losing an arm or a leg, and I thought perhaps she might like to view a video someone had sent me earlier in the day that might offer greater clarity.
So, I turned my laptop in her direction. I moved the box of tissues closer to her and hit “Play”.
For the next five-plus minutes she watched a video of a man named Nick Vujicic, a man with no arms or legs. Nick spoke to a room filled with teenage girls, inspiring them to never give up. By video’s end there wasn’t a dry eye in the house, including my client. When it was over, she turned to me and said, “I’m losing perspective, huh?” I assured her she was missing the point. I didn’t want her to think she was losing perspective on any front. Her hair is falling out. More may follow. Some or all of it may never grow back. Mourn it. Experience the loss. Cry, feel sad, angry — it is all good and OK. And then when she gets back in her body and regains her composure, I wanted her to think about gaining insight into her experience. I wanted her to think of Nick and what he offers to others.
Hair loss is loss … and it sucks
Loss is loss. Denying it is denying our experience, our feelings, our gateway to the challenges we face and to what is possible. Perhaps loss can teach us, and others, more than we could ever imagine. Being exposed, feeling vulnerable and raw, is not often a desired state. And loss unto itself, well, it sucks. But maybe in the end, when we are willing to see the bigger picture, we will begin to see ourselves bigger, not in spite of our loss but because of it.
Feel like being inspired? Check out www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LtCrlXdd2E