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Linda Samuels, CPO-CD®

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3 Perspective Shifts

Our stories connect us, speak to our humanity, and let us know we’re not alone. Especially because of the dramatic events these past days, many due to storm Sandy, each of you have stories to share about change, frustration, flexibility, love, gratitude, letting go, and perseverance. I’d love to hear them. How we choose to perceive or respond to a situation can transform sadness into joy, or pain into gratitude. Here are a few perspective shifts that I recently experienced.

Letting Go

Our daughters always shared a small bedroom, which included a matched set of twin-sized captain beds. Since they are now in college and beyond, with one daughter temporarily moved back home, we planned to redesign the space, sell the beds, and replace them with one larger bed. We thought it would make the room more spacious and comfortable for family and friends. The girls encouraged the change. A few days after storm Sandy, the person buying the beds came to pick them up. In preparation, we emptied the room, which created temporary havoc in other areas. We cleaned, purged, organized, and put things back into this once familiar space. I hadn’t anticipated how upset I would feel when the room was disassembled and the beds left the house. The chaos of having things out of place along with the unpredictability of the storm stirred my emotions. The room’s transformation, which included letting go of the beds, marked the end of an era. My eyes welled up as tears of loss streamed down my cheeks. After some grieving, my tears stopped. Warmth enveloped me as I reflected about the positive family memories we had and new times ahead. As I let go to make room for the next stage, I felt lighter.



Within a few days of selling the beds, we realized that due to the storm, one of our large oak trees was ripping out of the earth by it’s roots and leaning dangerously over our house. Our tree guys came to assess the situation. They explained that we weren’t safe in the house, the danger was imminent, and our tree needed to be cut down. They couldn’t do the work right away because they were helping other local families who had more serious problems like trees crushing their homes. They secured the tree temporarily, which held it for two days before they returned to take it down. When I first realized that we were going to lose the tree, I was very sad. I loved this tree. It provided shade, was beautiful to look at, was familiar, and strong. As the days passed, my sadness shifted to gratitude that the tree had been removed before it could harm our family or our home. The sense of loss was replaced with feelings of gratitude.



The day before our tree was removed, I brought my mom back to her home. She stayed with us for about a week because the storm left her without power, heat or phones. Once she settled in, I searched her house gathering up all the flashlights and making sure they were in good working order. My dad passed away in March. He loved his toys and gadgets. I knew that somewhere in his office he must have a multi functional flashlight. During my hunt, I uncovered three of his flashlights. The first was a bright yellow flashlight, which included a siren, a flashing light, and radio. Finding this made me smile because I found one of Dad’s “toys,” and cry because I missed him. I also found a flashlight that worked by shaking it, although, I couldn’t get it to light. Lastly, I found a large red flashlight that had a built in first aid kit. I showed them to my mom and the two of us burst out crying and then began laughing. Although he was gone, he was with us, helping us appreciate the humor and feel his loving presence.

It’s been an emotional time. How about you? What have you noticed during these past days? Have you seen any perspective shifts? Come join the conversation. Share your thoughts and stories.


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Reader Comments (8)

When rocky times occur, we look for ways to find security in what was in place for a long time. You story underscores that change is harder than we think, even when it is imperative. When we focus on gratitude, it is easier to transition. Thanks for sharing a tough time. We will all face tough times, it is a matter of when and not if. We can cultivate getting through these tough times knowing that gratitude makes it so much easier.

November 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEllen Delap

Ellen- You're right that change can be difficult, whether we seek it out or it is forced on us. It throws life out of balance and we search for that new normal. For me, the gratitude piece helps me to keep perspective and appreciation actively in my thoughts. As you said, we all will "face tough times." We're human and no one goes through life without challenges. Gratitude along with the love and support of our family and friends helps us to navigate the rocky waters.

November 8, 2012 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Great article!! I like the way you present your thoughts and covering all the basic point so beautifully..seriously saying am looking for such article...looking forward for such more article..

November 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermarkbutler

Mark- Thanks for your positive words. I'm glad to know that this post was what you were looking for. Was there anything in particular that resonated with you?

November 9, 2012 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Thanks for this article and thank you for sharing your thoughts and experience.After reading this It's like it has become my experience too.I don't know why but I just feel it.May be I have experience something like this before.

November 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFrank Bentley

Frank- I appreciate you stopping by to share your thoughts with us. One of the greatest joys about blogging is building a community where we connect with one another, exchange our similar or different experiences, and ideas. Great to have you with us.

November 12, 2012 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

I just love the way you can always see the bright side, even when things are very dark.

August 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

Thank you, Janet. There is definitely "dark" in life. I appreciate that part too because it gives sweetness to the light.

August 29, 2013 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

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