It is human nature to avoid uncomfortable situations. Yet, it is also part of life to find ourselves in these moments. After all, as the adage claims, being uncomfortable is a catalyst for growth and could also lead you to a renewed sense of understanding and perspective. Whitney Lauritsen has long stopped hiding from them, especially those that come creeping up from her past. In this episode, she lets us in on how she processes uncomfortable moments by sharing the things that have been tough for her. From a podcast guest canceling on her at the last minute to a speeding ticket to a childhood traumatic experience, Whitney opens up and shares the lessons she learned from being uncomfortable.
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Processing Uncomfortable Moments From The Past
I feel like I could easily call the Monday episodes of the show things that make me uncomfortable now or things that have made me uncomfortable in the past because a lot of things make me uncomfortable. I feel like sometimes people are surprised that I struggle with some of the things that I do. Maybe they believe that because I do this show, work in the health and wellness space and do wellbeing coaching that I’ve got it all figured out, which feels bizarre because who has it all figured out?
I was on a bit of an interesting roller coaster. They remind me of several things that I felt hyper-aware of struggling and feeling uncomfortable with. That awareness is a big key. If I do have something figured out, it’s awareness. What I have learned through my work has taught me to acknowledge what I’m struggling with and how I’m struggling with it. I can see the ways in which I can move through it but that doesn’t mean that it’s easy or fast. It’s still a big journey.
A Podcast Guest Canceled Last Minute
In this episode, I’m going to share with you a few examples of what’s been tough for me. Let’s begin with some experiences. I struggled for a fairly brief period because a guest canceled last minute. We were supposed to be recording around the time that I’m doing this episode. That was hard because it was the second time this person canceled. I told myself the first time they canceled that if they did it again, I would not go out of my way to rebook them unless they rebooked themselves. They chose not to reschedule. They chose to cancel.
They had a very similar reason as they did the first time. Although the first time, they had automatically rescheduled themselves without me asking. It was interesting for them to cancel and not reschedule. It was a signal to me that either they don’t want to do the show, don’t want to put the effort into rescheduling or weren’t thinking about rescheduling. I don’t know. They gave me very limited information. This is a person whom I’ve had very minimal interaction with but I was looking forward to this person.
It was interesting because they canceled with short notice both times. The first time was maybe an hour before we started recording. Behind the scenes, for those that don’t understand how podcasting works, at least the way that I do it, everybody does their show a little bit differently but I work with a small team of people who do the show notes, edit the episode to make it sound a little bit better, remove any errors and optimize it so it sounds nice for you. I have to submit my episodes about ten days in advance at minimum.
When I’m booking guests, I always have to keep that ten-day window in mind, especially when I’m traveling. I need to be mindful of my schedule because, in addition to submitting things in advance, I’m trying to keep in mind when I’m on the road, unable to record and want to do things for fun and block time off my schedule. I also do all sorts of consulting and coaching so my schedule is challenging to manage.
I have figured out a system for myself but what is hard to incorporate into that system is when people cancel last minute. When a guest cancels out last minute, I have to scramble to fill their space. Fortunately, because of my travel schedule, I have guests booked out for a few weeks. It wasn’t that hard to move things around but what was challenging was that I have one less guest in the queue, which means I have to put more effort into getting even more guests than I was planning on for my next batch of recording.Everybody has a different relationship with time, and what one person may experience as being rude or disrespectful, another person may not. Click To Tweet
Certainly, there are systems that I’m keeping in mind. Some podcasters are booked out months in advance and perhaps I can get into that flow. Although that reduces flexibility. That has a whole other challenge associated with it. That’s not a big deal because I’ve had to deal with this off and on but it’s very rare that someone cancels that last minute. Part of what I was struggling with and what felt uncomfortable for me was the frustration, disappointment and judgment that I was feeling towards this person without giving too many details away about who this person is.
It’s someone that I had some respect for. I was interested in them. I’ve known about this person for quite a long time. I found myself losing some respect because it didn’t feel like they offered me respect. I then examined that because I don’t know what prompted this person to cancel last minute twice. In our society, there are a lot of mentalities around time like showing up on time, doing things on time and respecting people’s time but I’ve learned that everybody has a different relationship with time. What one person may experience as being rude or disrespectful, another person may not.
It was an interesting opportunity for me to see how I was triggered but then use the awareness that I’ve built up to realize that I have no idea what this person is going through. Unless they choose to communicate that with me and we have a relationship in which I felt comfortable reaching out to them, which I don’t with this person, I have to sit in the unknown. I can only know how I feel about the situation. I can only notice my triggers and reaction. I have that control over what actions I take.
Number one is that since this person didn’t automatically reschedule themselves, I have the choice about whether or not I approach them. They’re not the greatest communicator and I’ve learned through this experience of trying to book them on the show. I can choose not to try again. I’m not going to approach them again or ask them to reschedule. I’m going to let it be. If this person happens to reschedule in the future, I can choose whether or not to accept that. I don’t think that’s going to happen based on their behavior.
I could sit here and analyze so much of this person like, “Do they respect me or not? Did they not want to be on this show and somehow kept canceling because they didn’t want to do it?” It’s such an interesting experience when you go through something like that. Also, it’s a great opportunity to humble your ego because I found myself thinking, “Maybe they don’t respect or appreciate this show and don’t see this show as important. It is not a priority to them.”
I could work on taking it personally because I could also go down that rabbit hole of, “Do they not respect me and my work? Do they not respect me as a human being?” I thought that we had some dynamic established and then I don’t know. It was fairly easy for me to move through any personal feelings there towards myself but towards the show, I got pretty triggered because I started to think, “Maybe this show is not as important to others.”
That feels very factual because it feels important to me and some of the readers who read every episode but for a guest, they could probably care less. I invited this person on the show which creates a very different dynamic than when somebody else asked to be on this show. That happens a lot too. The stories I could tell about my experience with guests on this show are nuts. Every single time I book someone on the show, it’s a unique experience but there are patterns.
The patterns are super fascinating. The majority of the guests that I have on the show on Fridays are people that have asked to be on it but sometimes, it’s their PR rep that is asked. Sometimes they hire an agent to get them on the shows. I go through each application or email that I get and examine it. I see all the variables that I’m considering in terms of bringing a guest to this show. Not to make it sound too in the ego but I get a lot of people asking to be on this show. If I’m willing to guess, I don’t respond to a great majority of them.
I have started working with an assistant who does reply very kindly to some people and let them know that they’re not a fit but due to the systems of guesting, a lot of times it’s not worth the effort to reply to everybody because a lot of people bulk apply to shows. That’s interesting too because occasionally, I get guests who want to be on this show. They read multiple episodes. They understand and get me. They feel like they’re a true fit.
Some people apply to this show because of the topics. They see it’s about mental health, wellness, well-being, social justice and all the things that are covered here. They’re interested in any show that covers those topics. They have their agent write it out and you could feel their templated responses.
Something that I went through was looking for new guests and I have this form that guests can fill out. I was amazed at least 1/3 of the bulk of applications I had received were so templated. I could tell that they were copying and pasting, which is okay to an extent but they weren’t answering my questions. I’ve created a pretty in-depth application to weed out or qualify people to make sure that they’re the right fit. Some people will give one-word answers to something. Other people would reply with a few sentences or even paragraphs. Some people respond to the question in a way that doesn’t make any sense.
I was sitting there going through these applications thinking, “That in itself disqualifies you.” You could be a good fit for the show but the fact that you don’t put that effort in makes me uncertain about having you as a guest due to circumstances like this. When somebody puts such low effort in, not only doesn’t make them a fit for the show or me as a person but you.
I have so much respect for you as a reader. I feel deeply grateful. I know some of the readers of the show personally. I feel protective over you as a reader and I value you. If I were to bring people on who don’t value me, that also is the way of saying that they don’t value you. Who would I be as a host to let anybody on this show? Whom would I be if I allowed people to not treat me in the way that I want to be treated, especially in relation to the time and effort that it takes to run this show?
A Tough Road Trip Situation
All that awareness helped me move through my triggers with this scenario. That disappointment was interesting. It reminded me of an experience I had that was incredibly tough. I haven’t recorded the follow-up episode for my road trip. I’m not sure yet if I’m going to incorporate this into it but on my road trip across the country from Los Angeles to Massachusetts and various places on the East Coast, I got a speeding ticket. This was the first time in several years.Everybody processes things differently. Click To Tweet
I remember getting a speeding ticket on a road trip I did with my sister in 2012. We were on our way to Chicago. It was the 4th of July. Somewhere in Iowa, I don’t remember exactly but I remember what the road looked like and getting pulled over. That had been the second time I’d been pulled over on the trip. The first time we were on our way into Las Vegas. We were having so much fun and excitement. My sister and I are in my car. I had my convertible Volkswagen Beetle at the time. We were dancing to music and so excited to go to Las Vegas.
I wasn’t paying attention to the way I was driving. I got pulled over. I asked that cop if he would let me go with a warning. He said, “Yes.” I dodged a bullet but that didn’t work as a lesson because a few days later on the 4th of July, I got that pulled over a second time and was ticketed. That was the first time I got a speeding ticket. I paid for it and moved on with my life. It was annoying because I didn’t have a lot of money at that time. I was in between work. I talked about this time of my life in an episode about travel, budgeting, money and all of the stages I’ve gone through with travel.
Several years later, given that I don’t recall ever getting a speeding ticket since. When I got pulled over in Washington State, it felt very different. The one I got in 2012, all I remember was the money feeling frustrating. It was probably around $100 to pay that ticket or maybe more, $150 at the most. Getting pulled over in Washington was not an issue in terms of that direct money because I have a different relationship to money in 2022, whereas this ticket ended up being $128. It’s a bummer. There are plenty of ways I wish that I could spend $128 but that wasn’t the issue this time.
The issue this time was realizing that this was going to go on my record. Since my license is in California, when something goes on your record, it can bump up your insurance. That day was heavy. I don’t remember it being that heavy in 2012. It could have been and that’s what’s interesting about time. The heaviness felt so intense. I remember feeling frustrated. I asked the officer if he would let me go with a warning, it’s always worth asking. I don’t even know for sure if I was speeding or if there was a mistake. I’m thinking of contesting the ticket. I wasn’t going that fast but I was going fast enough for me to get pulled over.
It was so interesting because I found myself feeling disappointed with myself and retracing all the steps that led up to it and how I could have done things differently. I found myself feeling frustrated with the system. I wasn’t the fastest car on the road. I can tell you that for sure because I remember being behind another car and going with the flow of traffic.
I probably going over the speed limit, might not have been quite as fast as he thought I was going in hindsight but it’s possible I was going that fast. I didn’t think much of it because I was going with the flow of traffic. That unfairness of, “Why me? Why didn’t everybody else get pulled over? Why is it okay for them to pick somebody? Was I picked at random?” The rules of the road are incredibly frustrating.
After driving so much, let alone the few years that I’ve been doing this road trip, I’ve seen people drive so recklessly and go insanely fast. I’m very mindful of my speed and to still get pulled over. The most challenging and uncomfortable emotion I felt from that speeding ticket was I didn’t do well enough. Not enoughness came up in the sense that I thought I was doing okay. I wasn’t driving perfectly and was going at least a few miles over the speed limit because I always do. The other cars around me do that.
For anyone who drives regularly on highways, if you go the exact speed limit, people start to get seemingly annoyed. You never know because they’re in their cars but people start to go around you and you’ll notice that you’re going slower than most people. It’s so rare for people to go the speed limit on a highway in the States, at least.
To balance out the whole rhythm of driving, I can’t assume other people do this but I choose to match my speed to what other people are driving and that’s generally fine. Every once in a while, there’s someone who’s going the exact speed limit and they’re from my perception slow, especially if they’re in the left lane so I’ll go around them. Every once in a while, there’s someone who’s going exceedingly fast, zooming past me and going in and out of the lanes.
I’m like, “I’m going the average speed of the other drivers but why does that get me a speeding ticket that’s going to go on my insurance record for three years?” It was that sitting with me and thinking, “I thought I was doing okay. It wasn’t perfect but I thought it was acceptable.” I’m pulled over and told it was unacceptable. That’s frustrating. My brain started going to all the ways in which people are treated. Here I am as a White woman experiencing something unpleasant with a police officer. My mind goes, “That’s not that bad,” in the grand scheme of things.
I started thinking about the horrific stories you hear about how people of color are treated by police officers, targeted and pulled over. What about them? What about this system that pulls people over because of how they look? The whole thing brought up all these emotions for me that were so unpleasant. This feeling of not being able to fix it. That’s all I wanted to do. That’s how my brain works. I want to fix things or resolve them.
That was especially fascinating because my brain started going through every way that I could fix this. I then started to feel helpless. One way was I pay the ticket but if I did do that, then the point would go on my record. I thought, “That feels like giving up but it could be the easy way out. Is it easy to have a point on your record for three years?”
They give you 30 days to decide what you want to do with the ticket. I called up my insurance and my insurance couldn’t even tell me how much my premium is going to go up. That’s uncomfortable for me being in the unknown. What if it went up $50? Over the course of 3 years, I have to pay $150 on top of the cost of the ticket. Having that information would feel so much more comfortable than not having it.
I then start going through the web and there are all these estimates. It could go up $800 a year because some police officer thought I was going too fast in a reality in which I wasn’t going that fast. I got picked out of a group of people who were all behaving about the same but somehow, I was the one that is punished. I’m not trying to put myself in a place of victim. I’m trying to say that that systematic element is so messed up.If you can take the stress of money out of an equation, you have the room to process anything else that's lingering there. Click To Tweet
I drove at least 4,000 miles on that trip. Over a matter of a few minutes, I was on this highway when I got pulled over. Probably, I was driving 10 to 15 miles over the speed limit for a matter of minutes and there’s a consequence for 3 years. There’s no way for someone to look at all of your driving histories and say, “In the grand scheme of things, you’re a good driver. We’re going to let it go.” This is what I mean by this system. It’s messed up and yet this stuff happens all the time.
I’m feeling so frustrated and sad about this. Beyond myself, the things people have to go through with our system but it’s so complicated. Is this the best we can do in terms of treating our citizens? Is it too complicated to do it any other way? I don’t know. Maybe it fuels this fire to get more involved with the system but it seems deeply challenging. That in itself is a tough emotion of unfairness. A big trigger for me is when things feel unfair.
Not on this victimized mentality but it’s when they’re unfair as a whole. When you experience a glimmer of unfairness, it can open your eyes to all the injustice that happens all the time to people and what some people have to deal with that is relatively so much worse than getting pulled over for a small speeding ticket. For me, my brain was like, “The ramifications of a few minutes of driving have a three-year-long ripple effect for me and I don’t even know how big that ripple is.” It’s messed up in the sense that after that moment, I felt driving suddenly became so unpleasant. That made me sad because I love driving.
The great news is that I was able to move through that fairly quickly. Within a couple of days, I forgot about it. For better or worse, especially with my brain, I need to mark it down and make sure I don’t miss the deadline of when I have to reply to this ticket but a few days later, it was not on my mind as much as it was in that first 24 hours. It probably took me 24 hours to move through the discomfort. After I got the ticket, I went to this little grocery store that I probably would’ve loved to be in and I went in there to get some food for myself. I could barely think straight and all I wanted to do would dissociate.
That was something interesting that I noticed. I wanted to pretend that did not happen and block it out. Paying the ticket and dealing with whatever the three years of my insurance premium raise would’ve been better for my brain. I wish that it had been that simple. If money isn’t an object, maybe that is simple. Maybe you pay the fine, deal with your insurance hike, move on with your life and block it all out as if it didn’t happen. It’s almost impossible because something is with you for three years, you can’t block it out. That’s another frustrating thing. It’s not as simple.
If you get a parking ticket, it feels pretty simple depending on your relationship with money but I felt sad for myself and a little of this victim mentality of I can’t even enjoy this grocery store and then I went on a walk in Olympic National Park, which I was so excited to see. The whole walk I felt heavy. That was neat because there was barely anyone around on the trail that I was on. I wanted to allow myself to process this, cry if I needed to and deal with it.
Having the opportunity to be in nature and take a leisurely walk right after something hard like that was nice but it was tainted because I kept thinking, “If I hadn’t gotten that ticket, what would this walk have been like?” I was wondering how my sleep was going to be disturbed and all the things. The distraction of traveling and being in nature and the healing power of that and the next day I went saw some friends, all of that stuff allowed me to move through it.
I wondered, what if I didn’t have all of those distractions? What if I got that speeding ticket when I was on my way home and didn’t have any work for days? It could have taken me a lot longer to move through it. I also kept wondering, “Could I have moved through this faster? What tools would it have taken for me to process that?” Everybody processes these things differently. Maybe somebody’s able to see the big picture and be like, “Three years is not that long. Whatever the cost ends up being, I’ll find a way to pay for it.” I can’t even go there.
I’m not panicked because my premium won’t go up on my insurance for another six months or so. $800 spread out across 6 months, I know I will have the money for that and that in itself is a privilege. What drives me nuts is thinking of all the things I could have bought with that potential $800. To me, $800 is a lot of money. It’s not that I can’t pay for it. It is a lot of money. I could go on and on about what I could do with that money instead.
I remember something else happened in my life. I was having those same thoughts like, “There’s a lot I could have done and I wasn’t expecting this to happen. Here I am having to pay something that I could have put towards so many other things.” That’s part of life too truthfully. On another side note, this is one of the reasons why I’ve started saving money. I’ve talked a little bit about this but it’s worth mentioning again. Having money for emergencies is so helpful. If you can take the stress of money out of an equation, I feel like you have the room to process anything else that’s lingering there.
For me, money influenced it, beyond the justice side. I would rather spend my mental energy processing injustice, lack of fairness and other big issues. If I could say the money’s taken care of, put your attention on ways in which I could contribute to a better system. If I can’t change the system, can I help other people manage that or work through injustice? Can we have support groups? What else can we do? How can we band together? Maybe this can inspire me to get more involved with politics and the way the countries run. Maybe understanding how things work. There are so many layers to situations like that.
I am happy to report that weeks later after this happened, I’m not thinking about it very much. The ticket is sitting right here on my desk at my parents’ house. I decided I’m going to let it be. I’ll keep you posted because I’m considering contesting it. The research I’ve done has been a little all over the place but part of me is thinking it’s worth contesting this ticket for the experience and the knowledge.
My option since this happened in Washington state, where I don’t live is probably to hire an attorney, which sounds nuts speaking of resources. Where I’m at, I feel like making a difference in the system is worthwhile. If I go down this route, talk to attorneys and figure out what my options are, I might learn some things about the system that could be helpful versus if I paid the ticket and sucked up however that impacts my insurance, I don’t understand the system at all. I’m considering that and doing some research. I’ve looked up websites and read articles about this. There could be a whole episode if you’re interested in this. I would love to know your experiences too.
It reminds me of when I did jury duty in Los Angeles a few years ago. I was assigned to this trial and when they went around the room asking each of the potential jurors how they felt about it, I had to be honest. I could feel so many biases coming up about police officers and I wasn’t even that aware of it until that trial. I ended up not being on the jury. I was in the selection process but I feel deeply uncomfortable with police officers. There’s part of me that values them. I see that a lot of them are doing the best they can and are trying to protect people.Sometimes, the things we can move through as individuals may have a much bigger impact on somebody else. Click To Tweet
I had a pleasant interaction with the police officer that pulled me over and it was not even the individual. It’s this whole system that I don’t fully understand. Maybe there’s more justice involved than I think. Maybe I am looking at it from a victim mentality. I’m not sure but I do have a distrust. That distrust is based on various biases and ignorance. This ticket might be my opportunity to educate myself more and better understand things.
Also, it certainly improved my driving. For the rest of the trip, I always made sure I was going as close to the speed limit as possible. I’m someone that tries to drive 9 miles over the speed limit because what I got ticketed for was going 10 miles over the speed limit. That’s relatively the fact that I wasn’t going that fast. I was relatively going at a reasonable speed, in my opinion. 10 miles is not insanely fast to me.
This is what I was always told in traffic school and driver’s ed, “Go 9 miles or anything under 10 miles. That’s harder for them to ticket you or they can’t ticket you. It depends on the area.” I don’t even know if that’s a myth. This is what I need to learn but getting a ticket is punishment enough because I did not want to risk getting another one. I was like, “If I got a second speeding ticket on this trip, that would be bad.” This is part of what I wish. I wish that officer had let me go with a warning because I still would’ve driven incredibly carefully. I wouldn’t have driven away thinking I got away with it. I’d be like, “I better not let this happen again.” I didn’t need to pay for it to learn my lesson and this is part of what I mean.
I’m wondering, “Are the insurance companies and the police in with each other?” I wonder about these systems. Why do you have to pay for stuff? Being told I made a mistake is enough for me to try not to do it again. It’s so interesting. I don’t want that to dominate the rest of this episode because there was another instance I want to mention about things that have made me uncomfortable.
A Traumatic Childhood Experience
I got together with one of my oldest friends in terms of the longest I’ve known this person. We grew up in the same town where my parents still live. This friend’s parents no longer live in this area but this friend works within an hour. Every year that I visit my parents, I try to get together with this friend. When we were making our plans, they told me there was another classmate of ours, somebody that I wouldn’t consider a friend of simply because I haven’t been in touch with this person for a long time. We all got together and had what I thought was a wonderful time.
It’s one of those days that I could look back on and say, “That felt like such a nice summer day/” I was craving an experience like that. We decided that we were going to grill food. My friend and I went to the store. We picked out drinks, vegan burgers, snacks and all this great food. We took it back to my parent’s place and my parents were around. They were happy to join us. We got all the food on the grill. It was one of those nice summer experiences. We sat around and hang out for 8 or 9 hours, talked, reminisced and had nostalgia. It was awesome.
This classmate joined us. This classmate and I were also in school with my other friend from kindergarten. I grew up in a small town where the kindergarten was nearby and then there was an elementary school and in a high school across the street. It’s all within this small radius because this town is so small in Massachusetts.
A lot of my classmates continued their education the entire time that as long as their parents still lived in town, they were in this school system, a public school. I forgot that this classmate who joined us had been through most of the school experience with me. I spent my entire education before college in this town in the school system. Some people left and went to private school and I didn’t realize that this person ended up doing that as well.
I know who this person is but my memories of where they were and how much they were in my class grade hadn’t even registered with me. I was like, “You were in kindergarten with me. I forgot about that. You were in this grade with me.” I was filling in all these blanks. That was interesting. This person had a bigger role in my life than I fully recognized. What was especially interesting is I was thinking of this person a few days before we got together randomly. I don’t even know why I remember this but we went through an experience that you could call a bit traumatic. I might bring this person on the show to talk about it. I don’t know if they’d want to talk about this instance.
To protect myself and them, I’ll leave out all the details but essentially, we got together with another friend when we were kids. We were around 10 to 12 years old and it happened right down the street from my parent’s house where my friend lived. This classmate of mine I’ve been referencing, we all got together and something happened that led my friend and me to do something potentially harmful to this classmate. I won’t share what we did.
I’ve thought about that instance a lot through the lens of like, “That was a pretty messed up thing to do to somebody.” My brain stops after that thought but it lingered with me. It’s had a powerful effect on me and it’s become fuzzy over time because it happened so long ago. I don’t want to share any of their names. Let’s call it Friend A is the one that was with me, my classmate. Friend B was the one that I did something with to the classmate. I hope this makes sense.
Friend B was not involved at all but to my classmate, I ended up bringing up that instance and I realized how much it impacted that classmate. It was intense to realize because from what I understand, that thing that I did all those years ago was not only physically harmful to that person but it was emotionally harmful because that person was scared and scarred because they didn’t understand why Friend B and I did that to them.
On my side of it, I always thought of it as a bad thing that Friend B and I did but it wasn’t that bad. I justified it as a kid. I glossed over it. As an adult, I see how potentially harmful that could have been. I also see how doing that thing to another kid is unacceptable. That’s hard as an adult because it’s almost like I want to justify it but I can’t. There’s no justifying it.
I ended up having an opportunity to discuss this with my classmate, apologize and take ownership of it. Part of me thinks, “That was a good opportunity positively.” It was a good opportunity but not in a way that made me feel good. It made me feel like I still want to make up for the emotional damage that I did. Not to make myself feel better but I want to repent. I’m not sure if that’s the right word. I want to acknowledge the damage and the fact that all these years, I didn’t realize how deep the damage went. I still don’t know if I understand it because Friend A was there with me and Friend A knew about this situation. Friend A and Friend B are also friends.When you recognize that you can always protect yourself and you can't always protect other people, life can feel like walking on eggshells. That can feel incredibly stressful. Click To Tweet
Friend A had heard about what Friend B and I did to the classmate and also recognize that that was messed up. I don’t know if any of us as friends recognized how much that impacted our classmate and how much our classmate thought about these things. That’s so interesting. The examples I’ve brought up tie together. sometimes the things we can move through as individuals may have a much bigger impact on somebody else than we will ever imagine.
Lessons Learned In The Uncomfortable
For example, the person that was supposed to be a guest on this show. Maybe for them, they don’t think it’s a big deal that they canceled on me twice but it was a big deal for me. I could also look at it from the other angle, “What if this person is going through something that I will never understand and that’s why they canceled?” It’s not making assumptions about how your actions impact other people but also why somebody performs in action.
I can intellectually think about this as much as possible but my heart breaks for that classmate as a kid. I can’t stop thinking about what that would’ve been like as a kid to have gone through something that scared them enough to scar them. I regret it. I want to take responsibility for it. There’s no way that I can understand why I did that as a kid. I don’t remember.
The classmate and I were trying to remember, “What had happened that led up to that moment?” We couldn’t and then I think, “Was I being a bully?” I don’t identify as a bully. I don’t remember being a bully but what if I was a bully and I blocked that out? I think about this speeding ticket instance and how my brain wanted to block out something bad that happened. What if I did that with that classmate? What if it was too much for me to process as a child and take responsibility for my actions so I blocked it out and moved on with my life? He didn’t have that luxury that also ties into the injustice side of things.
Why it weighs so heavy on me is that I need to take responsibility for the times that I’ve hurt other people and done something unfair. I’m not a victim all the time. Maybe I’m never a victim. I’m not sure but I’m not an innocent perfect person that doesn’t hurt other people. The crazy thing is I may hurt people all the time without even realizing it. I certainly have on this show. People have written me letters before and told me I’ve said something that hurt them. It might have been accidental but it doesn’t mean that I didn’t do it. I might have said something and it might not have impacted me but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t impact somebody else.
What’s interesting about life is it can help with the ego. When you recognize that you can’t always protect yourself and other people, life can feel like walking on eggshells and that can feel incredibly stressful. A part of me thinks, “You go on living your life the best you can but you also have to continuously learn.” Sometimes taking responsibility for your actions is part of that.
Taking responsibility for the fact that I was going over the speed limit. I take responsibility for that. Does that mean I deserve to have something impact me for three years? Maybe so. Maybe the system is fair. Maybe that’s the way it works or it’s just black and white like that. Plenty of people do things you might be justifying because everyone else is doing it but that doesn’t mean that it’s right. It might feel unfair but it doesn’t mean it is unfair. You might feel innocent but that doesn’t mean you are innocent. It’s a complicated thing.
When things weigh heavy on me, I like to take the time to process, discuss it here on the show, think and read about them. It makes me want to do more research like on my speeding ticket. I want to look back on what happened in that incident and maybe see if I can find any resources. How do you process something that you did as a child that’s not okay? Do you sit around with the guilt? Is that guilt effective? Is an apology enough? Is it acknowledging it enough? What is enough? This is complex. It’s not an easy thing.
Sometimes my brain goes, “No wonder a lot of people feel like they can’t catch a break.” Here are 3 things that have happened, 2 of which happened to me not so long ago. The guest cancels on me which was annoying but the realization was a challenging thing for me to process. I have something that was also challenging. Those are three things. I’m sure I could think of a whole bunch of other things that have been challenging. I’m sure you can too.
This is part of the life experience. Whoever told us that we would catch a break in life? Where was this idea that if we followed the rules, everything would go smoothly? I suppose I wasn’t following the rules if I was going 9 miles over the speed limit, whatever it was or according to the police officer it was 10. I don’t know if what I did as a kid was following the rules looking back but maybe I didn’t know the rules. Maybe the only way that we can learn these big lessons is to make a mistake that we didn’t even anticipate making.
Have forgiveness for ourselves and others. Have compassion for one another and realize that everybody is going through things and hopefully, everybody is doing the best that they can. We’re fumbling through and figuring it all out and it is uncomfortable. That’s the big theme of this show. It feels good to share out loud. It’s all the processing that I do through reflecting on this stuff.
On that note, I’m going to wrap up this episode. Thank you so much for reading as usual. I have new episodes every Monday where I discuss elements of my life, the lessons that I’m learning, the things that I’m doing and the discomfort I feel. On Fridays, I have a guest here to discuss their experience, lessons and things that they can pass on to enlighten me and perhaps you as well.
If you would like to read those episodes and stay informed, you can subscribe. If you would like to get more details on this episode and all the other episodes of this show, you can go to Wellevatr.com. The team that I work with does a great job of looking up all sorts of things. I enjoy looking at the show notes because there’ll be links to things I wasn’t even expecting.
One of those links is to get in touch. Especially after an episode like this, I would love to hear about any tickets you’ve had, traffic violations or experiences with police officers. How do you handle disappointment and feelings of disrespect? How do you process things that you did as a child that you regret or lessons that you’re still learning as an adult about things that might have happened a long time ago? I would love to know that from you.
If you want to share that, there are a few different ways to get in touch. You can email me. My email address is on Wellevatr.com. You can send me a direct message on social media as many people choose to do. A lot of people like to use Instagram. I have a couple of Instagram accounts. @WhitLauritsen is my personal account or you can go to the Wellevatr account, which is @Wellevatr. I haven’t been posting on there but I’m hoping during this trip that I will start posting little clips, especially to honor the amazing guests that come on the show.
Lastly, if you want a little bit more of a personal and unique experience that involves other people, you can join my private community, which is called Beyond Measure. Every week, I have a video conversation with the members. Everyone is welcome. It’s very relaxed. We do focus on different elements of our lives and discuss the highs, the lows, the challenges and the wins. It’s a place to hold space for one another as we go through life and uncomfortable times. Sometimes we hang out and have fun.
If that’s something you’re interested in, I’d love to have you as part of it. You can check it out. It is on my website, WhitneyLauritsen.com. I have a lot of different links. That’s why the show notes are there to put it all in one place to make it easy for you and whatever you choose. Even if you choose to be silent and never communicate with me, I’m grateful that you were here. Until next time. I’m wishing you all the very best with whatever discomforts you’re dealing with. I hope that this has been a reminder to you that you’re not alone and everybody goes through uncomfortable times. It’s a whole life experience for better or for worst.
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