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This Too Shall Pass

There is no way to sugarcoat this: Sometimes, life sucks. But what you are going through isn't who you are. This is a hard pearl to digest when we find ourselves in the midst of crisis. Sometimes, it's just one darn thing after another. But remember, if you'll pardon the cliché, when life throws you one curve ball after another, it's not an indictment or indication of who you are. The message in Rabbi Harold Kushner's classic titled "When Bad Things Happen to Good People" still rings true. Bad things happen to good people. My mother used to put it this way: Life isn't about your problems, it's about how you choose to respond to them. Easier said than done, but it is in the doing that we face our fears, strengthen our faith, and find healing and reconciliation. It is a process and it takes time.

Here are some ideas to help ground you as you soldier through the trenches of your challenges.

  1. Keep the Faith and Pray. If you have a faith tradition and/or spiritual practice, this is the time to apply it. Saturate yourself in encouraging words and sacred text. Adopt them as your affirmations and incorporate them into your inner-self talk. For example, "Be strong and courageous, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." [Joshua 1:9].

  2. Exercise, Eat Sensibly and Stay Hydrated. Stress takes a toll on our minds, souls and bodies. When you are going through crisis, experiencing bouts of depression and anxiety, it is easy to neglect your body. Ten to 15 minutes or more of exercise a day helps your body to produce the hormones that make you naturally feel better. Stay mindful of your body's nutritional needs and don't forget to drink your water.

  3. Rest. It is okay to a time out. Unplug from social media. Take a nap. Go to bed early.

  4. Treat others As You Wish to Be Treated. Hard times are not a reason to treat others harshly. Besides, you want to avoid burning bridges. Remember the Golden Rule.

  5. Be Kind to Yourself. Things are bad enough without you beating up on yourself. Now is not the time. Give yourself the same consideration and compassion you would extend to a dear friend in need. By all means, be willing to look at the role you may have played in the chaos and calamity through the eyes of forgiveness not condemnation. Learn your lessons and move on.

  6. Seek Wise Counsel. Put aside false pride and ego and seek the expertise you need. Who are your most trustworthy and level-headed friends and family members? The people who genuinely care about you and have demonstrated sound thinking and judgment with integrity are often a good first line resource of the support. Listeners who are willing to be present and allow you to unpack and process your thoughts and feelings are worth their weight in gold. Other interventions such as therapy, medical and legal assistance might be in order.

  7. Learn to Accept Help. Accepting help is hard for some of us, especially us strong, independent types. It makes us makes us feel vulnerable. These moments are often invitations for us to find our courage and grow more fully into the abundance of our humanity. This, too, shall pass. And you will still be here; stronger, wiser and more capable than ever.


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