During Challenging Times

February 5, 2021

In my memoir Scoria Roads I wrote about many things, including my abusive dad.  Trying my best to be honest, to put all cards on the table, I wrote how I found the strength and courage and reasons to forgive.  My childhood was a challenging time for me.

This day I want to talk about what to have, what to include, what to bring to our lives, instead of what we need to do.

From my perspective, I believe there are four important things to have, to bring, to include in our lives during challenging times–four life-changing things to keep us calm, filled with hope, and keep our footing.  Here they are:

  1. Something to look forward to.  This does not have to be a major item.  It could be setting up a phone call with a friend on Sunday or Zooming with a brother next week or splurging on pizza Saturday night.
  2. Something to do.  It’s very important to keep our minds and hands busy on a daily basis.  I have resorted to cutting out various sizes of hearts on pretty paper from Walmart or Travel magazines and creating 3-D hearts to send to people during their times of loss and grief.  So every day, dance or cut or knit or sew or write or sculpt or cook for someone or crochet or walk or work on a puzzle or play a board game with yourself.  Do something!
  3. Someone to love.  If you do not have a spouse, child, grandchild, or friend in your life, it is your job to find someone to connect with.  For example, you can begin by asking your clergy or a nursing home administrator for someone who might need a letter.  There are many people in our world who have nobody.  You could be that new person in their life, that new pen pal, that possible new friend who could be life-changing.  When we reach out and help someone else, we help ourselves.
  4. Some kind words to tell ourselves.  What we think about matters.  What we say to ourselves matters.  When we are surrounded by discouraging words and voices, we need to fight to stay positive and keep the faith.  This is very important because our life always moves in the direction of our strongest thoughts.  So we need to be kind to ourselves, and give ourselves positive messages.  Remember the nanny in the book and movie The Help?  Every day she told the young girl, “You is kind, you is smart, you is important.”  Every day, we need to look in the mirror, and tell ourselves kind, thoughtful words.

Begin today!  And I would love to hear how your life is changing!


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