When life gets tough: how I get through the hard stuff

3/14/2018 12:05:00 PM

The sun always rises. Every morning.

The truth is, annoying, unforeseen crappy and difficult things happen. They come out of nowhere and knock the wind from our sails and our lungs.

One day, life is fine. All is content. The next day you're blown away by what.just.happened.

When you're ready, refrain from asking yourself "Why did this happen?" But instead, ask yourself, "What am I going to do with this?"

How am I going to grow?

How am I going to learn from this?

How am I going to become stronger because of this?


During the past several weeks I've had a few life sucker-punches -- one right after the other -- that left me uncomfortable and angry and anxious and sad and betrayed and afraid and worried and shocked and frustrated and just done.

Yep. All the feelings.

I think there's some sort of old wives' tale that dictates that bad things happen in 3's, right? The line of thinking is that after the first thing happens, usually 2 more things will closely follow thus rounding out your Three Things. While I really don't give credence to this who-ha, I think that if I did I'd be frustrated. I think I'm at my Six Things.

But the truth is, who wants to start counting the bad things?

Um, not this lady.

It's dangerous when we decide to forego counting our blessings and instead begin counting our sufferings.

For example, say that we get a traffic ticket, then later that day, with a full cart at the grocery store, we realize at the checkout that we forgot our wallet at home.  Then the heel on your shoe breaks. "SEE? Another bad thing. This stuff only happens to me."

Stop it.

a.) Nobody likes a victim.
b.) Perspective. Keep perspective. There is always someone going through something far worse than us.
c.) When you look for bad things, you'll find 'em.

Conversely, when you look for positive things, you'll find 'em.


We're all going to experience the hard stuff.
We're all going to be plugging along doing life and then BOOM. Wallop. SMASH. Something is going to disrupt our flow.

It could be the loss of a job. The loss of a pet or family member. It could be a car accident or an unfavorable job review. Maybe it's a falling out with a close friend or family member. An illness. You name it. This stuff happens.

Whatever it is, it's not the end of the world.
It might change your world, but in my experience, it won't end it.


There is always good to be found. And I say this with all of the sincerity I can muster: something good will come of it... so long as you look for it... eventually.

We have control over our mindset when we're going through a life-changing or life-affecting event. That doesn't mean we have complete control over our feelings. It's ok to feel the feels: something happened and you're overwhelmingly frustrated and angry?

Feel it.

Something happened and you're anxious or scared?

Feel it.

Feel the feelings and move on.

(I usually give myself a period of time. "Kylee, you can be upset by this for 2 weeks. Then? You're done." Obviously the amount of feelings time varies dependent on the event.)


I've found that these initial feelings after an event are followed by a roller coaster of emotions. THIS is when you shouldn't make any life-altering decisions. (No hair cutting. No moving. No changing jobs.)

Just rest.
Just be.
Just go through the fire and the rain and the wind and the hail.


The Kubler-Ross model of the stages of grief has proven accurate in my life a boat load of times.

First, something happens and you're shocked; in denial. Then you're angry, you do a little bargaining, you might slide into a depression and then... at some point, the sun shines again and you sing in the car again, because you've accepted it and you're a better person; a stronger person for having fought through it.

(Just talking about this process exhausts me, but knowing that there is acceptance and potential resolution on the other side gives me hope.)


I don't believe that life is meant to be [gluten free] doughnuts and unicorns.

It's life.

Bad stuff happens all the time to really good people because why not? Why wouldn't the hard stuff happen to us? No one is exempt: fancy, plain, rich, poor, female, male, blah, blah, blah.

I also know that in life the trials we face test our faith and produce perseverance. I want to be someone who perseveres. I want to be someone who persists.

I persist.


Earlier last week I was emailing a friend, telling her about more stuff that had happened in my vida... I'm sure her mouth was agape; this friend was awash in empathy for me and truth? I just needed someone to tell. (These are the times that I really miss my Mom.) And I typed to this friend, "Jesus, take the wheel."

Sometimes life just gives you so much that you need to imagine you're driving a driver-less Tesla and you need to close your eyes, lift your hand and basically say, whatever will be, will be.

I haven't felt this way since my Mom died.

I haven't felt out of control like this since she passed. Now, this experience is NOT EVEN REMOTELY the same as the loss of Shirley, but it's been raining difficulties lately and man. I'm soaked.


So, what do I do when I go through this crap? In no particular order:

1.) I remind myself to breathe. A lot. I literally say to myself, "Inhale. Exhale." I find myself just breathing, loudly and frequently throughout the day.

2.) I surround myself with words. Words that make me feel better. And, I repeat them throughout the day.

3.) I talk to a trusted person and allow myself to be transparent. Here, hold this BOULDER by yourself. No. Everyone needs a friend. Don't be a hero.

4.) I am quieter. When I shut up, I can hear the whispers of my faith reassuring me. Silence brings clarity.

5.) I remain active and stay on my routine. If I stopped exercising each time I was overwhelmed, I'd be a sloth. A depressed sloth.

6.) I cling to my family and I slow down. I spend more time with my kids and get closer to the the peeps who matter.

7.) I pray. Even when I don't have the words, I pray.


If you're going through something huge, keep going. You've survived 100% of what life has thrown at you this far, and no doubt, you will again.

All of this will work together for good. You'll see.



  1. This is 100% my life right now, so glad I am not alone but so sorry you are in this place too! Things may now be on the upswing. My plan is to spend some quality time with the kidos and spoil them a little as things have been hard on them too.

    1. I'm sorry that this is your life right now. :( I'm glad to hear that things may be on the upswing now. I once heard that we can adore the good times that much more because we've been through tough times. Here's to better days!

  2. Yes. All the yes. Know that you are often a beacon in the dark for my whiny ass. Love you big time.

    1. I honestly just laughed out loud. HUG. Always here for you, yo.

  3. What an amazing perspective you have, Kylee, and I appreciate you sharing it. Hugs to you. -AnnaDS

  4. Love all of this! I *so* needed this a couple months ago. I hope everything is better for you soon. Hugs! -Wendy Castellanos

  5. so on point. feel the feels, find a trusted friend to share and wait for the wave of emotion to pass so you can see the calmness of an answer in a vast ocean vista or red hot sunrise full of possibilities and solutions. love this kylee. would love to share with my in tune group.


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