Sunday, June 26, 2022

How To Get Through All of It - A Personal Diary Entry

How to Get Through All of It
How to Get Through All of It - A Personal Diary Entry Review

Living over six decades, I've gathered some of the tools needed to overcome life's constant challenges. I thought I'd share a few tidbits for those seeking coping mechanisms.

The Most Important Thing I've Learned in This Life So Far

I can definitively say, the most valuable lesson I've learned is that the peace we seek is entirely inside of us, at our core. It doesn't come from anything or any person. 

When the storm swirls around me, I hold onto that which is entirely mine, my soul. 

Our soul is the one thing that is truly ours. Unseen and always ready to be nurtured, it's not the possession of anyone except ourselves and the higher power we believe in.

Five Techniques to Help You Get Through It All

1. Mindfulness

Mindfulness can be an overused, confusing term.

For me, it's when I choose to practice being wholly present in a moment. When being 'present' doesn't come naturally, I use a repetitive mantra or a prayer to bring my mind into the now and away from that rabbit-thinking-hole that leads nowhere. 

It takes practice to perfect, but like any exercise, it becomes easier each time.

2. Prayer

Prayer isn't just for the religiously committed. 

You can create your own prayer to the universe or the higher power that means something to you. For me, it's usually Psalm 23 on repeat in my mind. The beautiful thing about prayer is that you can do it anywhere, anytime. 

As soon as you feel yourself getting upset or thinking thoughts that lead you to a dark place, STOP and begin repeating that prayer or inspirational phrase you decided upon. Repeat it over and over until you bring yourself back to a healthy center. If it takes all day, so what! Repeat it all day, and don't let anything else in.

When I spend time praying for other people, one by one, with specifics for each of them, I feel so much better. Try it; when you're feeling at the end of your rope, start praying for all your loved ones.

I go on prayer bike rides; I get to exercise physically and spiritually. I spend the entire bike ride praying for my friends, family, country, planet, and the universe. The prayers are unique and specific to each of them.

3. Music

For me, I sing. Put your headphones on and listen or sing your guts out. My family is used to me singing full tilt. I'm grateful for that. Depending on the lyrics and message I need, I choose the song for the moment. One of my favorite spiritual groups is Mercy Me. While typing, I'm listening to their song "Say I Won't" (Live from the 2021 K-Love Fan Awards). 


4. Realize You Can't Change People

This is a tough lesson to learn. If you're one of the lucky ones, you'll discover it quickly in your early years. If you understand this as early as your 20s, you might just have the world by the tail! 

What does it mean to understand that you can't change a person? 

It means that they have to walk their walk; you can't do it for them. That goes for spouses, siblings, friends, and children. We can teach with our words, but most importantly with our actions, and be there for them; we can't do it for them. I learned this first hand, it was brutal, but we got through it.

When there's a situation that hurts, that I have no power over (and the older I get, the more there are), I pray over and over. Some days I spend most of the day mentally praying.

5. Let It Go

Holy crap, that's overly simplified, isn't it?  

When I was younger, I used to get upset with people who told me to 'just let it go!' What in the world does that mean! That's how I used to feel.

What it DOESN'T mean is to not have empathy, compassion, and a good heart. Letting go isn't about not caring.

Today, at this stage of life, I completely understand what it means to let it go; it means,

  • practice mindfulness when you're consumed with an issue
  • pray when you're consumed with an issue
  • exercise when you're consumed with an issue
  • listen to music when you're consumed with an issue
  • trust in a positive outcome; see it
  • have faith in those around you
  • always embrace love no matter the pain; love them anyways
  • and finally, only take action to tackle a problem when it's warranted that you do so
HAVE FAITH. Believe in the greater good, and higher solutions, and believe in your prayers. 


Our soul's journey is uniquely our own. Be proud of the steps you've taken to get this far, and congratulate yourself every day on getting through your storms and maintaining your true self through all of it. 

In the end, it's the love we take with us. I wrote this nearly thirty years ago - and put it on YouTube much later. If you can't view the video below, it's here.


If you need a little more inspiration, I've authored a personal book of poetry based on fifty years of life experiences. You can find the book "We Will Have Morning Smiles" on Amazon.


Additional Emotional Tips:





My mom passed away in November 2021, and I can say that the only thing in the end that matters is love. I miss you, mom. Words will never paint the void I feel. Thank you so much for everything you did for all of us. 




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13 comments:

  1. This is a lovely reminder of how to get through troublesome times or life as a whole, Barbara. You really do have a special way with words. For me, both mindfulness and music nourish my soul.

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    1. Ms. Elf, thanks so much for all your support <3

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  2. You have the sweetest heart, Barbara and you are always encouraging and an inspiration. I smiled when you said we have to let others "walk their walk". I immediately thought of my children and how I wish I could make things easier for them, or completely remove and obstacle. I love the song by Mercy Me and of course, was once again, touched by your words and video. Love you my friend!

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    1. Sylvestermouse, thanks so much. Isn't it true about wanting to remove all obstacles for our children! Of course, we can't but I suppose that's a good reason to keep the faith - Barbra Streisand's song "If I Could" was written for her son and is about exactly what you expressed; if she could prevent pain and struggles for her child, she would. I'm grateful for you!

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  3. What a beautiful post Barbara. And everything you say is so very true. I hope many read this and benefit from your wise and caring words.

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  4. Barbara, you are one of the most wonderful and inspiring people I have been blessed to know, not only because of your impressive and hard-earned tangible accomplishments, but also because of your equality impressive and hard-earned personal and spiritual growth. Thank you so much for sharing your primary tried-and-true coping strategies. Although I am not religious, I have always found the Serenity Prayer extremely helpful in grounding myself when my emotions are roiling, and I think you embody this prayer in your daily life. 💗

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    1. The Serenity Prayer is an ideal mantra to put on repeat, an excellent choice. Thanks so much for all your support as well. I'm grateful to have you in my life.

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  5. This is a lovely and inspiring article Barbara. Thank you so much for opening your heart and sharing these coping strategies with us. I think as you say it is key to understand that the peace we seek does come from within us at our core, it is not external, though we may try to seek it there. These 5 techniques you describe are very valuable and its good if we can practice them before or outside of any challenging times so they become more natural. Thank you so much for sharing this.

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    1. thanks so much - practice really does make a difference - I started to train my mind in 2013 to think 'better, smarter, wiser' - it's been worth it - instead of body building...mind building lol

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  6. Beautiful Barbara, I know that many people will resonate with all of these tips you have given us. I know my own day isn't complete until I've had my hour swim time/prayer time. Yes, you can pray anywhere, even while doing laps. Where else can your mind go? Better to spend that time in prayer than anywhere else. Thank you for sharing all your reflections with us!

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    1. I totally agree, well put, "where else can your mind go? better to spend that time in prayer than anywhere else" - There's such peace in simple prayer <3

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  7. So resonating. This is the heart of it all... the soul of what we are to be about. I appreciate how you reveal your inner light. Keep shining, Sister! We all benefit from your lovely spirit and presence here.

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