I may not know you personally, but I wanted to reach out across the internet and to proverbially hold your hand and let you know it’s going to be okay with a big list of reasons why. A list of reasons why the world doesn’t suck even though things feel really hard right now. A list of reminders to help you recall your own inner strength and resilience. A list of quotes and musings and reflections on how and why you’ll likely get through this time.
Look, I don’t have a crystal ball, I don’t know what’s going on for you personally or what your future will hold.
But I do know that even when things are hard and feel impossible, they can coexist with things that are going well, things that are good in your life and good in the world. It’s not either/or, it’s both/and.
This list is meant to be the both/and to what it is you’re facing right now.
Take what you need from this list and leave the rest — some things may feel helpful, some maybe won’t; some will apply to you life, some might not; read through, internalize the ones that resonate with you, and then tell it to yourself over and over again when you need to hear it. It’s a veritable smorgasbord of reassurance.
And please, pass this one on to those who may also need to hear some reasons why it will be okay. Because really, who among us doesn’t need a reminder from time to time?
101 Reasons Why It Will All Be Okay.
1. You are alive. You’ve got another day to create change if you want to.
2. You’ve got ground beneath your feet and air in your lungs. You’ve got the basics down.
3. You’ve made it this far. Clearly, you’ve been able to survive and overcome the obstacles you’ve faced already. Which probably means you can use these skills to face the next obstacles that come your way.
4. “She could never go back and make some of the details pretty. All she could do was move forward and make the whole beautiful.” ― Terri St. Cloud
5. You know where your next meal is coming from. And if you don’t, there are so many incredible resources out there to help you out if you’re experiencing food insecurity.
6. You can READ. You’re reading this list, right? Or maybe someone is reading it to you. Either way, words are powerful and by soaking them up you have the ability to learn, to grow, and to create change in your world if that’s something you’re wanting/needing.
7. There is someone out there — at least one person in the world — who cares about your well-being and who you matter to. You may not believe this, but you also may not be the best judge of this right now. Sometimes we just don’t know how much we matter and to who.
8. You guys. The internet. You have access to the best darn thing! You can connect with people with similar stories, get help, and watch hilarious puppy videos. Thank goodness for the internet!
9. “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” – Anne of Green Gables
10. There are teachers and healers out there showing up every day, doing really hard things helping young minds and hurting hearts to grow and to heal. These people are doing good work in the world and they’re all. around. us.
11. THIS TOO SHALL PASS.
12. “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of those depths.” ― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
13. You have a bed to sleep in tonight. And if you don’t, please consider this list of resources to help you out.
14. There millions and millions of people out there with stories of overcoming adversity and doing really hard things. Google them. Internet stalk them. Chase them down on Instagram. Consider them your tribe and know you’re not alone in going through tough times.
15. Chocolate, you guys. Chocolate.
16. You are loved. You are worthy.
17. Remember if you start to go into catastrophe thinking about everything and everyone being ripped away from you, remember that there are many, many steps that would have to happen before you ended up friendless and resourceless. Challenge your catastrophe thinking by listing out all the many ways things would have to play out before you get to that point. It will probably be quite soothing to do so!
18. There is a thing that exists called “binge watching.” And there is this little thing called Netflix.
19. There are people who volunteer to hold and soothe premature and drug-addicted newborn babies. Thank goodness for these kind angels.
20. “And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” ― Haruki Murakami
21. There is a veritable solar-system-sized constellation of bloggers and authors whose words and messages are there to support, uplift, and let you know that you’re not alone (I personally ADORE Glennon Doyle!). Again, thank you, Internet.
22. Breathe. Feel your feet on the ground. The breath on your lips. You are safe, you are okay.
23. Because hot showers, hot baths, hot springs, hot tubs, and hot water in general.
24. If you’re feeling angry and hurt because you’ve been betrayed and/or your boundaries have been crossed, know that you’re having an appropriate response to that situation. Anger is a sign that we have a need that’s not being met or a boundary that’s being crossed. Your feelings are actually trying to tell you something. If you need additional support in creating and enforcing boundaries, I created my course, “Hard Families, Good Boundaries” just for you.
25. “God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference.” – Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr, adopted by AA
26. Because, while you may not have been able to choose your family-of-origin, you absolutely get to create your second chance, family-of-choice.
27. Because, cake with frosting.
28. “Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving, we get stronger and more resilient.” ― Steve Maraboli
29. We’re living in a day and age where feminism, gender fluidity, racial equality, LGBTQI rights, and overall social progress is becoming more and more normative. Thank GOD.
30. If you need to take a break from those who are triggering you, that’s ok. Take care of yourself.
31. There are people out there training in ministry, devoting themselves to service, and spending years upon years developing the skills to be caring professionals who can help your body, mind, and soul because this is their calling. These people are out there for YOU.
32. “Though fairy tales end after ten pages, our lives do not. We are multi-volume sets. In our lives, even though one episode amounts to a crash and burn, there is always another episode awaiting us and then another. There are always more opportunities to get it right, to fashion our lives in the ways we deserve to have them. Don’t waste your time hating a failure. Failure is a greater teacher than success.” ― Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D.
33. There are phone lines and internet meetings of support which you can access without ever leaving your home. Consider calling or joining one if you need to feel some contact and connection. It may not feel ideal or totally satiating to you, but it could be a start.
34. REPEAT TO YOURSELF: IT WILL ALL BE OKAY.
35. “Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.” – Helen Keller
36. There are people out there doing incredibly hard things to make sure we maintain our privileges and rights to clean air, drinkable water, and general safety and security as we move about our lives. These invisible heroes are working to keep YOU safe and sound. Isn’t that amazing?
37. There is such a thing as fresh starts, clean slates, and second chances. THANK GOODNESS.
38. “This is a good sign, having a broken heart. It means we have tried for something.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert
39. You have working organs and limbs. They may not work as well as you’d like and you may face some real challenges here, but probably you have at least a few limbs and organs working for you right now. So that’s something.
40. Because, the feeling of coziness and safety you feel in your bed. Bliss!
41. If you’re grieving and saddened by the loss of someone right now, how beautiful is it that you loved someone enough to miss them? You really showed up for life and for love, didn’t you?
42. Your feelings are valid. You get to feel ALL of your feelings. They are not good nor bad — they are clues for you. What are your feelings telling you?
43. Because there are beautiful, precious, innocent babies being born all over the world as you read this. And who knows who among them will be our next heroes and healers of people and planet.
44. “Grief is love’s souvenir. It’s our proof that we once loved. Grief is the receipt we wave in the air that says to the world: Look! Love was once mine. I love well. Here is my proof that I paid the price.” ― Glennon Doyle
45. Because there are families out there raising and championing strong, smart, confident, headstrong little girls.
46. “I was set free because my greatest fear had been realized, and I still had a daughter who I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” ― J. K. Rowling
47. Because there are families out there raising and championing kind, compassionate, loving, respectful little boys.
49. “Our wounds are often the openings into the best and most beautiful part of us.” ― David Richo
50. Because there are families out there who are consciously allowing and deliberately supporting their child’s own natural gender and sexual identity to emerge of their own accord. How incredibly beautiful and powerful is that?
51. Because body positivity is a thing and there is a mounting wave of powerhouse advocates for this movement.
52. You are resilient. Perhaps more so than you know. And you can do really, really hard things.
53. “People are like stained – glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” ― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, M.D.
54. Because while you may not know what the future holds, I trust you have the skills and capacity to meet it and to navigate it. However it unfolds.
55. “One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it.” ― Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D.
56. Because, if the average person lives 27,375 days and this one happens to be a particularly bad one for you, remember not all of the other days lived so far felt this bad and remember that not all of your remaining days will likely feel this bad. It’s just one of many days in your life, even if it sucks right now.
57. “Discovering the truth about ourselves is a lifetime’s work, but it’s worth the effort.” ― Fred Rogers
58. No matter how hard things seem right now, you always have some degree of choice and free will, somewhere, somehow, even it’s “just” in how you choose to think about a situation.
59. “I’m here. I love you. I don’t care if you need to stay up crying all night long, I will stay with you. If you need the medication again, go ahead and take it—I will love you through that, as well. If you don’t need the medication, I will love you, too. There’s nothing you can ever do to lose my love. I will protect you until you die, and after your death I will still protect you. I am stronger than Depression and I am braver than Loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert
60. If you’re feeling scared and fearful because you’re experiencing or anticipating a loss and it’s bringing up your childhood fears around scarcity, grief, and loneliness, look around you and find reasons why you’re actually more secure than you feel. Just because past feelings are present does not mean the situation is real.
61. “Someday you’re gonna look back on this moment of your life as such a sweet time of grieving. You’ll see that you were in mourning and your heart was broken, but your life was changing…” ― Elizabeth Gilbert
63. Because, the smell of fresh baked bread.
64. Because there are enormously talented writers out there like J.K. Rowling, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Marion Zimmer Bradley, and others who have created whole worlds and universes for us to “escape” into if we need a little break from this one.
65. Because no feeling lasts forever. Even if it feels like it might always feel this way, it won’t. It’s impossible for it to because change is inevitable for all of us.
66. When it feels like you’re the last of your college girlfriends to get engaged/get married/have a baby/buy a house and you feel sad and very alone, just remember… Adulting’s not easy. And humaning can be hard.
67. “Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.” ― Fred Rogers
68. I mean, because of things like this video.
69. Because the world is filled with talented ASMR artists who are creating content to help soothe and support you.
70. “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” ― Maya Angelou
71. Because even while it feels like the world (or your world) is ending, if you look around and notice the ground safely underneath your feet, the walls holding up the ceiling, your lungs breathing in and out, you have proof that it isn’t. Proof that you are safe.
72. “We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” ― Joseph Campbell
73. When you have gone through tough times in the past you got through them, didn’t you? You developed resources and skills or had gifts and opportunities brought to you at the time you needed them, right? Here’s your proof that this may happen again while you’re going through a hard time.
74. “It’s good to do uncomfortable things. It’s weight training for life.” ― Anne Lamott
75. You have (at least) one person in your life you could likely turn to if you needed to. A friend. A parent. Your therapist. Your neighbor. Your doctor.
76. “We cannot selectively numb emotions, when we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions.” ― Brené Brown
77. If you’re feeling uncomfortable and scared because you’re stretching yourself and doing something you’ve never done before, know that this is totally normal and natural! It’s normal and natural to feel emotionally and physically uncomfortable when you uplevel and do new tasks or act from new ways of being. Your discomfort may not last and it may not be a sign that this is the wrong step.
78. “I think one of the keys to happiness is accepting that I am never going to be perfectly happy. Life is uncomfortable. So I might as well get busy loving the people around me. I’m going to stop trying so hard to decide whether they are the “right people” for me and just take deep breaths and love my neighbors. I’m going to take care of my friends. I’m going to find peace in the ’burbs. I’m going to quit chasing happiness long enough to notice it smiling right at me.” ― Glennon Doyle
79. Because of the sweet, milky smell of little babies…
80. Please remember, what you’re going through right now is temporary. It may not feel like that from inside the tough time you’re in, but this too shall pass and you will feel different again someday. If you can’t have faith in that, let me hold the hope for you.
81. Right now, somewhere in the world, spiritual leaders are praying for you, meditating for you, crafting their work in the world for you.
82. “It’s funny: I always imagined when I was a kid that adults had some kind of inner toolbox full of shiny tools: the saw of discernment, the hammer of wisdom, the sandpaper of patience. But then when I grew up I found that life handed you these rusty bent old tools – friendships, prayer, conscience, honesty – and said ‘do the best you can with these, they will have to do’. And mostly, against all odds, they do.” ― Anne Lamott
83. Because, ice cream on a hot summer day.
84. You guys, there are libraries. Air-conditioned places where we can go to LEARN and to escape and to grow. Where you can find computers and free internet, audiobooks, dvd’s and thousands upon thousands of worlds waiting for you to explore them.
85. Because of everyday warriors like Senator Elizabeth Warren who are standing up for us and fighting the good fight.
86. “This is an important lesson to remember when you’re having a bad day, a bad month, or a shitty year. Things will change: you won’t feel this way forever. And anyway, sometimes the hardest lessons to learn are the ones your soul needs most. I believe you can’t feel real joy unless you’ve felt heartache. You can’t have a sense of victory unless you know what it means to fail. You can’t know what it’s like to feel holy until you know what it’s like to feel really fucking evil. And you can’t be birthed again until you’ve died.” ― Kelly Cutrone
87. While you cannot go back and change the past, the reality is that you now have choice about what you want to do moving forward. So get clear on what you want now, and do everything you can to go after it.
88. Because, giggling children, crazy cats, and lists of what’s going right in the world.
89. You may not understand what’s happening right now, but I invite you to TRUST THE PROCESS.
90. It may be that your soul needs to be going through this right now for a divine reason that’s just not known to you right now.
91. Because I made you a free, robust digital Care Package of multimedia resources to nourish and support you.
92. You have people in your life who see you, love you, and show up for you in the ways you want them to. They just may not be your family.
93. BREATHE. This too shall pass. You can get through this.
94. You deserve to take incredibly good care of your tender, precious self. What’s one thing you can do right now to support yourself?
95. Ask yourself: What can I learn from this moment?
96. “Should you shield the canyons from the windstorms you would never see the true beauty of their carvings.” ― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
97. Remember, the people who trigger us are some of our greatest personal growth teachers.
98. “So what is it in a human life that creates bravery, kindness, wisdom, and resilience? What if it’s pain? What if it’s the struggle?” ― Glennon Doyle
99. There is always gold in the mud if you’re willing to look for the lessons.
100. Because there are people out there going through probably a remarkably similar experience as you right now and, even if you never meet them, you can know you have a kindred companion in this rocky time who is also wondering and wishing they knew someone like you so they could feel less alone, too.
101. Remember, human beings are remarkable things. From the dawn of time, we’ve thought the world was ending and yet somehow still it hasn’t. Each age must imagine this so perhaps this is our time to imagine it all ending. But history reliably shows us this probably won’t be true. So take comfort in that. Get up in the morning, brush your teeth, go to work, hug a person you love, and do whatever you need to do to get through this tough time. You can do it. You can do hard things.