Encouraging Words for Unhappy Times

October 12, 2020

I’ve been in a very dark place recently. Even though I avoid click bait and the most outrageous headlines, it’s impossible not to see how much suffering and hardship people are experiencing right now. I’ve been going about my day-to-day life feeling like an elephant is sitting on my head.

In times like these, when I finally pull myself off the floor and hunt for ways to feel better, I often turn to the written word. I have books with tape flags, a stack of 3 x 5 cards inscribed with favorite quotes, and if that’s not enough, I also have the search engines of Internet at my fingertips. Last week, I turned to them all.

Here are a few encouraging words/thoughts/mantras that have been helping me hold on, followed by a few of my own thoughts. I hope you find them encouraging, too. Please feel free to forward and share these with others if you feel they could help.

“If there is a solution to the problem, there is no need to worry. If there is no solution, there is no sense worrying, either.” The Dalai Lama

I’m prone to worry even in the best of times. These words remind me that worrying is a useless exercise. It doesn’t—cannot—solve any problem and only serves to exhaust me mentally and emotionally.

“Remember that things can change for the better.” Action for Happiness Optimistic October 2020 calendar

Huh. Sometimes change is for the better. Sometimes I forget that.


“The world is broken. It was broken long before I arrived and will continue to be so long after I’m gone. The only thing I can do is control how bright my own light shines.” A friend

One bad day, I was sharing how emotionally overwhelmed and sad I was feeling with a close friend. These words of her response stood out for me and comforted me. I’m not in charge of the world (thank goodness) but I am in charge of myself.

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”

Marcus Aurelius

So true. It’s not the thing happening causing me pain, it’s my response. Too often my response is worry/anxiety/negativity.

“We tend to look for the whys when bad things happen—why did this happen to me? What did I do to deserve this? But if we can reframe it, we can take back the power—How can I make this better? How is this making me stronger? The answers don’t come immediately, but they will come when you’re ready to hear them.” Susannah Conway

OK, maybe I’m ready to hear them?

Two quotes from Pema Chodron:

“Things falling apart is a kind of testing and also a kind of healing.  We think the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved.  They come together and they fall apart.  Then they come together again and fall apart again.  It’s just like that.  The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen:  room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.”

Things are certainly falling apart right now. I will try to allow all this to happen, and to remember to leave room for joy also.

“Times are difficult globally; awakening is no longer a luxury or an ideal.  It’s becoming critical.  We don’t need to add more depression, more discouragement, or more anger to what’s already here.  It’s becoming essential that we learn how to relate sanely with difficult times.  The earth seems to be beseeching us to connect with joy and discover our innermost essence. This is the best way that we can benefit others.” 

My new goal: “relate sanely with difficult times.”

And lastly, a wish I saw recently on a bumper sticker:

“I hope something good happens to you today.”

I really DO hope something good happens for you today.

What are some encouraging words that are helping you?



Always Well Within

Link Love XI

November 14, 2014

Ready for some Web surfing? Grab your wetsuit and dive in!

Read Laura Vanderkam’s suggestions for reclaiming your free time when other people want you to do something for or with them in “When Other People Eat Your Time.”

“What is enough for me?” Jennifer Louden’s post “Conditions of Enoughness, or the Art of Building Your Truer Life,” explains four steps in creating boundaries in your life. Learn to train “the hounds of more”—I love that phrase!

This artist collaborates with her young daughter to create paintings. She says it helps her to “move out of her comfort zone, … relinquish control and think creatively.” How much fun would that be?

Make way for joy and contentment when you discover “The Art of a Distraction Free Life.”

Life lessons from Taylor Swift, via Dani Dipirro of Positively Present. Somewhat to my surprise, several resonated with me.

Calm the stress response with these mantras from Always Well Within.

A recipe for ice—the comments are the best part. 

And if you truly have too much time on your hands, find out what your name would be if you were a cat here. My name would be Doctor Sassy McMittens. So from now on, I expect to be addressed as Doctor. You’re welcome.

Have a happy weekend!