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Survival, with honor, that outmoded and all-important word, is as difficult as ever and as all-important to a writer. Those who do not last are always more beloved since no one has to see them in their long, dull, unrelenting, no-quarter-given-and-no-quarter-received, fights that they make to do something as they believe it should be done before they die. Those who die or quit early and easy and with every good reason are preferred because they are understandable and human. Failure and well-disguised cowardice are more human and more beloved.
-- Ernest Hemingway


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How to Get Through


How do you get through the big shit in life?

Having had my share of the tumultuous, here's how I think it's best to manage:

1) Remind yourself of who you are and who you want to be. It's easy to slip into vices when stressed. For me, that's overeating. Instead, repeat the mantra in your head of self-definition. Do not allow yourself to become less than what you are or what you aim to be. This is not a time for careless permission or license.

2) No self-kicking, just in case you do something wrong in violation of who you are. It is a time for forgiveness.

3) Appreciate the small. For me, that's ear-covering headphones and music. It's art. I guess I go to my right brain. Peter Gabriel's Mirrorball, for example, has some wonderful orchestration and a delicious lyric: "We kiss like we invented it." You dig into small things and find delight in them. It's not day-to-day living; it's minute-to-minute living in some moments. That's okay. And if you're going to do something stupid like overeat, make it frozen peas thawed and not ice cream. You won't feel like bigger crap afterward.

4) Friends. And friends again.

5) Gain a vision of what life will look like after you're through it. Stare at that long and hard in those tough moments.

I'm sure there are other things you can do, but that's a good start. When your soul hurts, you need a healing kit at the ready. Think it through and you'll have one when you need it and not wake up drunk in a room you don't recognize, or something similarly regrettable.


by Brett Rogers, 4/24/2012 12:11:08 PM


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