What are you struggling with right now?

Are you experiencing anxiety, sadness, rage, grief, or fear?

Are you suffering?

If so, you’re not alone. It’s part of the human condition.

You may want to resist the discomfort.

You may even want to plug your ears and pretend it’s not there.

I understand.

Even if you know that allowing your emotions is the key to working through them, your brain may not accept it.

I know when I am struggling, my brain wants me to know that something Very Important Has Gone Wrong.

It wants me to resist.

When this happens, I call on one of my favorite phrases to help: “This is the part where…”

It’s a simple phrase, but it’s very powerful.

Think of it as though you were watching your favorite movie for the 8th time.

You may come to a particularly dramatic scene and say “oh, this is the part where they find out their partner has been cheating on them with someone else,” and you can watch the scene and even appreciate it, knowing it’s just one piece of a bigger story.

I want you to think of this in the context of your life.

If you were, say, watching a movie of your childhood, you might see the moment toddler-you had a tantrum when your little brother stole your ice cream.

You could apply “this is the part where” to this memory and think “oh yeah, this was the part where I thought ice cream was the most important thing in life.”

I started with a small example but it works for things much more painful than ice cream (though if you could really go back to your three-year-old experience you’d realize that to your three-year-old self, that pain was very very real!).

You can look back on a painful heartbreak from a decade ago and think “that was the part where I was convinced I was losing my soulmate.”

Or you can remember the loss of a parent and think “that was the part where I was grieving for a year.”

And the real magic happens when you learn to apply it to your thoughts NOW.

Thought work can help you to change your thoughts – and in doing so, change your emotions.

But what about thoughts you’re not ready to shift? What about when you believe a thought too much to change it, or think you’re not ready to believe an alternative yet or can’t even access the belief because all you can experience is a feeling you can’t shift?

That’s ok. Nothing has gone wrong. 

You can use “this is the part where” to make peace with those times. 

You can think:

  • This is the part where I lose my mind over finding my first client.
  • This is the part where I yell at my kid.
  • This is the part where I feel anxious about a new romance.
  • This is the part where I feel grief about a family member passing.

Anything can be “the part where.”

And by practicing “this is the part where,” you will be able to access a future perspective on your current situation. You can look at yourself with more peace and compassion.

For me, it’s an instant reset out of wanting something to be different.

It helps me contextualize what I’m experiencing now as a part of my bigger story.

It reminds me that my life is unfolding exactly as it should, simply because it IS what is happening to me now. It’s not about a divine plan, it’s simply about not resisting reality.

It’s not an aberration.

It’s not a mistake.

It’s simply part of my story.

I enjoyed the part of the story where I felt amazing. That was great. And now I can accept the part of the story where I feel worried, anxious, and sad.

And in fact, the variety is what makes a story interesting – whether it’s my story or it’s a film I’m watching.

When we watch a movie or read a book, we don’t assume the protagonist will just feel happy forever and then die. That would be boring.

We know there will be a “part where” and then they will be transformed, and the journey will continue.

The same is true for you, no matter what you’re going through.

This is the part where you loved and lost. You risked and failed. You fell apart. You put yourself back together.

It’s all a part of your story. And your story isn’t over until you are.

So when you are struggling this week – when you’re resisting your reality or your own thoughts and feelings – when you want something or everything to be different…

Take a deep breath.

Remind yourself that this is the part where it is this way.

And remember that as my grandfather used to say about any number of things in life: This too shall pass.