How to Get Through Life’s Toughest Challenges

I have had several challenges during my child- and adulthood that have helped define the person I am today.  And what has gotten me through them is knowing this:

This too will pass.

When I was seven years old, I lost my adoptive mother.  Pregnant at the time, she passed away suddenly from a pulmonary embolism.  Two months later, we moved into what she considered her dream house–but without her.  At about the same time, her Master’s degree came in the mail. Reminders of a life cut too short.

The sadness of losing her engulfed me.  When I was eight years old, I contemplated suicide.  I sat on my second-floor bedroom’s window sill, my legs dangling over the side of the house, thinking, “What’s the point of life?”  By then my father had cut off contact with my beloved grandparents and we were left with a parent who was a workaholic.  And, being adopted, I felt in some ways orphaned from that point on.  With a biological sister, my experience with my father and sister was of never being good enough to compete with the natural-born daughter.  The death of wife/mother intensified the relationship between my father and sister, and widened the gulf between us.

This was one of the hardest times of my life, but something kept me going.  I have always had an incredible determination, but it was more than that.  It was knowing that this too shall pass.  The belief that everything changes.  I have always had the faith that something better would happen despite the challenges I’ve encountered.  I also have a strong faith that God/Spirit/Oneness guides and supports me.  And, my mother as well.

Throughout my life I’ve had a series of challenges that would bring people to their knees.  Despite the suffering encountered, I didn’t stay stuck for long.  I look at all of these challenges as life lessons.  What are the lessons behind the pain?  Why are they painful?  What would I need to do to let go?

Divorce and Parental Alienation are other incredibly painful losses I’ve encountered in my life.  The intensity of the pain was similar to my childhood’s loss of youth and innocence.  And yet, I’ve come out stronger and wiser knowing that this too shall pass.

Whatever challenge you encounter, know that this too will pass.

All challenges are life lessons.

When you become stuck in the pain, you aren’t able to process and learn the lesson.  You aren’t able to accept the situation, to let go and find peace from it, and to move forward.

Think of life as a school.  Each challenge presents you with the opportunity to move to the next grade (level of growth).  You’re a lifelong learner.  Whether you want to be or not, you’re enrolled in the school of life.  Even after you’ve been through a particularly challenging time, your lessons won’t stop there.  You will still continue to get lessons, but the wisdom you’ve gained from the previous ones will help you through the next.

They say that emotions last only for about 90 seconds.  Anything you feel after this is attributed to the thoughts and meanings you give to what’s happened.

Being present in the moment helps alleviate the pain and suffering you go through when you’re in the midst of stress or crisis.  You’re going to be okay–you always are.  Trust and have faith that this too shall pass.  Live with the uncomfortableness of the feelings until they no longer rattle you.  Sometimes all it takes is to confront them head-on instead of trying to avoid them (with food, alcohol, gossip, work, etc.).

If you know someone who can benefit from this or if you like this article please like or share this on FB, tweet it, link to this, and/or leave a comment.  Thanks!  Let’s get the word out on what it takes to have an extraordinary relationship!  My mission is to help as many people create loving and long-lasting relationships as possible!

*As I reread this article, I noticed one thing I left out and that is so important for getting through life’s challenges.  Hope.  Hope is what counselors provide to their clients and hope is one of the most powerful and crucial elements of positive change.  Hope is positive focus on the future.

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If your relationship needs some attention, and you’re not sure just reading articles like these and books will help, I invite you to discover relationship coaching.  You can find out more by clicking here:  Relationship Coaching.


relationship adviceMy passion is to enrich people’s lives by helping them create extraordinary relationships.  I am a certified life coach, have a Master’s degree in psychology, and am a Marriage and Family Therapy Candidate.  I am the author of Transforming Divorce, the Transforming Divorce Workbook, and co-author (with my husband Don Nenninger) of The Secrets of Loving Relationships, and The Art and Science of Parenting:  How to Act When Your Kid’s Acting Out.


8 thoughts on “How to Get Through Life’s Toughest Challenges”

    1. Nicole Nenninger

      Thank you for your kind words. I hope that by telling part of my story, that others will see they aren’t alone and that they can have a fantastic life no matter what life throws at them.

    1. Nicole Nenninger

      Thank you Christine–I appreciate the feedback and the sharing! A New England momma, huh? It’s where I grew up.

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