My very wise father, Sidney Rosenblum of blessed memory, taught me this one. It’s my favorite coping tool, and I hope it becomes among your favorite coping tools, too. I’ve used it for big stuff and little stuff. I’m stuck in traffic and will be late for a meeting (little stuff). I’m going to lose my job (bigger). Someone I love is dying (really big). Go on. Ask yourself: “What is the worst thing that could happen?” Answering candidly can be hard, scary or incredibly sad. But facing our fears jolts us awake so that we can plan our next move. You know the popular saying, “We’re never given more than we can handle?” I hate that popular saying. The universe throws all sorts of crap at us that we’re not ready to handle. I don’t like, “Everything happens for a reason” either. Horrible things happen that are terribly unfair. I work as a journalist, which means that I sit on the frontdark cloudslines of unbearable tragedy and unfairness pretty much every day. Nations go to war. Tornadoes and fires ravage communities. Families go hungry. Parents bury their children. But in our darkest hour, people come out of the woodwork to help us, if we let them. The worst thing that could happen? To shut ourselves off from them.

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