I’m going to make this short:

Don’t give yourself a hard time about having a hard time when you’re having a hard time.

All of us have hard times. And hard times are hard for at least two reasons: the hard thing that’s happening is hard in and of itself, plus it’s also hard to realize that that hard things happen to you just like they happen to everyone else. ย But strangely enough, many of us get very disappointed in ourselves when we have a hard time with our hard time. And so we make things even harder by telling ourselves it shouldn’t be so hard.

Hard things are hard enough already. We hardly need to make them harder. So please, don’t.

(And if you just can’t help it, then at least don’t give yourself a hard time about giving yourself a hard time when you’re having a hard time. Enough is enough.)

Kathyrn Lynard

(Founding Editor) is the author of the memoir The Year My Son and I Were Born (Globe Pequot Press, 2009) and the editor of four published anthologies. She contributes to Mormon forums from Meridian Magazine to Sunstone on a variety of topics including gender issues, disability, mental health, sexuality, family life, and spirituality.


  1. RCH

    May 3, 2010

    Genius. Thank you. :-*

  2. Jennifer B.

    May 3, 2010


  3. traci

    May 3, 2010

    Well! when you put it that way – it doesn’t sound hard at all!

  4. Rebecca

    May 3, 2010

    I have had a hard week, and just finished writing a post about it…thanks for giving me permission to have a hard time! I think I will go have a good cry now ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Lindsay

    May 3, 2010

    And don’t think disparaging thoughts about others who are going through hard times. Even when it seems like they have at least 20 hard times every month. Just be there and hope that someone will be understanding when you’re hard-timing yourself over hard times.

    (Lecture to self over now)

  6. Angela T.

    May 3, 2010

    Where’s the “Like” button?
    Consider this post LIKED.

  7. Melissa M.

    May 3, 2010

    Love this, Kathy. I should stick this on my bathroom mirror. -)

  8. Johnna

    May 3, 2010

    I’m reading it aloud in my best Eliza Doolittle voice…three times fast. hay ‘ard time ’bout ‘aving hay ‘ard time when youโ€™re ‘aving hay ‘ard time.

    good stuff.

  9. Michelle Glauser

    May 3, 2010

    I think we just need a ditto button here. Ditto.

  10. Selwyn aka Kellie

    May 3, 2010

    I’d like a “To remember” button, to go with the like and ditto!

  11. Pam

    May 3, 2010

    I just love this! And I just love you for posting this! I wish I could give you a hug… ๐Ÿ™‚ Consider yourself virtually hugged!

  12. Dovie

    May 3, 2010

    Ouch my brain hurts, but I will not give myself a hard time about this. Complicated but true.

  13. Lori

    May 3, 2010

    Gosh, this solves a lot of things–thanks!

  14. Kerri

    May 3, 2010

    Love it. But I don’t know how to apply it.

  15. Paradox

    May 3, 2010

    Absolutely love it, and you’re absolutely right ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Trudie

    May 3, 2010

    This is spot on. I learned a while back that I added to my emotional discomfort by judging my reaction to my discomfort! My husband just lets himself feel bad. No acting out, but no running away from it or feeling guilty about it. Thanks for sharing.

  17. mormonhermitmom

    May 3, 2010

    Ha! Excellent.

  18. SteveP

    May 3, 2010

    I’m reflecting on my reflections about this reflection. I am pleased to say I find them pleasantly pleasing.

  19. Bek

    May 3, 2010

    Also, each of us can have hard times that are different. You feeling frustrated about something isn’t invalidated by someone else having something harder. struggle is valid– big or small.

    Great stuff to remember.

  20. MelissaPete

    May 4, 2010

    My favorite are the profound statements that are poignant, but short enough to repeat in our brains throughout the day. Nicely written. ๐Ÿ˜€

  21. ~j.

    May 4, 2010

    Thank you, Kathy.

  22. Sue

    May 4, 2010

    Good one. And I am definitely on board.


  23. Kathleen Dalton-Woodbury

    May 4, 2010


    What’s the point of feeling guilty for having a hard time and knowing it’s a hard time? That just makes the hard time harder.

    In other words, what you said, Kathryn.

    Thanks for saying it–it can’t be said too many times.

Comments are closed.