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Note: Happy New Year! It seems wise to listen to wisdom as we begin a new year. Marc and Angel Chernoff are New York Times bestselling authors, professional coaches, full-time students of life, admirers of the human spirit, and have been recognized by Forbes as having “one of the most popular personal development blogs.” (12/24/23)

40 Quotes for Letting Go and Coping with What You Can’t Control Today



The goal every day for the rest of the year (and beyond) is to gradually grow stronger on the inside so that less and less on the outside can affect your inner wellness without your conscious permission.

Truth be told, how you cope with unexpected stress and frustration can easily be the difference between living a good life and living an unhealthy one. If you choose unhealthy coping mechanisms like avoidance or denial, for example, you can quickly turn a tough situation into a tragic one. And sadly, this is a common mistake many people make.

When you find yourself facing a disheartening reality, your first reaction might be to deny the situation, or to avoid dealing with it altogether. But by doing so you’re inadvertently holding on even tighter to the pain that you wish to let go of — you’re, in effect, sealing it up inside you.

Let’s imagine someone close to you has grown ill, and supporting this person through his or her illness is incredibly painful. You might not want to deal with the pain, so you cope by avoiding it, by finding ways to numb yourself with alcohol and unhealthy eating. And consequently, you grow physically ill too while the pain continues to fester inside you.

Obviously that’s not good.

If you notice yourself doing something similar, it’s time to pause, admit to yourself that you’re coping by avoiding, and then shift your focus to a healthier coping mechanism, like using the quotes listed later in this post (several of which are excerpts from our books) to help you open your mind.

When you face struggles with an attitude of openness — open to the painful feelings and emotions you have — you find out that it’s not comfortable, but you can still be fine and you can still step forward. Openness means you don’t instantly decide that you know this is only going to be a horrible experience — it means you admit that you don’t really know what the next step will be like, and you’d like to understand the whole truth of the matter. It’s a learning stance, instead of one that assumes the worst.

The General Benefits of Healthy Coping

Coping certainly isn’t an easy practice, and I’m not suggesting that it is. What I am suggesting is that it’s worth your while. With practice, healthy coping allows you to find better ways of managing life’s continuous stream of unexpected and uncontrollable circumstances. For example…

  1. A task is harder than you expected it to be — Instead of running from a daunting and overwhelming task, you can accept it and see what it’s like to feel uncomfortable and overwhelmed, and still take action anyway. Writing a book, for example, is daunting and overwhelming, but you can still write one even with those feelings rolling through you (just like Marc and I did with our books).

  2. An interaction with someone you love angers or frustrates you — Instead of lashing out at a loved one when you’re upset with them, you can sit quietly with your difficult feelings and just be open to what it’s like to feel them. And then, once you’ve had a moment to breathe, you can see what it’s like to deal compassionately with someone you love who you’re also upset with. To try to understand them instead of just judging them at their worst.

  3. Unhealthy cravings overwhelm you out of nowhere — You may be inclined to indulge in unhealthy cravings like alcohol and sweets for comfort when you’re feeling stressed out. But you can sit with these feelings and be open to them instead, and then gradually build positive daily rituals for coping in healthier ways—taking walks, meditating, talking with someone about your feelings, journaling, reviewing the relevant quotes from our book provided in this post, etc.

  4. You are forced to deal with a loved one’s death — When someone you love passes away, the grief and sense of loss can seem overwhelming. And at that point, it’s incredibly easy to give in to unhealthy, “quick-fix” ways of alleviating the pain. But you have to force yourself to do the opposite—to give yourself compassion, to sit with the powerfully difficult thoughts and feelings you have, and to open your mind to what lies ahead. Gradually it becomes evident that death isn’t just an ending, but also a beginning. Because while you have lost someone special, this ending, like all losses, is a moment of reinvention. Although deeply sad, their passing forces you to reinvent your life, and in this reinvention is an opportunity to experience beauty in new, unseen ways and places.

And of course, we’ve merely just scratched the surface of an endless pool of possibilities for healthy coping. The key thing to understand is that by learning to cope in healthier ways, you will find that you can better handle anything life throws your way, and come out stronger, and oftentimes even happier, than you were before.

In the end, the world is as you are inside. What you think, you see, and you ultimately become. So gather and choose your thoughts wisely — think how you want to live today. And use these quotes to guide you:

Quotes for Letting Go and Healthy Coping

In moments of unexpected stress and frustration, an uplifting reminder can make all the difference in your mindset. And that’s exactly why I’m sharing the quotes below with you today. Together they collectively serve as a healthy coping mechanism for life’s inevitable disappointments. And understanding how to cope in a healthy way, as we’ve discussed, is an invaluable skill.

Truth be told, Marc and I personally reference these quotes on a regular basis to bring perspective, shift our mindset, and cope with the unexpected troubles we can’t control. And although this practice is indeed a personal one, it’s also been vetted by its extensive use in hundreds of successful one-on-one (and two-on-one) coaching sessions that Marc and I have administered with our course students, live event attendees, and coaching clients over the years. Perhaps they can help you too…


…and I dare you to dance today, through the holidays, and into the New Year! ���​​

But before you go, please share this post with others who you think will benefit from it, and also share your thoughts with us in the comments section below. Which quote above resonated the most today? Or perhaps share an additional quote or personal saying that has helped you let go and cope more effectively with the things you can’t control.

Note:  We are appreciative to UM board member Rev. Dr. Wanda Lundy for sharing this poem with us from Sojourners.




OCT 9, 2023



“They will not hurt or destroy
    on all my holy mountain...” —Isaiah 11:9

God of Comfort,
send your Spirit to encompass all those whose lives
are torn apart by violence and death in Israel and Palestine.
You are the Advocate of the oppressed
and the One whose eye is on the sparrow.
Let arms reach out in healing, rather than aggression.
Let hearts mourn rather than militarize.

God of Justice,
give strength to those whose long work for a just peace
might seem fruitless now. Strengthen their resolve.
Do not let them feel alone. Show us how to support their work
and bolster their courage. Guide religious leaders to model
unity and reconciliation across lines of division.
Guide political leaders to listen with their hearts as they seek peace and pursue it.
Help all people choose the rigorous path of just peace and disavow violence.

God of Love,
we lift up Palestine and Israel — its people, its land, its creatures.
War is a monster that consumes everything in its path.
Peace is a gift shared at meals of memory with Christians, Muslims, and Jews.
Let us burn incense, not children. Let us break bread, not bodies.
Let us plant olive groves, not cemeteries.
We beg for love and compassion to prevail
on all your holy mountains.

God of Hope,
we lift up the cities of the region: Gaza City and Tel Aviv,
Ramallah and Ashkelon, Deir El Balah and Sderot,
so long divided, yet so filled with life and creativity.
Come again to breathe peace on your peoples
that all may recognize you.

God of Mercy,
even now work on the hearts of combatants
to choose life over death, reconciliation over retaliation,
restoration over destruction. Help us resist antisemitism in all its forms,
especially in our own churches. All people, Israelis and Palestinians,
deserve to live in peace and unafraid, with a right to determine
their future together.

God of the Nations,
let not one more child or elder be sacrificed on altars of political expediency.
Keep safe all people from unjust leaders who would exploit
vulnerability for their own distorted ends.
Give wise discernment to those making decisions to pursue peace.
Provide them insight into fostering well-being, freedom, and thriving for all.
Teach all of us to resolve injustices with righteousness, not rockets.
Guard our hearts against retaliation, and give us hearts for love alone.

Strengthen our faith in you, O God of All Flesh,
even when we don’t have clear answers,
so that we may still offer ourselves nonviolently
for the cause of peace.



Rose Marie Berger

Rose Marie Berger, author of Bending the Arch: Poems, is a senior editor of Sojourners 

Empowering Futures: MENTOR$CHIP

I’m Dr. Micah McCrary-Dennis, Founder and CEO of MentorSchip, Inc. Born and raised in Atlanta, Ga, I found my passion for engineering at a young age as I was always tinkering, dismantling and repairing anything I could find. Following my passion and my love of music, I attended Flordia Agricultural & Mechanical University to double major in Industrial Engineering, and French Language and March in the Band. But my journey was not as straightforward and definitely had its challenges. After more than a decade of college and 3 degrees, I graduated from FAMU at the top of my classes but felt like I was starting off real life at the bottom. Having
the weight of debt looming over me every month after the deferment period ended was an incredible burden. After a bit of research, I found out that students primarily form underprivileged backgrounds like mine were the most affected by this inequity of an indebted education. So I decided to shift the paradigm and use my engineering acumen to create a solution for the debt crisis gravely affecting students everywhere. I want to positively impact students, mentors, and communities in a worthwhile and engaging scholarship process as early as 10 years old; thereby availing them of the future burden of debt.


Empowering Futures: MENTOR$CHIP- Fund My College App

Mentor$chip is a revolutionary platform at the forefront of mentorship and scholarship, transforming the educational landscape for aspiring students. Our vision is to bridge the gap between dreams and realities, fostering a community where mentorship, scholarships, and educational resources converge.

The mission of Mentor$chip is rooted in providing equitable access, awareness and application to funded opportunities. Driven by the founder's personal journey, the platform aims to empower individuals who face financial barriers and lack mentorship opportunities. The vital programmatic components include advertising opportunities, facilitating mentorship connections, creating crowdfunding campaigns for scholarships, and supporting educators in fundraising for classroom resources.

In 2004, the U.S. student loan deficit was $400 billion. Going into 2024, it has skyrocketed to $1.78 trillion. Dr. Micah McCrary-Dennis, the visionary behind Mentor$chip, experienced firsthand the financial challenges of transitioning from high school to college. Faced with over $500,000 in potential college costs, Dr. Micah's journey took an unexpected turn when a last-minute accreditation change to his engineering curriculum forced an additional year of studies to complete his undergraduate degree. The silver lining allowed him to pursue a second bachelor's degree in French Language but also forced him to resort to student loans in order to graduate. Carrying the burden of student loan debt through graduate school, this personal challenge highlighted the flaws in the education system, reinforcing Mentor$chip's commitment to making education accessible and empowering individuals to overcome obstacles.

Mentor$chip operates on scholarship, by connecting students with experienced mentors to better guide institutional decisions and career choices. Additionally, the platform is designed to encourage students to apply for dozens of scholarships and complete each process all the way through submission. Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Image Recognition (IR) technologies play a pivotal role in increasing awareness, access, and discoverability of scholarship opportunities. Through these immersive technologies, Mentor$chip creates a dynamic virtual environment where users can explore, connect, and engage with scholarship campaigns and mentorship resources.

In conclusion, Mentor$chip stands as a beacon of hope, addressing the pressing challenges in education. Through visionary leadership, innovative technologies, and a commitment to empowering individuals, Mentor$chip is shaping a future where education is accessible to all, breaking down barriers, and fostering success.


November is Native American Heritage Month! This annual month-long celebration is an opportunity to come together to honor and celebrate the culture, traditions, history, and contributions of American Indians and Alaskan Natives. 

Though Native Americans make up about 2.5% of the total U.S. population, their history and contributions are of critical importance to the nation’s history. Unfortunately, much of it has been forgotten or overlooked.

As a result, misconceptions and ignorance surrounding Native peoples and Native culture can lead to the perpetuation of harmful, misinformed “celebrations” especially surrounding the Heritage Month and Thanksgiving holidays. November is an opportunity to grow our understanding of Native culture, and traditions, and how historical traumas like colonization and genocide have impacted Native peoples throughout history and still do today.

This month, it’s important for each of us to remember the entirety of our nation’s history including and especially the history of Native Americans, the systemic issues they still face today, and take supportive, uplifting action to right historic injustices.

Below, you’ll find resources and ways to uplift the Native American community nationwide and in your own community!

Native American Heritage Month History & Facts:

  • Native American Heritage Month got its start as a one-day “American Indian Day” celebration in New York in May 1916, after a member of the Blackfeet Nation, Red Fox James, literally rode on horseback from state to state to ask for a day to honor Native Americans. 

  • In 1975, President Gerald Ford turned it into a week-long “Native American Awareness Week” in October. 

  • While the dates shifted from year to year, in 1990 Congress officially passed a joint resolution which was signed into law by President George H. W. Bush declaring the entire month of November “National Native American Indian Heritage Month.” The name has since changed to National Native American Heritage Month. 

  • The 1990 resolution officially recognized Native citizens both as the country’s original inhabitants and for their essential contributions, specifically to farming and harvesting. Despite its Eurocentric perspective, the resolution was also intended to recognize the Native peoples for the ways they helped the first European visitors.

  • Congress chose November to celebrate Native American Heritage Month for its cultural significance as the month when Native Americans conclude their traditional harvest season.

  • As of 2021, there are 574 federally recognized Tribes in the U.S. and while many Native Americans reside on reservations, about 71 percent do not. 

How To Celebrate Native American Heritage Month:


Learn what native land you’re on.

One Simple Idea To Celebrate Native American Heritage Month

Long before you lived on it, the land you’re on was occupied, managed, and maintained by Indigenous people and tribes. Land is sacred and important to all of us whether we know it or not and it’s important to learn about the history of the land you’re on. Not only does it honor the people it was taken from, but it also helps us honor and steward the land better.

The Canadian nonprofit Native Land has done extensive research and worked with Native tribes to create an interactive map of tribal boundaries around the world you can even enter your exact address!

Enjoy Indigenous art.

The Denver Art Museum was one of the first art museums in the U.S. to start collecting Indigenous art, and as a result, their collection is both extensive and enlightening. The artists each have a beautiful, unique way of helping us all understand the histories and lived experiences — both heartbreaking and uplifting of Native Americans.

Google Arts & Culture created a unique, digital experience to guide you through some of the Denver Art Museum’s more than 18,000 pieces by artists from more than 250 Indigenous nations.

Follow Native Americans on social media.

The best way to celebrate Native American heritage is by listening to and learning from Native American people who generously share their perspectives and wisdom with all of us on social media. By (quietly and humbly) following Native creators, we can learn about the current triumphs and struggles Native Americans face and how we can help.

Check out a few of our favorite follows:

Kaitlin B. Curtice (@KaitlinCurtice on Twitter) is a citizen of Potawatomi Nation, and is an award-winning author, poet, and public speaker. 

Elizabeth Hidalgo Reese (@yunpovi on Twitter) is a Pueblo assistant professor of law at Harvard University and uses her platform to share about Indian law, constitutional law, race, and voting.

Jordan Daniel (@nativein_la on Instagram) is a Lakota professional athlete and founder of Rising Hearts, an Indigenous led grassroots group devoted to elevating Indigenous voices and promoting intersectional collaborative efforts across all movements with the goals of racial, social, climate, and economic justice.

Jasilyn Charger (@jasilyncharger on Instagram) is a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe who, after noticing the mental health crisis among teens in the Cheyenne River Reservation started the One Mind Youth Movement with her friends.

You can also explore this list of incredible Indigenous activists you should know about.

Learn about the challenges Native American communities have faced.


Professor B. Hunter Farrell will present at the Upcoming Urban Café on Saturday, November 18, 2023, at 11:00 a.m.ET/USA. It’s free, and you are invited to join us!

Zoom Meeting ID: 832 3150 3585, Passcode: 305143


"Intercultural/Experiential Learning" is a course that Hunter is co-teaching twice a year.

The course reframes "mission" as following the Spirit to learn to love others across lines of difference in the way of Jesus Christ. An intensive Jan-Term course provides for 24 hours of classroom instruction paired with a 10-12 day intercultural experience (Colombia, Israel/Palestine, New York City, Appalachia, Philippines, Immokalee FL, and Ghana are recent or upcoming sites) that enables students to see a more complete picture of their home culture by stepping outside of it briefly. As Hunter has stated, “I would welcome the chance to describe to the Urban Missiology community the "Intercultural/Experiential Learning" model, think with them on its implications for the formation of church and community leaders, and receive their suggestions, questions and concerns”.

B. Hunter Farrell (doctor of anthropology, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú), in addition to being a board of Urban Missiology, is the director of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary’s World Mission Initiative (WMI). He worked for over thirty years as a missionary, director of world mission for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and a professor of mission and intercultural studies.

He has published articles in The Journal of Latin American Theology, Christianity Today, and Missiology and is the co-author, with Baljiedlang Khyllep, of Freeing Congregational Mission: A Practical Vision for Companionship, Cultural Humility & Co-Development (InterVarsity Press, January 2022).

 For folks interested in learning more about the course and its pedagogy, contact UM and request a copy of the article "Intercultural/Experiential Learning" that Kimberly Gonxhe and Hunter published in Missiology in 2020.


Indigenous Peoples’ Day: Everything To Know About the Holiday Largely Replacing Columbus Day

Learn what it is, when it is and why there's a growing movement to celebrate it.


Indigenous Peoples' Day has been touted as a replacement for Columbus Day for decades, but the movement never got much traction on a nationwide scale. Now, however, with increased awareness of colonizers' atrocities against Native Americans and Indigenous People of what eventually became the United States, Indigenous Peoples' Day has seen a groundbreaking amount of support. Here's what you need to know about Indigenous Peoples' Day and why it's so important and why many feel that the man credited with discovering America may deserve to be stripped of his celebratory day.

What is the history of Columbus Day?

We all remember the old rhyme: "In the year 1492, Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue." That much is true. But a lot of the other "history" surrounding Columbus is actually pretty inaccurate: He didn't discover America (and never even landed in North America), and most people already believed the Earth was round.

Columbus Day was first celebrated in New York City in 1792 to mark the 300th anniversary of his arrival and to celebrate Italian-American heritage, but it wasn't until the Knights of Columbus pressured then-president Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1937 that Oct. 12 actually became a national holiday. In 1972, then President Richard Nixon changed the holiday to the second Monday in October.

Why is Columbus Day controversial?

Here comes the history lesson that many American schools gloss over: Christopher Columbus committed serious atrocities against the native and indigenous people in the Caribbean, as well as against Spanish colonists in the area. A brief list of them can be found here, but be warned: It's not for the faint of heart. In short, he enslaved and committed genocide against indigenous peoples, enabled and encouraged the rape of women and girls, and introduced the Western slave trade to the region ... and that doesn't even adequately describe how horrific he truly was.

Columbus' true history, added to the fact that Italian Americans are no longer marginalized—but native and indigenous peoples are—it's no wonder many are seeking to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples' Day.

What is Indigenous Peoples' Day?

Indigenous Peoples' Day is a day to recognize indigenous people and the contributions they've made to history, as well as to mourn those lost to genocide and Western colonization—and to remember that Native Americans were actually here long before European settlers showed up on our shores. In 1977, the United Nations International Conference on Discrimination Against Indigenous Populations in the Americas proposed that Indigenous Peoples Day replace Columbus Day.

When is Indigenous Peoples' Day?

Indigenous Peoples' Day is recognized on the same day as Columbus Day each year, the second Monday in October. This year, Indigenous Peoples' Day will be celebrated on Monday, October 9, 2023. 

How is Indigenous Peoples' Day celebrated?

Indigenous Peoples' Day is more a day of recognition and mourning than of outright celebration. Great ways to commemorate Indigenous Peoples' Day are to educate yourself and others on Indigenous and Native American culture, and their contributions and history.

You can also contribute to charities and causes that support indigenous people. Good options include:

  1. American Indian College Fund provides scholarships for Native American students.

  2. American Indian Policy Center provides government leaders and policymakers with accurate legal and historical information.

  3. American Indigenous Business Leaders support the education and development of indigenous-owned businesses.

  4. Association of American Indian Affairs provides aid in drafting integral legislation for indigenous people, including the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, and the Tribal Governmental Tax Status Act and the Indian Child Welfare Act.

  5. First Nations Development Institute supports economic development and education for Native communities.

  6. Native American Heritage Association provides financial aid to those in need living on reservations in South Dakota.

  7. Native American Rights Fund fights to preserve Native American rights and tribal resources.

  8. National Indian Child Care Association provides tribal child care and early childhood programs.

  9. Partnerships with Native Americans aid those living in poverty on reservations.

  10. Women Empowering Women for Indigenous Nations provides networking, professional and career opportunities for Native American women.

Which states celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day?

South Dakota was the first state to recognize Indigenous Peoples' Day in 1990, while individual cities have had their own official celebrations for decades. The following states all recognize Indigenous Peoples' Day:

  1. Alabama

  2. Alaska

  3. Hawaii

  4. Idaho

  5. Maine

  6. Michigan

  7. Minnesota

  8. New Mexico

  9. North Carolina

  10. Oklahoma

  11. Oregon

  12. South Dakota

  13. Texas

  14. Vermont

  15. Washington, D.C.

  16. Wisconsin

America was built on the backs of indigenous people.

Learn which state names were inspired or lifted from Native Americans.

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