Recently I was thinking about questions we can ask ourselves when we are in a difficult situation, or when we’re going through a difficult time.

After all these years of journaling, and of working in a coaching approach, I am a big fan of paying serious attention to what questions we are asking each other and ourselves. Our questions determine where our minds wander to, and what they seek out. They determine whether we see possibilities or narrowness. Our questions can lead us deeper into the thick muddy places, or they can take us where the ground is more solid and clear.

These are some of my favorite questions to ask myself during difficult times. I invite you to use them as journaling prompts, when you need them. One, or some, or all may be appropriate for your difficult situation – some you may feel are not. Take the ones that feel useful and leave the rest. And a heads up – I use God language in some of the questions below. Please feel free to use it if it’s useful, or replace with your own term for the vast creative force of Life.

Journaling Questions for Difficult Situations* 

What is my soul learning here?

What is this situation calling forth in me?

What would it look like to be loving to myself in this situation?

What are ways – within my agency – to more fully support and care for myself in this situation?

How can this experience draw me closer to trust, to acceptance, to understanding?

What is this whisper from Life/Wisdom/Love about – what is this experience truly for, in terms of my growth and evolution?

God/Life/Love, what do you want me to remember in this situation?

God/Life/Love, what does it look like to walk with you in this situation?


Remember, writing about these questions is very different than “thinking about” them. Differing things will come from the writing. Wishing you an illuminating process of discovery as you do so. You can download a PDF version of these questions here.


*You can download a PDF version of these questions here.


image by: Sixteen Miles Out

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