Poem + Journal: Prompts for Acceptance | BetterTogether3

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Poem + Journal: Prompts for Acceptance

Life can throw us curveballs – COVID-19, anyone? This exercise serves to acknowledge the complexity and multiplicity of the human experience. As we face hardships, we can acknowledge the weight of our challenges all while recognizing who and what we are grateful for.

In David Sheff’s memoir, “Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction,” Sheff adopts this writing format (from Remy Charlip’s book Fortunately) to cope with his son’s drug addiction. He writes:

“Fortunately there is a beautiful boy.

Unfortunately he has a terrible disease.

Fortunately there is love and joy.

Unfortunately there is pain and misery.

Fortunately the story is not over.”


Writing Prompt –

  1. Begin with the word “unfortunately” and describe a challenge or difficult emotion you’re experiencing.
  2. Write “fortunately” and describe a positive experience or something you’re grateful for that may or may not be related to the line before.
  3. Repeat this until you feel you have captured the elements of your experience.
  4. You can begin with either “unfortunately” or “fortunately,” but challenge yourself to end with a “fortunately” statement. Consider repeating the last line to yourself and recalling it throughout the day in times of distress.

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