Press Play: Discovering the salve that soothes the soul

One of the lessons of life reveals that, "Those who become mired in perceived impending crisis may spend much of their lives 'living in the wreckage of the future.'” ~Connie Swinney




By Connie Swinney

Sometimes life can bear down on one's soul.

Perhaps most strife can be boiled down to the fear of the unknown.

What will happen next? What if . . . ?

Those who become mired in perceived impending crisis may spend much of their lives “living in the wreckage of the future.”

To help navigate through these sometimes self-imposed life struggles, I follow a philosophy encapsulated in four words that I believe can PULL anyone through situations which may weigh heavily on the heart.





The word (P)erseverance typically conjures images of endurance and determination. To persevere requires a firm resolve. In other words, to persevere is to never back down, to dive head first into every tough situation, and face it with conviction and purpose.

(U)nderstanding can be a difficult life lesson to master. Most of us spend more time trying to be heard rather than hear what someone else is trying to say.

Being in the communications business for a few decades taught me to “zip it” from time to time or risk missing that gold nugget which could become a powerful message in a news story or feature.

Despite my reputation for being a Chatty-Cathy™, there are times I’ve discovered that my silence can speak volumes.

Let us consider (L)aughter. Author and poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox penned the phrase “Laugh and the world laughs with you.”

Laughter can change the energy in a room. Laughter diffuses tense situations. Laughter heals.

Ella also shared a few other wise lessons, including one which I believe is a precursor to laughter. She said, “’Tis easy enough to be pleasant, when life flows along like a song; but the man worth while is the one who will smile when everything goes dead wrong.”

I have witnessed a smile soothe a tired soul. I have watched a smile lift a fading spirit.

Then there’s (L)ove. Captured in music, poetry, prose and the human touch, love can manifest itself into tenderness, affection and warmth.

Perhaps the most organic form of love is love for a child. For those who find a kindred spirit, love can inspire the most hardened curmudgeon to strive to become a gentle soul.

Offering comfort to those in pain can be the most powerful expression of love.

No one can deny the relative nature of suffering.

We may wring our hands while trying to balance the household budget to make a mortgage or car payment. For some, a considerable concern may involve whether a car will make it to the next job interview.

Oft times parents are haunted with concerns about the fate of their children once they venture into the real world.

Many of us, including myself, spend too much time belaboring the situations we cannot control. The moment we understand we can shape but never control the future is the moment we set our minds free of emotional pain.

Let go of the fear of the unknown, offer comfort to those in pain, and give it to God (Psalm 55:22).

I believe embracing these simple lessons can PULL anyone through the most tumultuous times.

Connie Swinney is a staff writer for The Highlander and Burnet Bulletin. She covers Marble Falls city and community news, the law enforcement and public safety beats and the 33rd/424th Judicial District Courts. Send her a note at

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