I have come to find great power in the ability to know and speak the words, “I’m okay.” It is more than a feeling or a seemingly less than ideal response to the question of, “How are you?” It is a state of being. The full power of it is accessed when we become aware of the grounding truths contained within being okay.
There are three powerful truths found in the idea of being okay:
1. First, feeling negative emotions or experiencing difficulties in life does not mean we are not okay.
Life is about change. Period. Our circumstances, experiences, thoughts, and emotions change constantly; yet, we worry so much about needing to be happy or looking like we are doing amazing all of the time. That isn’t reality. We will have days that our response to the question, “How are you?” might be something akin to awful, sad, frustrated, etc. Although we’d rarely admit those, because somehow we have come to believe that if we aren’t doing awesome, then something must be wrong–wrong with us. We have such fear of negative emotions that we do anything to avoid them–medicate them, ignore them, deny them, or project them. We tend to do this because there is often shame attached as a result of our belief that if we are experiencing these negative emotions, something must be wrong with us. It is okay to have these feelings. They are just feelings; they are not who we are. There is, however, important information contained in every emotion, which we can get to if we sit with them rather than run from them. I have learned that by resisting or running from those feelings, I just power them up and amplify them. And the greatest lesson I have learned is this: Even when I’m feeling the most painful of emotions, I’m still okay. This awareness is freeing. I am less afraid of difficult emotions or days when I just feel off, because in those moments I check in and ask myself, “Am I okay?” and nine times out of ten, the answer is a calming, yes.
2. Second, being okay is within our control.
This was not an easy one for me to grasp. I have often felt that things were happening to me and that I had little to no control in certain situations or just in life in general. When I get in that space of victim energy, the fear and panic rise. I quickly start to feel, not okay. It is true that we cannot always control the situation and we can never control others; however, we can control our perspective, our response, and our action. That is so incredibly powerful. When I really claim this, I can feel the shift immediately–from panic to power. Our thoughts and beliefs shape our reality, which is so empowering when we are aware and begin to consciously act on this truth. We have the ability to go from not okay to okay; but to do that, we first have to accept that it is okay to be not okay. Accepting it without judgment is the first step to shifting it. The second step is to remember our ability to control our perspective and our response. And third, is an understanding that even when we do not feel okay, we are in truth really okay.
3. Third, we really are okay.
This is a truth I have experienced over and over. We are carried. We are supported more than we can imagine and every moment is orchestrated for our benefit. Life really is happening for us. Even the awful experiences, the difficulties, the moments we wonder what in the hell is happening and who’s in charge…even those are for us. I am still not at the depths of this, but I am learning. This third point is found in faith with the potential to be knowing. I believe we are loved beyond what we can imagine. I believe grace is woven into the threads of our lives and wrapped around us in the moments we don’t feel okay, reminding us that we are indeed okay.
I’m okay. No matter what has happened or what is in front of me, I’m okay. Yes, there are times I feel fantastic and times I feel awful, but in all those times I can also say, I am okay. The ability to say that and really know it in my soul is a victory that was hard fought and one that has changed my life.
When I get asked how I am, I no longer respond weakly that I’m just okay, but instead I respond with the full power of awareness of the strength and the beauty of what that really means.
I am okay.