Performing Okayness

I said it was okay. And it wasn’t.

Have you done this too?

We perform okayness. It’s like being waist-deep in water, chirping, “No, no, I’m completely dry!”

And it’s natural that we do this. Ours is an unnatural time that loves us being okay and doesn’t know what to do with us when we aren’t.

So with jaw tight as a bank vault, we clip, “It’s okay!”

It’s good and stunting.

To move from being not okay with something to okay with something, I’m pretty sure we first have to acknowledge to ourselves that it’s not okay. A toothache won’t disappear on its own; we need to treat it. And to treat anything, we have to acknowledge there’s an ache to be treated.

This sucks (said after I tanked an interview).

This bites the big one (said during a day of travel gone all wrong).

This is really painful (said about a man).

It’s not a prescription to wallow. It’s a call to face and to care for the part of us that’s hurting. Between denial and care, the latter is a far more effective healer — show me the person who denied herself to a better, more whole place.

And if we’re true with ourselves, kind with ourselves in our not okayness, there’s a decent chance we can grow more whole through it.

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