How ARE You?

by | Jul 17, 2017 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

How are you

How are you? 

How many times have you been asked that question and you answered “fine” without giving it a second thought?

Take a moment right now, close your eyes and check in. HOW ARE YOU?

What happened?

Did you have the courage to look into that space in your heart and check in, or did you bypass those feelings?
Did you say “fine” because it’s too hard to look at what’s really going on?
Did you say “fine” because it’s painful to admit that things are not perfect in your life?

Why Do We Say Fine When We Are Not?

For many, the word “emotion” can be scary. We were taught that we shouldn’t dwell on “bad” feelings as light is better than darkness.

The world we live in often encourages us to avoid emotions. As such, we withdraw, we numb out and we pretend that everything is perfect.

But how can you wholeheartedly accept yourself if there are sides of you that you are afraid to explore and show others?

I spent 30 years avoiding my feelings as it was easier to put a pretty armour around my heart than to admit my true feelings.

I was afraid that you might think I was weak.
I was scared that if anyone knew how I truly felt, I would be judged.
I was afraid that my incessant negative self-talk made me unworthy.

(Side note: when I think about feelings, this clip from the Muppets comes to mind)

My armour started to come down in my mid-thirties. My mentor told me that in order for me to help others, I needed to heal my past, to take down my armour.
BTW: It was a beautiful armour, light pink filled with white peonies and purple balloons. (Sigh, I miss it some days 🙂 )

Aren’t you scared of what people think? Aren’t you afraid that they will judge you?

Yes, but if I don’t talk about my pain, I cannot truly understand your pain.

“The only way out is through”

~ Robert Frost

The first time I heard this quote, I thought “Do I HAVE to???!”
Can’t I go under it, around it or completely avoid it? Can’t I move to happy times, birds singing, right away?

Many people bypass feelings because it is hard to sit and look at their darkness.
However, to move forward on our journey, we have to acknowledge our darkness.
Grief, anger, resentment, fear, they need to be looked at.

We are a culture that is obsessed with feeling good. We love it when people talk about or post happy, light and fluffy things.

Have you noticed that when you or a friend share something warm and fuzzy on social media, it gets great engagement? On the other hand, if the post is at all controversial, if it is about social justice, racism, women rights, LGBTQ rights, the post gets fewer engagement.

Who decided that pain is bad? That darkness is bad? That admitting that “not fine” is bad?
Who decided that some feelings are “bad”?

Many of us, especially women were brought up to be “good girls”, to remain in the background and be quiet. We were discouraged from talking about our feelings esp. “bad” feelings.

This has led us to hide our emotions, to pretend that everything is fine.

I wish for a world where we are open about our mistakes and our fears, where we feel comfortable sharing our pain.

But my heart hurts because this, my ideal world is probably impossible.

Because there will be some who are afraid of getting hurt, who are afraid of what others think.
They seek perfection. They are scared of being vulnerable.

However, I think we are getting closer.

More people are willing to ask the hard questions.
More are aware of the injustice in the world, they are tired of the BS.
Many are prepared to talk about feelings because they are tired of pretending.

Seek out a community, surround yourself with people who will look at your darkness with you.
Witness all of your feelings, even the painful ones.
Show up for others and they will do the same for you.

It is OK to be not OK.

So, let me ask you…

How Are You?

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