On Being OK

Jul 25, 2014 by

When I was younger, less jaded and perhaps more shiny, I used to say things like “it’s going to be okay” with the kind of confidence that fit like armor against any doubts that what I was saying could be wrong, impossible, or just plain stupid depending upon the circumstance.  I could hold a heartbroken friend in my arms, rub my hands up and down her back, and whisper in her ear, “it’s going to be okay” like a mantra. I’d plant seeds of hope within both of our hearts even though we both knew the ground was sandy, not soil, fallow, not fertile.

There has been, at times, a deep need in me for things to be okay. I’ve witness those of us who might be more wise, evolved, or crazy grab life’s little difficulties by the horns, thrust them into their own guts, and revel in the lessons sure to be learned as the result of the woundedness. I’ve admired them, with curiosity. That’s never been me. I like comfort, security, predictability in my circumstance. If anything spins out of control, it’s going to be me, damn it, and not it.

by Kelly F

A few years ago, I went to the funeral of a friend of mine. His death was sudden. A stroke. He left behind a wife, also a friend, who was, herself, dying an agonizing death by cancer.  He died caring for his dying wife. Thinking about it even now it seems surreal.

I went to the funeral and did my appropriate grieving made even sadder by seeing the wife say good-bye to her husband from her wheelchair.  She was a shell of herself. As I passed through the church, hugging old friends and sharing tears, I couldn’t help but bristle against those who elected to wear the fake smiles that accompanied the equally false platitudes that “it’s going to be okay”.

No. It was already not okay. It sucked. Big time.

I don’t say “it’s going to be okay” any more, at least not consciously. It think it’s irresponsible, really. It’s too false and presumptuous, and I know better now. Instead, having lived through some things, been gripped in the clutches of pain, and kept good company with grief, I find myself saying “I’m going to be okay” or “you’re going to be okay” or “we’re going to be okay”. I have no control over “it”, but I do have control over “I”.

Life from that perspective seems more manageable.  I don’t have to try to control an “it” that’s out of my control. I can just do my best to control me, my thoughts, my beliefs in response to whatever the “it” might be. I can choose to be the okay I need.

Here’s hoping this post finds you okay, because you can be if you want.

Peace and Blessings,


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