Listen to Hear
When people respond to your greeting saying they are “Okay,” listen carefully and look in their eyes. They may very well not be okay.
Why do we do that?
Why do we pretend that everything is “Okay” when our hearts are breaking?
I cannot tell you the number of times I have had a good cry in my car, only to get out, put on my glasses, smile and respond with the same greeting response: “I’m Okay thanks, and you?”
Is it because we don’t think anyone really cares so why share?
Do we not want to burden others with our troubles?
Do we not have the time to explain what’s really on our hearts?
Maybe we don’t trust the person asking enough to be real with our response.
Maybe it’s a combination of all of the above. But if there is one thing that I have learnt in life, it’s this:
If you do not let the sadness out, it makes itself a home in your heart and digs deeper and deeper into your joy. The moment you give that pain an outlet and share your troubles, the less alone and isolated you feel.
And do me a favour, do not say your troubles are “first world issues.” Do not say “I know I have many blessings and that I am being silly!” WHAT HOG WASH!!
If it’s hurting your heart, it’s real to you. Acknowledge the full depth of your sadness because you cannot release something you haven’t felt completely. Remember there is no going around pain and struggle. We have to go THROUGH struggles to deal with them. So face up to all the emotions warrior heart and do the hard work.
Remember as you open up and are vulnerable you give permission for others to do the same. Our troubles are all universal. Chances are what is hurting you now has hurt your friend at a time in their life too. If they have been lucky enough to escape it so far, no doubt at some point, that same pain will come knocking on their door and they will remember how you faced up to it with such courage.
So my friend, let it out and then let it go.
And next time you lie and say you are “Okay”, remember there are probably a whole host of people around you who are probably “Okay” too.