It’s ok to not be ok.
That’s right, I said it. Miss sunshine and rainbows, always looking at the bright side, keep your vibe high, annoying ‘ol me said it, and I’ll say it again. It’s ok to NOT be ok.
This might sound like it goes against everything I’ve been saying all this time, but it doesn’t. It is actually in total alignment with my belief system and here’s why.
Life is not always sunshine and rainbows. We get mad, upset, disappointed, frustrated and sometimes even hopelessly down in the dumps. And all of those feelings are not only ok, they are necessary.
There’s a lot of arguments out there that imply you should just fake it till you make it, and although it does genuinely have power in creating our best life, there is a difference between faking it till you make it and simply sticking your head in the sand and pretending life is grand when in reality, you’re suffering.
When people talk about “Fake it till you make it” what they’re suggesting is that you set your intention and visualize yourself already having everything you desire before it even comes to fruition. This can be a very powerful technique when it comes to manifesting and has proven to be quite successful when it comes to actualizing what it is we truly want. For example, Mike Dooley, New York Times best selling author, speaker and entrepreneur writes in his book about sharing stories with his mom and his brother at the dinner table about everything they wish to create in their life as if it had already happened. They did this so often in fact that when he told them about his upcoming interview set up with Oprah Winfrey they thought it was just him throwing it out in to the Universe again. It took real convincing to make them realize that this was actually the real deal being actualized, not just him putting out another request to the Universe.
I love this example that he illustrates in his books and teachings, and I 100% believe that the more we talk about things, the more we put that out into the universe to come back to us. (Which is of course why I also believe that talking about our fears, worries, and annoyances are not helpful as these also get put out to the universe to be delivered back).
Here’s where I believe it gets tricky. This whole concept, powerful as it might be, has made us frightened to experience any bad or negative emotion in fear that we will only attract that back into our worlds, thus, causing us to stick our head in the sand and just ignoring everything and anything that might create upset or discomfort.
This not only shuts us off from reality, but it actually hinders our ability to grow and evolve on a soul level.
Now I’m not gonna lie, I don’t watch the news or read the paper or really even stay up to date on current events, some would say that is also simply sticking my head in the sand, and perhaps it is. I’m the first one to joke about being in my own little world where everything is sparkles and butterflies and I don’t have to be privy to all the anger, hate, and corruption of the world that is often broadcasted in mainstream media. All joking aside however, is that although to some level I believe it’s important to know what is going on in the world, I also know that I am a highly sensitive person and a true empath, meaning, watching sheer and utter devastation plastered across the TV not only affects me deeply on an emotional level, it also alters the way I function in the world around me in a negative way, which isn’t good for me, or the people around me.
Now, I’m not in denial that bad things happen and that sometimes the world can be quite scary, I get all that, I just don’t choose to live there permanently. Meaning, I’m not oblivious to the world around me, I know there’s awful that exists in this world but I don’t find it necessary to spend more time then needed focusing on the fear and the hate that is all around us. I still choose to believe in the kindness and compassion of mankind even though that stuff rarely get published because it does exist and a lot more then you would probably believe it does.
So although I choose to perhaps “Stick my head in the sand” when it comes to absorbing all the world issues that leave me feeling less then optimistic, when it comes to the reality we live in, I am very aware that this does not work when it comes to our own personal negativity.
Let me explain, I stuck my head in the sand A LOT when it came to recognizing that my marriage was in trouble. I turned a blind eye to things I know didn’t sit right, I ignored signs that were in hindsight so blatantly obvious, and kept my mouth shut on a lot of things that didn’t sit well with me in hopes that if I didn’t acknowledge the bad it would eventually just go away. This is not Fake it till you make it, this is what I like to call, cramming your head in your own ass so you don’t have to see whats in-front of your face. And guess what? It doesn’t work!!
I was in complete and utter denial and I just kept hoping, wishing, praying, that everything would eventually be ok. And sure, it did, eventually being the operative word, but it wasn’t until I acknowledged that I wasn’t ok that things began to improve. You see, recognizing that you are experiencing emotions of a low vibration are the first step in getting closer to healing, but denying them or simply ignoring them will only allow those feelings to fester in your subconscious and ultimately reek havoc on your physical body as well as your emotional body.
By giving ourselves permission to not be ok, we allow ourselves to address the issues we are struggling with so that we can begin to heal them and move on.
Now just to be clear, the most important part in all of this is acknowledging the emotions in order to heal them. Meaning, don’t just acknowledge them for the sake of acknowledging them, don’t make yourself comfy with them and allow them to run your life, the key to being ok with not being ok is as a means to heal. Not for a pity party or to settle in nicely to victimhood, but to feel your pain, recognize it’s purpose (And trust me, it always has a purpose!) And then to release it.
This goes for other people in your life who are hurting too. I have many clients who come to me with heavy hearts and enormous amounts of sadness and I would not be a very good friend, or coach for that matter, if I just told them to suck it up every time and look at the bright side. This is not helpful nor is it comforting for either party. What I find to be helpful is to allow their pain to be expressed. To listen to them speak from their hurting heart and just be sad with them. Now some would argue that that is just allowing them to drag you down with them, but that isn’t the case, unless you allow it to be of course.
Some of the most transformational breakthroughs I’ve had with friends, family, clients, and even random people who spill their guts out at the bar, is by allowing them to be sad and expressing compassion and empathy for their heartache. It is through that compassion that you are able to help lead them to their joy, to see that they are being heard, and felt, and understood. It is in being with them in their pain that they begin to feel love again, and love is the purest expression of joy there is.
Bottom line is, sadness does have a purpose in our life. We can’t deny it or ignore it but simply embrace it for what it contributes. It is through these less than positive emotions that we grow, and shift and change in ways that shape us who we are. It is these times of sorrow that we are forced to contemplate life, our purpose, and the bigger picture and it is an indication that we are not living in alignment with who we are meant to be.
When you car starts to drive badly or you hear a loud rattle from under the hood, it is an indication that something needs to be fixed. Ignoring it will only lead to it breaking down and when it does, you don’t just decide it’s garbage and let it sit in the driveway to rot. It is no good to you broken, and ignoring it in the driveway isn’t going to get your car back on the road any faster. Instead, you take it to the mechanic and fix whatever is wrong with it so you can carry on about your way. Our Souls are the same. When something in our life is not in alignment with our true selves then things start to feel icky. We get triggered and frustrated and thats our souls way of getting our attention that something needs to change. Ignoring it will inevitably lead to a breakdown of our spirit. These emotions appear to remind us that something needs to change. Sadness is not supposed to be a permanent destination, rather a pit stop on the journey to allow you to refuel, check your map, and make sure you’re still headed in the right direction.
It’s ok to not be ok. It not ok to stay there.