“It’s fine. I’m fine. Everything is fine.”
It is an adorable t-shirt, but it took a conversation with my teenage daughter to realize things are not always fine and that’s okay.
We are facing hard things. It is okay to struggle, it is necessary to work through it. Bravely, honestly, not just dismissing it and saying it’s fine. It’s not. There is no shame in that.
I have found myself dismissing so many things lately, “It’s fine” is a common refrain.
We are always facing some challenge; perhaps it is heartbreak, stress, or a loss. We have these human experiences, as difficult as they are, because that is life. And that is in “normal” circumstances – now we are in an unprecedented time. With death tolls, news on COVID, division and strife constantly bombarding us. We are facing the fear of our children returning to school. This is not fine.
I will no longer dismiss everything as “fine.”
Don’t misunderstand, I am not being negative or losing hope. That is not what this is about. It is about fully living life with honesty and vulnerability. Life is full of a range of experiences, not just the glossy, filtered social media moments. It is about ALL of it – the sadness, the disappointment, the loneliness, AND the rewarding, the joyful, the breathtaking beauty of it all.
I am not “fine.”
I will feel all of the feelings. I will not dismiss things because they are difficult or uncertain. I will live each day as it comes, and I will be stronger and better for having faced it.
Author, Glennon Doyle says, “Fine is another word for half-dead.” I feel that. Dismissing everything as fine means not truly experiencing anything at all. We are fatigued, weary; we don’t know what to believe anymore. It is easy to scroll through social media mindlessly, to not really engage in life, to just zone out. However, NOW is our chance, our opportunity to embrace the uncertainty, lean into the unknown. It is okay to ask hard questions, to spend time in thought and prayer, to hold a loved one’s hand just to let them know you are there. THIS is the time to step into the fullness of life.
I am not fine.
And that is okay.