I’m Not Going To Tell You It Will Be Okay
Not because I don’t think it will be (because, okay, it will be). But because that’s not helpful to you where you’re standing right now. That’s a thing we say to each other when we can’t find any other words.
It will be fine. It will be okay. Everything will work out.
These are all real and true statements that apply to you, no matter where you stand. I have enough trust and faith for the both of us that everything you and I are walking through in this moment, we’re both going to come out the other side wiser and happier than we ever thought possible.
But the truth is, those words don’t help. Instead, they usually cut us on a level we didn’t know pleasant words of comfort had the ability to cut.
Because even if it’s true that it will be okay… it’s not okay right now, and sometimes that’s all we can see and feel and hear. Sometimes that’s all we can register inside our weary bodies.
It’s not okay that someone you loved is no longer living and breathing and giving their gifts and presence to this world. It’s not okay that everything is falling apart around you, that your world is imploding more and more every moment of every day. It’s not okay that the bank accounts are at zero, or possibly into the negative, with no sign of relief. It’s not okay that someone was nasty or cruel to you in ways that shattered your heart. It’s not okay that you’re exhausted to the point you can’t make it through a single day without curling into a sobbing ball on your kitchen floor. It’s not okay that you’re swimming in failure or shame or a grief like you’ve never known.
Whatever it is for you… it’s not okay right now.
And that, my friend, is more than okay.
I heard a beautiful talk by Megan Devine at World Domination Summit this past July. I watched this strong yet delicate woman tell a story of watching the man she loved die right in front of her. How she’s gone on to bear witness to the grief and suffering of many sweet souls who have found themselves face to face with loss. I cried a lot of tears during that talk, holding the hand of my best friend, and reliving my own loss alongside hers.
When she was done, someone turned to me and said, “I just didn’t buy her talk, it seemed like she was trying too hard.” To which I responded, “I think she spoke from a place of a pain we’ll never know with a whole lot of grace.” And that’s the thing, we don’t like to sit in the shit. It’s not our favorite. It makes us feel yucky and sad and all the things we’ve decided there’s no place for in our lives.
So we tell each other it will be okay… because we don’t know what else to say, and we don’t know how to climb into the shit with someone and just hold their hand while they cry or scream or rage it out.
I’m not going to tell you it’s going to be okay.
That everything is going to work out.
I’m not going to tell you it will be fine or to buck up.
That you’ve got this and you’ll see it soon.
Instead I’m going to tell you that I see your pain.
I understand how much it sucks right now. How your heart is heavy and your spirit is weary. How it’s taking everything you have just to get through the day. I see you. I feel you. I love you. I know… I get it, I really do. And I also know exactly how much willpower it takes to not punch someone in the face for telling you it will be okay. Especially when it feels like “being okay” is completely out of reach, no matter how hard you fight to find your footing and dig your way out of the darkness that’s nearly consuming you. I see your pain and I’m holding you in my heart with all the love I have to give. Because it’s okay that everything is not okay right now.
I’m going to tell you that you’re stronger than you know.
Because you are, my friend. You are powerful beyond measure whether you know it or not. You have purpose and a contribution for this world that only you can make. I know it doesn’t feel like it when all you can do is find a way to get yourself out of bed each morning, when the hours begin to weigh on your chest like a ton of bricks and breathing becomes more difficult the longer you’re forced to be awake and upright. But you’re doing it, love. It may not be at a rate or pace that you want, but you’re doing it. Just by getting out of bed and finding a way through the next moment that smacks you in the face. And you’re stronger than you give yourself credit for.
I’m going to tell you that trust and faith go a long way.
I’ve never tried to pretend that trust and faith are easy. They’re not. Not even a little bit. But they are all we have when nothing is okay and everything is falling apart. They are all we have to make it through to what’s next. I say this from a place of walking through some seriously dark life chapters.
Chapters filled with depression that nearly killed me by my own hand, with being so broke that I owed the bank money and was being threatened with losing my house. Chapters that ripped someone from my life in the most abrupt and tragic way, and that have torn everything known and stable and secure from my hands. Somewhere along the lines I found trust and faith, and I’ve never let go, regardless of the chaos around me. Trust and faith. It’s all we have, and they go a very long way when everything feels impossible.
I’m going to tell you that you’re not alone.
Even though I know it feels that way, like you’re the only person in the history of the world who has experienced this much loss and pain and struggle. Even the most happy and successful people have been through some shit, or are probably walking through their own storms right now.
You’re not alone. You do not have to do this alone. If ever there was a thing that lifted me out of the depths of grief, it was being reminding that I wasn’t alone. That I didn’t have to do this alone. You, my friend, are not alone.
I’m going to tell you that I love you.
Because I do. Because you’re here and you’re having a bad day. Because you’re human and that makes you beautiful and messy and all things lovable.
I love you.
And you’ve got this.