Are you ok? This question, meant with good intentions is generally the trigger of emotion for myself and I imagine many of us out there. What does it mean to be ok? Is it that you are seemingly happy at that point or look terrible because you've had no sleep. Being ok appears to me to mean that we aren't actually 'ok' but we are merely present in the situation we are in and we are pretending to cope because we have no choice. Because we are adults who have to display a front of strength and resilience while we face what challenges lie in our way in that moment. I do also think that it is ok to be just 'ok'. Sometimes it is not the right time or place to explain our inner emotions or feelings and sometimes we don't want to share these details with people who are there at the time. Why is it then that we feel this need to be more than ok when we are not? Chucking on that big smile, making everyone believe you are the life of the party when infact you are battling but don't want pity. I think that when we ask someone if they are ok, we need to be ready for them not to be. They could have been bottling things up for so long and because they make themselves appear strong and able, no one has actually taken time to ask them if they are ok. Through my grief journey I have learnt a whole raft of life lessons, some I think are well beyond my years but we don't like to be vulnerable. I don't like to be vulnerable. It means opening up your heart to criticism, hurt, love, pain, loss, surprise and a raft of emotions bigger than what our society has taught us to deal with. Still now, when the tears start coming to the surface, they are shut down... put back in their box because I don't have 'time' to deal with them at that moment and one must 'soldier on'. I feel failure in myself and for others around when the ability to conform has been lost so I simply 'hide' the raw emotions from others around me and distract myself by running around at a million miles per hour. This is my art of being ok. Keeping busy, so busy that eventually the wheels fall off, even if only for a minute, then I'm back on my feet again battling away, to be sure that I don't let anyone down. Maybe we need to learn that we can walk out our front door in the morning and actually be not ok, be vulnerable, be open to help or be brave enough to ask for it or be able to accept that today we might just not achieve 'being ok'. The people who open their minds to trying to understand the harsh reality of grief and life itself are going a long way to helping us learning to be 'not ok'.
Good luck to those of you who are going to try and be true to yourself today. Don't ask to much, let it out, breathe, reflect and take time for you. xx