How are You?
How are you?
(How do we get beyond OK?)
How are you?
Ok, how are you? (Deflecting the question)
How Are You?
In asking, do we really want to know or do we take the time to find out how someone really is? Do we avoid asking someone how they are or dread being asked? If so, why? Do we not want to know or does listening take us off our path? Perhaps we don’t want anyone asking us how we are, so we don’t ask others. Maybe we don’t ask because we don’t have (or can’t make) time to really find out. Perhaps, we don’t feel we have the time to deal with our emotions when asked or doing the asking. Maybe, we’re keeping busy to cope and answering honestly would mean stopping in our tracks or having to feel and think beyond or deeper than our “to do” list.
Years ago, a very insightful and gifted professor offered a lesson in life to her students, if you ask someone how they are and they answer, ok/fine, dive a little deeper and ask “Why just ok/fine, that doesn’t really tell me how you are?” (Dr. Bette Jean Tryon). Take a minute to consider if this is really what we want to continue with friends or promote within our families. As a community, can we or are we willing to be a little more aware and take a step forward toward the tough topics or dive deeper into the truth?
How often do we dare go to the real, the awful, the potential shame-inducing or embarrassing truth? Who do we trust enough to share our truth with? Who loves us unconditionally to sit with us when we are not “fine”, “ok”, or “great!”? If we are honest and lucky, we have one, two or three people in our lives who come to mind.
After the “awful” or unexpected happens in our lives (or others’), how do we continue to create support or encourage connection? We may feel that by “not going there”, we won’t have to re-live the pain or inflict pain on the one we’re trying to protect. We may think that avoiding the topic or focusing on the positive will help us keep moving forward. Does that really help us or others emotionally? Mentally? Physically? Or does it just bury our feelings and rob us of a real opportunity to connect? ( How To Really Be the Change )
Human to human, heart to heart, we all have a desire to be seen and heard. Maybe, while we are in pain, hiding behind “OK” feels safe or covers up our underlying emotions or pain. What if we each saw an “OK” from our kids, a family member, friend, neighbor or colleague as a reminder or invitation to lean in softly or take a step toward connecting? What if we saw
our “OKs” as moments to connect with ourselves- to reflect on how we really are? As you feel and live in the moment, remember that it will soon pass. The pains and joys don’t last forever. Perhaps, a new response to how we are can be, “Right now, I am _________.” With self-compassion and understanding, our response acknowledges that tomorrow may be ____________” and that whatever we are feeling or going through is temporary.
Our shared journey has been painful and so very extraordinary, Our pain and struggles have shown us that we are not alone and taught us that life isn’t an individual quest for we, as humans, were not meant to go it alone. ( Kelly McGonigal, Making Stress Your Friend . Revisiting the link from last week)
No one said life would be easy. And, if someone did, they were not a human being living on planet earth. It takes courage to care, step forward, reach beyond ourselves and be vulnerable. It is not easy to ask tough questions or invite someone to go beyond “ok”.
Sheryl Sandberg to Cal graduates (25:41, 2016 Commencement Speech)
(5:46 minutes of spoken word poetry bliss)
Some Music Therapy
For 2:26 minutes of pure joy
And for a double scoop of cuteness...
by Benjamin Ames and his 4-year-old daughter (3:11 minutes of heaven)
Celebrating Being Perfectly Imperfect!