It’s okay to NOT be okay…. there I said it… someone needs to! And I really feel this is something that we all need to hear! While I try to encourage and also love to read and hear encouraging and uplifting words, sometimes life just stinks!
Maybe you are struggling right now … it could be a death of a loved one… the loss of a job…. a difficult time with your rebellious teenager … feeling lonely… just a depressing or discouraging “season” in your life. I always say, I believe life is cyclical. We get in a “good” and “decent” cycle… and then wham bam – we are in a tough season. It’s okay to be truthful and feel and say you are NOT okay right now. That does not mean it’s going to last forever (thank goodness, right?), but for right now – this day, this moment, I am not okay!
That doesn’t mean we can’t and won’t have a better “tomorrow”… goodness, if I couldn’t hold on to hope and better days ahead, I think I would have gone under a few times… we all would, I think.
It’s okay to be sad, overwhelmed, frustrated, or even depressed. Our culture places an unreasonable amount of value on happiness. Many people put on a happy face for the world, for their parents, and oftentimes even for their friends. Everyone experiences highs and lows, times of not being okay for days, weeks, sometimes more. Experiencing the full spectrum of emotions is human, and giving ourselves permission to experience and acknowledge negative feelings along with negative “seasons” in our life is normal. Let’s be honest and acknowledge things aren’t too great right now, at least not at this moment in our lives.
But please make sure you are taking care of you. I think this is critical to being in “survival” mode and getting through those dark days:
- Make sure you are eating nutritiously and drinking plenty of water. It’s important to eat healthy, and stay healthy, by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and drinking lots of water.
- Make sure you are getting plenty of rest and sleep. There seems to be nothing like a good night’s sleep. After all, things look better in the morning! Unless you have been up all night…
- Get out, one on one, with your sister or best friend – even if it’s just for a cup of coffee or a simple meal. You don’t have to say much, the mere fact you are getting out for an hour or two, away from it all, will probably do you a world of good.
- Get some fresh air! Sit outside or take the dog for a walk in the neighborhood.
- If this difficult season is lasting into months, seek professional help. You may want to see your Women’s Minister (if you have a church home) or get a referral for a therapist. Ask for help, and get the help you need!
And those who are natural “encouragers”, you can do your part in simple ways. Call your friend, text her, stay up with her, and ask her if you can take her out for a cup of coffee. If she says no, well, that’s okay, she’s not ready to be around people yet – but she will surely appreciate your thoughtfulness down the road and will probably want to see you when she is ready.
THIS SEASON… THIS BAD TIME… THIS TOO SHALL PASS… and it’s okay to NOT be okay, today….Thank goodness Margaret Mitchell said, “Tomorrow is another day!”
There is one good thing I have discovered in my own life when I get back into a “good season”. I can appreciate the beauty of life more, and appreciate good family and friends! Don’t give up, continue to hope, and hang on!
“When things are bad, we take comfort in the thought that they could always get worse. And when they are, we find hope in the thought that things are so bad they have to get better.” (Malcolm S. Forbes)
~Hanging in there with hope for us all.