I rarely say that I am fine when asked how I am. I say things like: I’m still here, still living, doing well, or one of those days. Pretty much anything. But I don’t say I’m fine if I’m not. I stopped lying about myself a while ago.
It all started off with a book I read about people who were critically ill. In the book the author said that saying you are fine when you are not is basically sending die messages to yourself. It is telling yourself that the truth of how you are is not important. I spent a long time thinking about that and what it meant to me.
What I came up with was that for years someone had been telling me that I was unimportant, not as important, or any other way of saying it. And that if I believed that I would never move forward. I did believe that for years and years. But in the last ten years I have begun to feel important. And saying that I am fine when I am not does not say to myself that I am important in any way.
So now I have a pithy remark to make if I am not really fine. Or I just redirect to the weather and avoid the question. There are people who do get the truth to that question. But those people are the ones that have earned the right to know those truths. They are the people who give me the sacred space of truth and understanding. I hope that I give that in return.
When someone asks if you are fine, think before you answer. Are you?