So, normally what happens here is that I share updates about my life. My shiny, happy, beach-loving, self-care-doing, meditating, recovery-based life, filled with sunsets and oceans and lots of love. Those are true parts of my life. Everything that I post here is true.
But it’s not the whole truth.
The whole truth is that some days, I am not fine. Isn’t that true for all of us? Say this with me now, “I am NOT FINE.” How many times in your life have you wanted to say that? “How are you?” “I’m fine, and you?” “I’m fine!” Smile, smile, and we move on with our days.
I am NOT fine.
On Wednesday night, I was meditating with my Refuge Recovery group. And for the second night in a row, for, say, 17 out of the 20 minutes that we were all meditating together, all that I wanted to do was run out of the room and scream. Not scream any words, but just scream. Loudly. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!
I am not fine.
This morning, I woke up at 6AM. Because I.always.wake.up.at.freaking.6AM. Even when I went to bed late. Even when I didn’t sleep well. Even when it’s SATURDAY and I don’t NEED to be awake at 6AM. It is now 11:50AM, and I have spent 5 of the last 6 hours laying in the bed. Watching Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce. (Which I was VERY disappointed to learn only has 7 episodes available on Netlfix in Season 3, as opposed to the normal 13. WTF??) After finishing the 3rd season (again, way too quickly), I started re-watching videos of my hero, Glennon Doyle-Wambach, live-streaming on Facebook. Still in bed. At almost noon. Which is not actually a problem in itself except that I never stay in bed until noon unless…
I am not fine.
I know why I am not fine. Sort of. I’m going to stay out of the details of why I am not fine today. (I am emphasizing the today because, if we’re being honest – and it seems that is what we are doing here today – I am not fine on many days. Not the majority – although, I bet more people than we realize are not fine the majority of the days, and there is nothing wrong with that – but more days than I generally admit to in polite conversation.) I don’t think that the details are particularly helpful or even relevant, and some of them are also personal and not entirely mine to share (and some of them are not personal and have to do with the government and the war and the GREAT INJUSTICES plaguing our whole freaking world, and I have nothing to say about them that has not already been said, probably better, by someone else….but this isn’t exactly about that right now).
In meta terms, what is wrong is that my soul is not happy with the choices that my mind is making. My soul and my mind are not aligned. I suspect that this will remain true for most of my life because my soul is love and peace and light and Truth, and my mind is a crazy, loud, somewhat unsafe place to be the majority of the time. This is not a failing of my mind, or of me. This is a result of trauma, both from my own life experiences and from living in a society that is near-bursting with trauma and fear. My mind is a never-ending reel of the messages that I have received throughout my life, from people who (also) do not know how to experience and process pain, from a mainstream society whose chief values are money (power) and image, and from a media that is a product of people and mainstream society’s value system.
I am not fine.
And you know what? I think that’s sort of okay. I think it’s fine to be “not fine” some of the time. I think that it is actually perfectly appropriate. Because…this world is crazy. And our country is sick. (Seriously, if you are “fine” with what is happening in the world right now, you are not paying attention. But again, this post is more about the internal not fine than the external not fine. The external not fine is a-whole-nother ball of wax.) And life is FREAKING HARD. Glennon taught me this concept and it was one of the most freeing things that I have learned in the last five years. Life.is.hard. And NOT because we are doing it wrong, but because that’s just the way it is. Our lives were not meant to be 100% rainbows and sunshine and puppies. Nobody learns shit from living a comfortable, uncomplicated life. And, while I – much like everyone else in the whole wide world – cannot be sure of what we are here for, I believe that we are here to learn some things. And my experience has been that being a bit uncomfortable – being a bit not fine – is when I learn the things.
I am not fine.
And one of the things that I learned? Is that we make life harder by refusing to admit that it’s hard. By not talking about the hard. By only posting pictures of our perfect families and beautiful vacations and great accomplishments. By telling everyone, all day every day, that we are fine. That we are good. That we are GREAT, AND YOU? Even when we are not fine. Even when we are scared. Or sad. Or falling apart on the inside.
I am NOT fine.
Let me be clear: Life is incredibly beautiful. Nary a day goes by that I am not literally overwhelmed with gratitude and joy for the beauty that surrounds me in this world. I struggle with the concept of heaven because I already feel so damn blessed to be where I am right now that I don’t see a need to believe in some place better. I love living this life. I do.
The thing is, it’s not either/or. It’s both/and. Life is beautiful and life is hard. It’s both. And today, on this little blog, we are embracing the hard. We are embracing the messy and the ugly and the painful. Because the hard is as natural and important and true as the beauty. And I want both. I need both. And I need us all to be able to talk about both, without fear or judgment or shame.
Say it with me now: “I am NOT fine.” Some days.
Love always, all ways,
P.S. I wrote this yesterday (on Saturday), but didn’t post right away. It’s now Sunday and I spent the morning grocery shopping (probably my most favorite weekly activity), chopping veggies and food prepping (probably my second most favorite weekly activity), practicing yoga, listening to new-to-me guided meditations, researching yoga studios, and journaling. So, this morning, I am quite a bit more fine than I was yesterday. Great, even. But still wanted to post because…we all need the reminder that it’s okay to not be fine sometimes. I’ll be back soon with more updates about my beautiful and hard life.
P.P.S. I’M GOING TO SEE GLENNON!!!! She is coming to San Jose on 9/26 and a friend and I are going to see her and I AM SO EXCITED!!!! And will probably mention it 20-25 more times between now and then. 🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗