He says it at least 20 times a day. Whether he falls down, gets wrestled or hoisted by daddy, bumps into a wall, trips over a toy, and/or spills water from his sippy cup, my two year old turns to me and says, “I’M OKAY.”
I don’t always ask Kaiden if he’s okay (if you know toddlers, then you know that they are resilient amidst life’s rumbles and tumbles). Yet, he makes it a point to declare his okayness out loud.
What is that about? In the mind of a toddler, I imagine that he’s letting me know that I, his parent and caretaker, have nothing to worry about. There’s no need for a boo-boo-rub or a sympathetic pouty face or a compassionate hug.
His statement made me wonder, Am I okay? I guess I’m okay because I’m breathing and eating and feeling safe (for now).
But am I really okay? That answer changes by the hour. Ask me one hour ago and I would’ve said Heck NO because I felt so depleted. Ask me after my morning coffee and journaling about my dreams and I’d say “Yes, life is beautiful, I’m more than okay.”
I also realized that I don’t tell people that I’m not okay when I’m not okay. I don’t want to worry a friend or my husband or my mom if I’m just trying to push through the day, but that’s not okay. If something is really upsetting or hurtful or discouraging or sad, I oughta acknowledge that I’m not okay, not just to myself, but to someone who could possibly help me when I get really stuck in that muck.
People attribute summertime to endless joy and freedom, but the truth is that it’s not always fun in the sun. We’re all managing real problems, recovering from real traumas, and crying real tears (or if you have an addiction, avoiding those real feelings with real distractions).
To give you the space to be honest this month, the question to ask yourself is:
AM I OKAY?
If you’re feeling okay right now, congrats! Go ahead and celebrate your okayness and use it as fuel to get you through the next thing. If you’re not feeling okay, then why are you not feeling okay? Don’t switch to another window on your smart phone or computer screen. Why are you not okay today?!
Perhaps you don’t have too much time to answer this in depth because you’re at work or in the middle of 5 tasks, but sit with this question later today, tomorrow, this week, and if you have the courage, for the remainder of July.
Whatever comes up, don’t deal with it solo. Talk to someone. Talk to a group. Talk to yourself. Talk to your higher power. AND, ask for what you need, which could look like a boo-boo rub, a sympathetic pouty face, or a compassionate hug (these are not limited to toddlers!)
This is not counseling. This is not coaching. This is you keeping it real enough with yourself to take action and change your story.
You’re not alone. Okay?!