A few weeks ago I shared about how I cry on Thursday. It’s true. I do. Of course, it’s not that I always need to cry on Thursday or that I don’t every cry any other day of the week. (It happens sometimes). The point was, I take time of Thursday’s to be alone and feel my feelings. Whatever feelings those may be because, I’ve learned something very important over the last couple of years. It’s okay to NOT be okay.
This was admittedly pretty hard for me to accept. I like to think I was a pretty healthy person before the last couple of years. I do have a pretty “colorful” past. It’s because of that, I spent my early to mid-twenties really letting YHVH hash those things out. I worked through my “family or origin” and just let Him make me into someone healthy and whole. My prayer was to be prepared for the marriage He had for me. 10 years later from where I started, I felt like I was doing pretty good.
Trauma (and the accompanying grief) can really pull the rug out from under you though… going from a pretty okay self to, “WHOA, what’s going on?!” was not easy.
Not only does trauma like to throw a wrench in things, I found that the (mainstream) church hasn’t done a very good job of acknowledging life’s difficulties either. We live in a “too blessed to be stressed” age where because we know YHVH we should be a-okay all the time. We know from throughout His Word though, and many in it, that simply isn’t true.
So, today I’m here to tell you…
It’s okay to not be okay
Whatever it is you may be dealing with. It’s okay that not everything is peachy keen all the time.
Throughout the Psalms we see David crying out to YHVH in hurt, anger, feelings of uncertainty, and so much more not “okayness”. So often, reading the words of the Psalm I get this picture not so much of “declaration” but of a person *reminding themselves* of YHVH’s goodness.
In 2 Corinthians we see the Apostles were “burdened beyond (their) strength”, they “despaired of life itself”.
Yes, we see throughout Scripture that it’s OKAY to not be okay. We see that it’s in these times we have to press into YHVH, trust that He’s continuing to work on our behalf for His glory, and that He will not and has not forsaken us. BUT, it’s not that we just have to ignore where we are, that we’re struggling, or try to pretend we have it all together.
So, what do we do?
Here are 3 things I do when I’m not okay
I acknowledge my feelings.
In a way, you could say I “embrace” them. I don’t try to brush off how I’m feeling. I don’t ignore them or automatically tell myself I “shouldn’t feel that way”. Instead, I try to reflect on what is going on in my heart and mind. I remind myself YHVH gave me my emotions and that even here, He’s helping me work through them.
If I’m sad, angry, frustrated, anxious… whatever it may be, I try to not “stuff it” and instead face it. I talk to YHVH about it. Tell Him (even though He already knows) that I’m not okay. I’m hurting, struggling, feel conflicted, etc.
Be gentle with yourself.
Sometimes, my to-do list takes a back seat. I let myself rest when I need to. Cuddle kiddos a bit more. NOT stress about what I’m “not getting done”. I acknowledge where I am, remind myself that YHVH knows where I am and He’s with me, and I be kind to myself.
I don’t need to add guilt to whatever else I may be feeling. It’s okay to rest and okay to take care of yourself. It’s OKAY to remind myself that I need to let YHVH carry me and my burden.
Let others know.
I have a pretty small circle. I do still have one though and I reach out to them when I need. Do I always do this “right away”? No.. sometimes I withdraw and have to get myself out of isolation. We need help and it’s important to let those around us, that LOVE US, know it. We are not a burden to those that love us. YHVH called us to walk with each other, lift each other, and carry each other’s burdens. He created us for relationship and it’s important that we make those connections. Especially when we’re “not okay”.
In our home, this level of honesty has created a healthier family unit. We don’t hide from each other. Even The Oldest has been on the end of hearing me say, “I’m just having a hard day today,” and him utilizing the same openness to share when he’s struggling. Of course, The Oldest isn’t part of my support circle, I get support from The Husband, my mom, & a couple of close friends. He’s not left in the dark though, he’s a person that is part of this family and is treated as such. We try to stay away from “I’m fine” in our home.
Things I also do
Some other things I’ll sometimes do, in no particular order:
- Listen to worship
- Read YHVH’s word
- Go outside
- Create something
- Take a nap (rarely but sometimes I do get this).
- Snag myself some coffee (either at home or a treat from a local shop)
Whatever I do though, the first 3 things above are at the foundation. They’re what have helped me understand and accept the ebbs & flows of the everyday. That not everyday is okay, and that’s okay.
How do you deal with days you’re not okay, whether it’s regular daily stresses or days where trauma likes to remind you it’s still there? Do you remind yourself it’s okay to not be okay?