I once asked a friend how her day was, and she said, “It was pretty okay.” I, being used to hearing “okay” with a somewhat negative connotation then said, “I hope your day becomes stellar.” And then she said this: “Thanks, but given the circumstances of the rest of the world, pretty okay is just fine by me.”
And that small statement shocked me. When we’re sad or depressed or hungry, a lot of times, we like to remind ourselves of the rest of the world and think of how blessed we are. We say #firstworldproblems and try to laugh it off. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn’t. Very rarely do we say that when we’re just okay. Just okay is boring. It means nothing special happened; you could have had a fantastic day, or you could have had a terrible day. But just okay? What’s up with that? We like action; we like it when something happens, even if it’s not exactly what we wanted. On okay days, we say, “I may not be having a bad day, but I deserve better.”
“Okay is just fine by me” is a beautiful thing to say. It is the epitome of contentment. And I’ve already written several posts on contentment, so I’m not going to restate myself (the best one is here). And it really comes back to the fact that happiness is a state of well-being and not a feeling. Your life doesn’t have to be great for you to be happy. We don’t have to have a stellar day to be happy. We just need to be okay with being okay. Or maybe being okay when we’re depressed and sad and feeling under the weather.
And another thing, when we’re sad, I think a lot of times we like to blame ourselves. Sure, we blame other people for the circumstances that put us into that place. But then we say, “Why can’t I get out of this? I should be stronger than this. Happiness is only a step away, why can’t I get to it?” We feel guilty because we do think about all the other people who are hurting worse than us, and that makes us feel like weak, superficial jerks. It’s okay to hurt. It’s okay to be in pain. It’s okay to be angry. It happens to all of us, and just because you can’t make yourself happy doesn’t mean you’re weak. It’s when that pain stays in your life, becoming your cloud of depression and bitterness that it becomes unhealthy. I’m not really the person to say exactly how to get out of that place, but what I really wanted to stress is that it’s okay to be in pain.
It’s okay to have amazing days; don’t feel like you stole it from someone else. It’s okay to be in pain; it’s not your fault. And it’s okay to be okay; that’s contentment.
p.s. Don’t be this light covered in ice. Let your light shine, okay or not!
(I wrote “okay” so many times in this post, it’s beginning to look funny…Woops!)