It's okay to be not okay.

I should be okay” — or some variation thereof — is something that I hear a lot.  

I had time to relax all afternoon. I should be rested!
My partner is kind and a good person. I should be happy!
I make a decent living and don’t have too work too many hours. I should be grateful! 

If we dig down deeply enough, though, the subtext of “I should be okay” is usually: I’m actually not okay.

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But being “not okay” confuses us. I mean, my career/relationship/health is good. I should be fine, right?

Maybe it is true that your relationship or your career or how you spend your weekends is mostly fine. That’s great! But it’s also important to notice if, despite your life being good in many ways, there are some subtle things that still feel off.  

It’s okay to be “not okay.” It doesn’t mean you’re selfish or ungrateful or that you’ll never be satisfied.  

In fact, I think that the feeling of I’m not okay is actually an important part of our continued growth as adults. That feeling tells us there’s something that needs more attention or action. If we’re paying attention, we will have that I’m not okay feeling frequently — in tiny ways and huge ways — throughout our lives.

Being able to hear the subtle nudges of I’m not okay is what will help us make sure that we’re on the life path that is best for us. It’s a life-affirming feeling, even though it can also be uncomfortable. 

Today, instead of focusing on all the ways that you should be okay, could you gently ask yourself, “in what ways am I not okay?” And listen for the subtle, whisper-like answers?

I’ll be doing it, too.