What's Your Okayness?
I am a master overthinker. When it comes to over analyzing every word, thought or action, they should really give me a gold medal. For instance, I went out to dinner with a couple of friends last night. I can recount to you every embarrassing hand gesture, awkward comment, and all of the ways my outfit looked positively ridiculous. I often feel like my sense of negative awareness is so heightened that every nerve ending in my brain is splayed open for the world to touch and see.
During these times I can playback, with commentary, almost any social situation. To my great misfortune, the commentary rarely ever changes. I often imagine myself sitting on a park bench overlooking a lush green lawn, right next to a horrifying-looking demon. Its favorite pastime is replaying my life to me, children’s picture book style, with image after image of “You’re not good enough” and “My goodness! You’re embarrassing.” More often than not the demon’s story ends with a resounding, “No one will ever love you. How could they?”
Needless to say, the demon and I are not friends. I work really hard to paint it as a vile and ugly thing whose ultimate goal is to cause me unbearable pain. It slowly wears down my resolve, and suddenly I am no longer able to see the difference between my truth and its lies.
I know I am not alone in this experience. We’ve become so conditioned to see ourselves as less than that it’s no wonder we allow the demons to rule our brains and bodies.
While home, I was having a conversation with my mom, attempting to work through an issue that was completely outside of my control. It deeply impacted my sense of worth. As I was grasping for answers and validation, she looked at me and said, “What if everything in your life was just okay, what would happen?”
It caught me off guard because I had gotten so used to sitting on the park bench side by side with the demon while it analyzed and judged every text, word, thought, article of clothing. I could no longer trust making the right decisions. I’d become wrapped up in the demon’s version of the story that said I didn’t think I was okay and couldn’t even imagine what it would be like.
My mom’s theory is that we are all perfect. At any given moment we are exactly where we are meant to be, learning exactly what we are meant to learn. To be okay would be to accept that I am not finished growing, learning, or becoming. To be okay would be to look the demon in the face and say I will embarrass myself, make dumb jokes, or wear unflattering clothes, but I am perfectly me.
To choose okayness is to recognize that these moments do not negatively define me.
The demon and I will continue to have some story time together. The story will play on repeat so loudly that the okayness will be drowned out. In these moments I will seek to recognize that I get to choose what okayness I allow the demon to take from me. I can choose to recognize and believe the truth about who I truly am. I get to choose what I am and what I am not by my own definition, not the demon’s.
Okayness allows us to turn to gratitude and love.
We’ve accepted the notion that nothing is finished, but everything is perfect. The demons, they don’t like it here, and I’m just fine with that.
The demon and I will continue to have story time together, and some days the story will play on repeat so loudly that the okayness will be drowned out. However, in these moments I will seek to recognize that I get to choose what I allow the demon to take from me, and that regardless of what it tells me, it is not me and it no longer gets to be.
To be okay is not to be alright with complacency, in fact, I believe it creates space for us to turn ourselves to gratitude and love, because we’ve accepted the notion that nothing is finished, but everything is perfect. The demons, they don’t like it here, and I’m just fine with that.
Written By Sierra Meszaros