We say the words All.The.Time. But, when we say those two words, is it really a true statement of what is going on with us? Yes, those words can be the drive we need to get something done whether it be at work or home, but what worries me is that they become the first thing that comes out of our mouth when asked how things are going.
What if for one day we were just down right honest about what was going on with us? I guess I think that most people don’t want to know how we are really doing, they are just being “nice.” Not only do we have to respond honestly, but we need to be honest when asking people how they are really doing, dig a little deeper. That “I’m fine” usually just scratches the surface. The thing is, if we get a little more comfortable with opening up, it will take a little bit of what we are feeling, whether it be anxiety, overwhelming feelings or frustrations away, like letting out a little steam.
Somedays, when I say “I’m fine” that is the appearance you see on the outside, but on the inside I can really identify with being the last bird in a group of birds that is the last one to escape from being hit by my car as I drive into a them on the road. I always think that last one is never going survive and I will hit it, but it always makes it. Have you ever wondered if its little heart is pounding fast? Or does it think “Man, I’m a rock star, I made it again?” Either way I’m guessing if we asked the bird he would say “I’m fine,” just fine, see….I made it, everything is fine. That’s just it, sometimes we go through something that is traumatic or life changing but our chosen response will always be “I’m fine.” Don’t get me wrong, sometimes mind over matter is the way to go. I’m just not sure why we choose not to elaborate on our current situation.
During chemo, there was nothing like when someone would ask how I was doing and I would usually say “I’m doing well” (my equivalent of I’m fine). They would usually end the conversation with, well, you look good!?! It always sounded like their voice was saying it in a surprised tone, I guess, because anyone with a cancer diagnosis wasn’t suppose to look good? For me, it always gave me a little boost and more fuel to prove someone wrong. I always think, though, what if I was honest when asked that question. My real answers would be, “Well thanks…I’m doing well I finally pooped today” (something that is always on your mind when you have ovarian cancer), or “I feel that if I would stop for a moment, I would probably fall asleep instantly,” or lately “My mouth is so dry it feels like there is a sock in it.” The raw details are never what we want to share. But maybe we should? We would begin to have such new appreciation for so many aspects of what people are going through in life.
The most common lie is I’m fine-Unknown
Maybe we are not truthful because we do not want to hear someone’s recommendation? We are stubborn and want to figure things out ourselves. The truth is, only you know what your journey is like, yes people’s lives can be similar, but every single step you take is yours alone. I do believe you will become stronger as you learn for any of the trials life may throw at you. Sometimes we do not see what needs to been seen until after we have made it through the rough stuff.
Let’s take a different spin on those words, “I’m fine.” This time when you say the words, “I’m fine, pause and give yourself a mental self-check. Ask is that true, am I fine?
I had warning signs I had cancer (or that something was going on) prior to my diagnosis, but rarely did I do a self-check of what was really going on in my body. So, if there is anything at all I can encourage you to do, is when you respond with the “I’m fine” I want you at that moment take a second to do an internal self-check. If you have any warning signs, listen to your body and do something to get it checked out.
Another step in growth is working towards getting your minus to be a plus. Turn the negative into a positive. Let’s work on changing our response on how we answer. Our minds are very powerful part of how we feel. If you say “I’m great” (with a smile even) I guarantee you will feel better about yourself. Continue to work at being aware of how you are feeling, mentally and physically. Soon it will be like second nature to do a self-check. Start today. Turn your “I’m fine” into a “I’m Fabulous.”