I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “It’s okay to not be okay”. And obviously, I completely agree. It’s 100% okay to not be okay. Life is hard, chronic and mental illnesses are hard. And sometimes things just plain suck. There is no shame in struggling or in working through your tough times. In fact, I believe it makes you stronger than you were before. You should never feel guilty for not being okay. I’m not here to tell you otherwise. What I want to cover today, though, is that it’s okay to be okay. Because honestly, I don’t think that’s talked about enough.
Why We Focus on Not Being Okay
You know how they say, “misery loves company”? I honestly think that’s one of the truest sayings there is, even if it is a cliche. I think it’s because it can be so dang hard to see happiness when you’re feeling down. I also think that sometimes, we as a society tend to glorify a struggle. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing! I just think that on television, in podcasts, on social media, etc., we tend to see the bad more than we see the good.
There’s something very attractive and, I hate to say, entertaining, about struggles. I think it’s the idea of overcoming hardships and coming out on the other side better than ever. And when that does happen in real life, it is pretty great. But what about when things are good, without the bad?
Here’s my theory: I think we feel the need to manufacture bad times when things good because we’re afraid of the good. We’re afraid that our happiness will make others feel bad, especially if things aren’t going so great for them. We’re taught not to brag or flaunt our happiness, while simultaneously being told to smile. We often feel like we have to conceal it because, well, what if someone else is unhappy?
But here’s the thing: there will always be other people who are struggling or unhappy. But that is no reason for you to feel like you have to struggle or feel unhappy too.
Why It’s Okay to Be Okay
It’s really quite simple. It’s okay to be okay because you are you. You deserve to be happy, to have times that are free of hardships. You deserve to be okay simply because you exist, and life shouldn’t be all about struggling.
Yes, of course there will be hard times. No matter how much you deserve the easiest of lives. There will be days when you wake up and everything just feels wrong. There will be nights you go to sleep wishing tomorrow will be different. But there will also be days where you wake up excited about what’s to come. And there will be nights you go to sleep wishing the day wouldn’t end. And those are the days to focus on. Those are the days we are here for.
So yes. It’s more than okay to be okay. It’s essential to be okay. It’s survival. Because if it isn’t okay to be okay, if it isn’t okay to share that with the people in our lives, what the heck is the point? Obviously we shouldn’t go around rubbing our amazing lives in the faces of those who are at their lowest. But it’s also important to remember that you shouldn’t feel the need to mask your happiness. Ever. Especially around your friends and loved ones.
Let’s all challenge ourselves a bit. Let’s all focus on living our best lives, and actually embracing the happiness that comes with it. Do things that make you happy, take time to rest, get outside and get some sunshine, work towards your goals. Focus on you for a while and push aside the guilt. Instead of that guilt, or that subconscious, socially-ingrained instinct to find something going wrong, focus on the good. Embrace the happiness and the feelings of satisfaction with your life. Embrace the feeling that you are okay. Because, after all, it’s more than okay to be okay.