Insights into Self-Awareness
We live in a world of polite appropriateness where “How are you today” is mostly likely met with a slight smile and “I am fine.”
Fine, what is fine? It can be many things. It can be just as it is “fine”, all is well, nothing out of this stratosphere happening, but nothing crashing down to earth in life either.
Fine – a simple sentiment that is where many find themselves – “I am fine.”
We live in a world where feelings, emotions and self- expression are muffled, not from governmental oppression, slavery or even traumatic hardships as many who are oppressed by the latter examples still found/find a “purpose,” “passion” to bring light into their being, their life, and their souls. It is actually the crisis call to action to “survive” in these situations that spark a greater need to be more self-aware to continue to thrive and be alive. But for those who are “fine” within the structured, comfortable enough, or more comfortable than they could ever imagine or so comfortable one forgets what being uncomfortable is like – “fine” can be a message of disconnect from their very knowing of how they, themselves, actually feel and who they are in the world.
We get caught up in being all the obligations, requirements, rules, regulations, accommodations, restrictions, and conforming confinements that our business, public and personal lives demand daily.
We live in a world that can be very unforgiving to those who can’t or won’t tuck their “feelings” for the sake of appropriateness or remaining “comfortable”. Yet the movers and shakers, speakers and leaders who are many times seen as the mold-breakers and they do not tuck away their “feelings,” their opinions, their purpose, and voice. The ones who uniquely made a name for themselves in such a way they seemingly no longer have to be just “fine”. Somehow they have created the world that asks for their opinion and asks for their views. These people seem to own the space they are in without having to buffer or take up the space of another. Their persona stands alone, and it valued.
Being fine is complacent, not that I am saying if someone asks you how your day is going that you give a diatribe on all the ways it is going wrong, but instead of saying “I am fine” you can say “I am fine, I am working on some challenging components of a project, and it is a bit trying – but overall I am fine with what I am up against.” Or – “I am fine, life is moving along, and I am looking forward to our meeting later” or “I am fine, life at home has presented some new dynamics to overcome, and I am working at not having it affect work”. The key is – to be honest without dismissing you are human and alive.
Won’t people think “Gee, I just was greeting them politely; I didn’t really want to hear how they were doing.” They might, but in reality – others are looking for ways to connect to more than just “fine” also. By you being more than just “fine” and expressing what is so and truthful in your life – you are actually giving them permission to express real life the same.
I adopted, never saying just “I am fine” as a response to another, as an experiment years ago. At first, I thought people were overwhelmed by my unexpected response, but over time I noticed that those I gave real and honest answers about my life at that moment, began to connect and share real and honest answers back. I could feel them sigh with relief that they weren’t being treated like just another casual person walking by giving a pat greeting – but that I cared about their lives, their well-being, and all they were creating. Relationships became real. Others began asking more than “How are you today?” – They began to say “I noticed you were quiet this morning, is everything okay?”, they were waking up to life and those around them. They were waking up to themselves and how they impact another by being open to more than just a pat response of “I am fine” as they passed a friend, co-worker or loved one. They found that through inviting in more than just three little words “I am fine,” they were honored with being seen and seeing others in an expanded way making them feel a part of others and others a part of them. Their world expanded and became much more than “just fine”.