Wednesday, May 6, 2015

When I'm Really Not "Fine"

It's good to have people in our lives who are not fooled by our habitual defenses.

Two weeks ago today my father died. It was anticipated and, in many ways welcome- he had suffered with Alzheimer's for a decade. I called my sons to let them know. They asked, "Do you want us to come over?"

I replied, "Oh no. I'm fine. I've got some calls to make, and I know you both have work."

Two hours later they were both here in my apartment, talking and just hanging out.

Later, Brendan, my eldest son said, "Yeah, we got off the phone, looked at each other and said simultaneously, 'We need to go over.' You're not exactly trustworthy in the 'I'm fine' category."

He's right of course. I almost always say I'm fine. It's my default setting. Not being "fine," needing something, was dangerous in my early years. Saying "I'm fine," was one way I was taught to look after others. Sometimes I truly think I'm fine when I'm not. And my ability to sound fine no matter what is going on is legendary.

It's good to have people in our lives who see us clearly, without judgement, but with lots of love. On a good day, when I am fully present with myself I can ask for what I need. But I am deeply grateful that my sons and some close friends can hear the truth of my heart on a not-so-good day.



  1. Oriah, I am just starting to come across your postings, and I would like to express my deep gratitude for your being.

    Thank you for being an inspiration and you.

  2. Oh yes, me too Oriah! My habitual comment is "...but I am alright really". My partner says that on my gravestone it will say,
    "Here lies the body of Kate
    But she is alright really".