Thursday, August 25, 2016

"It'll be ok"

How many times has someone said these words to me? How many times have I felt desperate to hear them, and angry and bitter that I was alone, and didn't hear them from a companion? Quieting my mind sometimes seems like such an insurmountable task...the worries about my bank account, how my life compares to what I imagine others have, my loneliness, my feelings of not being good enough or not doing enough to warrant love.  And yet if I added up all of the times someone has told me, "It will be ok", would the sum of that care outweigh the pain I put myself through pretending that no one had ever loved me enough to stand by me, pretending that I've never been loved, that I am really alone?
"It will be ok" - the magic words that say something so completely opposite of what they seem to say. These words don't mean that your pain is irrelevant, though they may encourage you to consider a larger context, to take a moment for perspective. They don't mean that you will be the same, or that anything will be like it was before. They don't mean that you will be good, even. They just mean you will survive, and sometimes that is the most comforting thing anyone can say.
"It will be ok" doesn't mean the speaker can fix anything, or even that the speaker will be with you when the clouds clear. I've still found the words to be powerful, a belief of someone outside myself in myself when I feel utterly incompetent, a belief in goodness and hope when I can't see anything worth saving.
"It will be ok" has preceded a lot of adventure and joy in my life, and has been itself the source of a lot of intimacy and tenderness. I can never get enough reassurance, though, and almost as soon as I hear the words, I'm missing them, and building fear and voids and needs and worry. If I had a magic power, I'd want to be able to open a photo album that would display all of the "it will be ok" moments of forty years, fanning them out in colors and emotions and connections of a life lived among people who have loved me and supported me and believed I was valuable, people who haven't done what I may have tried to puppet them into, but who have shown up in unexpected ways to tell me that it would be ok.

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