Being okay with not being okay

Image: Taylor Durrer

If you closely examine ‘stressful situations,’ you’ll likely realize something…

The thing that’s most stressful isn’t necessarily the situation itself. It’s the self-talk that goes on about the situation that causes the anxiety. The problem is that certain part of our psyche that’s not okay with the fact that we’re not okay.

This adds more and more pressure. Layers and layers of stressful thought get buried on top of the experience, making it damn near unbearable.

But check this out…

Being okay with feeling uncomfortable makes you… (strangely) comfortable.

Now, we can’t fool ourselves here. This doesn’t work as a trick. We have to be toooootally fine with — well — not being fine. We have to, in a way, zoom out and see ourselves in all our shining, glorious state of discomfort.

What’s strange is that it seems like it would get worse if we followed this motto and became okay with not being okay. But it’s not true.

When we accept ourselves as we are in the moment, our extraneous thoughts (which are often just acting as defense mechanisms) can be at ease.

I’ve noticed this works particularly well for grief. When we lose someone, we don’t necessarily WANT to feel good. The worst thing someone can do when we’re in this kind of state is to try to make us feel good. This only amplifies our own discomfort with our experience.

The best thing someone can do is hold a space of safety and candor for us to just go ahead and be miserable. When this happens, something fresh can emerge. New growth in thought can rise up out of the hardened soil of our loss.

Try this for yourself. Give yourself a safe space and be okay with not being okay.


I’m Jonas Ellison — a motivational messenger and transformative guidewho writes daily here on Medium. To get my short vignettes in your inbox every day, click here.

If you enjoyed this piece, proclaim your love to the world by recommending it below and sharing with your people. Thanks!