Four words that we are not used to hearing nor saying out loud. Those four words usually come with the connotation of one being weak, insane, unstable…whatever other words come to mind I’m sure they are attached with those four words.
So I ask you this…Are you ok? And if you’re not…I’m not here to judge. Since I’m intruding in your space with this question, I will answer it myself. Right now I am ok. BUT. If you were to ask me a week ago or two weeks ago, I would tell you to pull up a chair and perhaps bring an overnight bag to hear me dump everything that I had within me to be dumped. And as I write this, although I am ok I am pushing through some self-searching moments that are forcing me to become more aware of my wants and needs in life as a whole.
As business owners, parents, shift shakers, and people who are purposed to change the world (one person at a time), we carry so much within us that sometimes we do not have the energy to muster the four words that we need to say. We carry the weight of things having to be done and we may not have anyone else to punt the ball to. We carry the weight of imposter syndrome, fear, and 10,000 what-ifs that may never come to life. We carry the weight of “Can I really do this?” and “Who does this matter to anyway?”
In the midst of everything that we carry, we still have to be honest in the areas that we are not ok. Do we have control or do we not have control? Do we continue to hold on or do we let go? Where do we need to make time to allow room for us to truly breathe instead of immersing ourselves in situations that cause us to gasp for air? Where do we need to be more proactive than reactive?
Here are 3 areas to consider using a magnifying glass to evaluate if you are OK…or rather where you need to make peace with being ok regardless if certain things are in your control or not.
In most cases, we tend to depend on others for our needs to be met, especially when it comes to our love language. I am a split down the middle with Quality Time and Acts of Service. There is no if and or for me. They come as a package deal. I do not take one without the other. It’s like you have to have duck sauce for your shrimp fried rice…without it, you cannot fully enjoy the shrimp fried rice. If they are both not fulfilled, then I make the choice to either pull away or deal with you at arm’s length. Now if you don’t know my love language then I give you a little more grace…I mean it’s only fair. But for those who do know my love language, it’s different. To me, I think it’s only fair that if I make it a point to function within your love language then it should be a fair trade for you to function in mine. Does that always happen? NOPE…and that is when I am not ok in the area of my needs. Or one area of needs because there is definitely more than one.
Now some of you may be saying that I am a person who only does something for someone else if they do it for me…That is not a reality even if I wanted it to be. I am the total opposite. I give myself even when I do not have it in me to give. I will compromise even if it means me diminishing my needs in order to meet someone more than halfway…But at some point my cup gets empty and my needs become that neon flashing sign that you see when Krispy Kreme has freshly baked donuts. And when those needs are not met, I retreat to my own space in the sandbox and begin to build my own sandcastle that only I can access. Can you relate?
Do we always have control over how our needs are met by others? I don’t think we have any control at all. The same way we make the choice to meet the needs of others, others have to make the same choice when it comes to us. We would hope they would meet our needs with the same passion, consistency, and devotion as we do…but that is not always the case. It’s at that point we make the choice to keep certain people in our lives, have the necessary conversations, or find ways for us to have our needs met that is not dependent on other people. Either way, we have to make the choice on how we move forward when our needs aren’t met as we would hope for them to be.
When it comes to obligations, I think we crown ourselves in the position of obligation when we really should have let the next qualified candidate take ownership. And what I mean by this is…Did you really have to run for Neighborhood Watch President when you really should be focusing on the growth of your business? Or did you really have to volunteer yourself for a project that brings no value to what you need to accomplish at this moment? Don’t get me wrong, you should always extend yourself in service to others but even that has to make sense when it comes to not only your day-to-day but also to your purpose.
Now that we got that out of the way, there are some obligations that come with who we are. And sometimes they are not obligations. I sometimes think the word “obligation” is such a not-so-friendly word. Like I don’t think I have obligations as a parent or as a business owner. It’s just something that is a part of who I am…but for the sake of this let’s just use the word “obligation”.
Sometimes within our obligations, we feel as if we are not ok. We may feel as if we have failed as parents. We may feel as if we are just barely getting by and making a living as business owners. And when we feel as if we are not making the cut…We are ultimately not ok.
We can only take things day by day…or shall I say moment by moment. And even in all of what we are “obligated” to do, we must find ways of building a support circle. Your support circle should be your safe space to be able to say what is really on your mind and heart without judgment. And even in that same breath, you should have a support circle who is not just your “Yes People” but the people who will set you straight on the days that you bump your head and forget what you are purposed to do. As people become a part of your support circle, be sure to become a part of theirs.
Within our obligations, we have those never-ending tasks lists that appear to keep growing. For every task you complete there are 10 more things added to the list. If you are one of my PurposedPartners…I’m sure you can relate. 😊
When you are not ok with the massive list of things to get done, what do you do? Do you hoard the tasks and do your best to keep your head above water to get things done? Or do you wave the “I am NOT OK” flag and ask for help? If I were to take a guess, 9.999 times out of 10 we (Yes, WE because I’m included) do our best to keep our heads above water and just pray that we can survive the next monsoon of tasks that come our way.
We need to get in the habit…Better yet live the lifestyle of asking for help. When we realize how much life would be easier when we ask for help, perhaps we could see that there is life outside of floating on a slab of wood while waiting for the next wave of tasks to take us under.
There are so many other areas that we may not be OK in. It can be in the areas of finance, our health, etc., but regardless of the area, we can find a place of having peace with the things that we have control over…And the only control that we may have is to say “I am NOT OK” and accept the help/support that comes our way.
Make it a point to take control to be OK however you can…And know that you are not alone on this Purpose Journey.
Find out what your Love Language is to communicate your needs better.
Who’s in Your Room? by Ivan Misner Ph.D
The Mastery of Self by Don Miguel Ruiz Jr.