Kassi Martin's Blog
When We Feel, We Heal...
How are you? I'm Really asking!
I've been pondering… when did it become custom to say "I'm Fine", especially when we clearly are not?
Is this a British "norm" or maybe it is prevalent in your neck of the woods too?
We all know how this plays out… we see someone at work, or dropping kids off at school… or socialising. One of us says "hi! How are you?! You look amazing!!!" And the other, gathers themselves up, puts their best smile on their face - even if they're sad or irritated… and enthusiastically says (possibly more brightly than they actually feel) "Oh …Hi!!! So good to see you… you look wonderful!! How are you?!!"
And then almost in unison they both say "I'm fine thanks…".
And there it is. The most commonly spoken words have popped out automatically without thinking because it's been drummed into us since tiny-hood to say this no matter what.
Even when we go the Doctor… other patients in the waiting room will pass the time of day asking "How are you?" And we tend to say; "I'm fine, and you?" and they say "oh yes, I am fine thanks!"
But actually sometimes, perhaps more often than not… we really aren't fine.
We've been taught to hide how we really feel unless we are with someone who we know is truly interested and is able to hear the truth of how we really are. Then we may say a little more...
What exactly is so wrong in just being honest and open? Let's face it, the majority of us experience the same things… we all have health struggles, parent or child issues, our teens may be off the rails at school or socially, our Manager may be bullying us or we're wishing we stayed single… but we don't say this out loud.
Why? Well I guess we have learned through childhood conditioning that when someone asks how we are, they really don't mean it. They're being polite. And when you ask someone how they are, do you really want to know? Or are you simply going through the motions of social niceties?
So what would happen if we truly answered honestly? Imagine sharing the whole of your current life situation with the next person who asks how you are?
I sense that most people would start to squirm and then as more of your true everyday life pours from within, they would try to excuse themselves and dash away…
Again… I ask; Why? Why can't we allow people - ourselves included - to share our truth… raw and gritty as it truly is?
I think I know the answer!
Well my first reason is mentioned above… we are conditioned to pass the time of day and greet each other with the "How are you? Oh I'm Fine'" greeting, completely denying everything whilst smiling with a fake, bright facial expression.
Secondly, few of us, as we grow up have our Feelings, Emotions, Moods, and Thoughts attended to with love, understanding, kindness, empathy and acceptance. This is all a part of the Conditioning.
If we are taught 'this is how we say hello' and 'if anyone mentioning feelings or emotions, then THIS is what we do then....' we simply comply, adapting to what has been taught or modelled to us without question.
This way of being, to deny and suppress ourselves, brings about anxiety, stress, depression and pain.
What is the answer Kas, you may ask.
I believe the answer is to be aware of how we Feel and to express ourselves honestly, openly and without shame. The more we do this, others will also begin to share more openly.
We can find it difficult to offer empathy, acceptance and really listen if we have not received these ourselves. We need to experience a safe, nurturing and welcoming space where we can be our true selves. We need the opportunity to say how it really is… we need someone to say it's ok to express your truest self…. We need to feel safe and accepted in a space that says "all parts of you are welcome here".
And please don't worry, if you don't know what to say or perhaps you feel embarrassed about what the other has shared... just say that... just be honest and say 'oh I don't know what to say... but I've really heard you,' These 'real' ways of being will help others to say similar things, offering a space for real sharing to take place.
I have lots of courses, some of which are FREE Gifts where you are invited to explore and express deeply, authentically in colour, texture and often words. You can join my free group where you can share your art, your feelings and be met there by me. I will meet you with empathy and acceptance. You can experience what it's like to be able to say how you really are and have a human being really respond to you!
You might enjoy participating in one of my Sharing Circles on Zoom for small groups where we can share and release pressure of everyday living in a warm, safe, loving environment.
If you're already in my group, have you shared anything? Have you checked in with how you feel?
Maybe you want to check in but feel afraid how you will be met? This won't happen in my group, I will meet you there, properly, fully and with kindness and gentleness.
If you would like to join my group, the link is below. It's free. You can share photos of your art from my courses, your journaling or just say how you are.
Come on in, I'll meet you there.
Try one of my Free Gifts, participate in an unhurried way and then share in my group. Here's a link to one of my Free Gifts:
Look out for Dear Emotional You - another FREE Gift. You can find other free gifts there too.
And here's a video of me Really Accepting and Listening to myself…
https://vimeo.com/676584408 (You don't need a password)
Take good care of you, you matter,