From 2015-2017 I traversed what I hope will be the heaviest shadow phase I will encounter—an amalgamation of my ex husband’s multiple affairs, my debilitating back injury, and everything that accompanied those traumas. It was a challenging time. A transformative time. A time when asked, “how are you?” I’d most often respond with, “pretty okay.”
Integrity being one of my core values, I refuse to lie when asked about the state of my being—if you ask how I’m doing, I assume you actually want to know. If I ask you, it’s because I’m ready and willing to receive an answer that feels true to you.
That long and difficult shadow phase taught me how to be okay with not being okay. It showed me that the darkness was necessary for my expansion and that I was fully capable of breaking myself open without falling apart.
To say I was “great” or “fine” felt like a betrayal to that growth—it felt like a lie because, well, it was. But “pretty okay?” That felt refreshing, as though I could honor my pain without being engulfed by it—like I could wax and wane and shed so many skins without ever losing myself.
We are, each and every one of us, celestial beings sharing a human experience. We are capable of a full spectrum of emotions, from blissful to broken and everything in between. We’re allowed to feel everything along that spectrum—both the dark and the light—and under no obligation to pretend otherwise.
When asked how you’re doing, I hope you’ll feel safe enough, empowered enough to deliver a response that accurately reflects your truth. And if you’re feeling pretty okay, I hope you know that’s a perfectly acceptable response.