I was talking to a friend last week and she shared with me that she is doing really well. She has good energy, is taking care of herself, feeling hopeful, and all-around feeling positive and upbeat. I noticed, though, that she shared all this with hesitation.
She then shared that she feels uncomfortable with feeling happy and doing well right now when there is so much pain in the world.
This discomfort and guilt she alluded to is something I have heard from many people when they are doing well during times of dis-ease and pain around them.
I completely understand it and have been there myself at times; feeling grounded and serene while chaos seems to swirl around me.
What I shared with her — and I want to share with you — is that it is OK to be OK right now. In fact, it is wonderful if you are doing well. Don’t be ashamed of that. Don’t diminish your efforts to get yourself to a good place.
I sat with what she shared over the weekend and remembered the times that I have been in a much more positive place emotionally and spiritually than those around me. I remembered that part of my worry at the time was that perhaps I was missing the pain those around me were feeling, or that I was shallow to be focused on my blessings when others were suffering.
If there’s one thing I can say for certain about myself: I don’t think I’ve ever been able to not sense the pain of others around me. Because I am highly empathic, I have had to work very hard to find healthy ways to balance what I feel from others with my own well-being.
If you are connected to what is happening in the world and are in integrity and not sticking your head in the sand — and yet you’re still doing well and focused on the good in your life — in my mind you are doing something really wonderful.
It does not diminish the pain of others or make you a bad person to be doing well, even thriving, during challenging times. It speaks to your dedication to wellness and to honoring your life and your gifts. And that’s a beautiful thing.
While it is absolutely true that it can be frustrating for others or make others angry to see someone doing well when they are in pain, if you are showing up as an integrous, loving person, then that frustration and anger is about them, not you.
If those around you want what is best for you then they are able to honor when you are doing well and they are not. They may not be up for the party or celebration, but they still respect and honor you.
Think, too: it can be helpful for those around you to see someone thriving and doing well. I love it when people around me are thriving. It actually helps to lift me up (usually) when I am not doing so well. And even if it doesn’t, it reminds me that I have been there before and that I can get back there.
For those of you who are doing well right now: I honor you and the work you have done and are doing to be in this positive place. Thank you for being a shining light in a time that feels challenging for many people.
For those of you who are not doing so well right now: I honor you, as well, and the place you are in. I know you are doing your best. I am also hopeful that there are brighter days ahead. Might you be able to lean on and into someone around you who is shining their light?
For all of us: It’s a gift and an honor to be here in this world at this time. It’s challenging, for sure. We have our highs and our lows. Maybe, like me, you have a lot of them all in a day’s time. 😉 I truly believe that we are here together in this time for a higher purpose, and by honoring the gifts we each bring, we can build a brighter world together. Always together.
P.S. I wanted to share this song with you today from Michael Franti. It’s from his newest album and speaks to our shared humanity. I’m on your side!
P.P.S. I love his entire new album, so if you’re needing some new songs to jam to this summer you might want to check it out.
This post is also a part of the Daily Anchor email series, which we’re sending out to help provide you support and grounding and hope during this challenging time. If you’d like to receive the Daily Anchor in your inbox each weekday, you can sign up here.