It’s been a while since I’ve written. Luckily, much like an old friend, I can return to writing with the sense that I am picking up right where I left off—feeling the flow of my inner voice with the same level of ease as I always have.
Working in a baby room, I often hear the phrase, “You’re OK!” For weeks, every time I heard the teacher say this to a baby, my heart felt unsettled. Aren’t we supposed to empathize with the children? Acknowledge and validate their emotions? Why are we so quick to tell them ‘they’re alright’ after they get startled or feel uneasy?
And then last week it clicked for me. “You’re OK!” is not meant to invalidate the babies’ feelings. Rather, it is telling them that UNDERNEATH their feelings, they are alright. That they each have a solidity —a stability—inside of themselves that will never go away no matter how unsettled, taken aback, or unhappy they feel.
That lesson—the introduction to the concept of their soul: that unshakeable, relentless life force within them—is a worthy reminder indeed.
I know this because for much of my twenties I was stuck in the empathizing with feelings state. I felt my feelings SO STRONGLY, without feeling that sense of SELF-RELIANCE: that I could get through what I was facing, no matter how scared/unsettled it made me feel.
With this interpretation “You’re OK!” is OK!