Do you ever talk to yourself? I do. In its purest form, isn’t being an author telling yourself a story and then writing it down to share with others?

Not all my internal monologue is story-related. Often I’m planning or processing things about my day, making decisions or adjustments as needed. There’s one thing I’ve consistently noticed, however, about these thoughts regarding life developments. The more times I tell myself “it’s fine”—the less fine it actually is.

Something happens. “It’s fine.”  Translation: It probably is just fine.

Another curveball comes my way. “It’s fine, it’s fine.”  Translation: It’s not fine, but I’m trying to cope as best I can.

Now something completely unexpected springs up. “It’s fine, it’s fine, it’s fine.”  Translation: It’s very not fine and I am on the verge of not being able to handle anything.

We could talk about reasons my thought pattern goes this way. Personality plays a huge part, as does upbringing. But the reasons aren’t so important as recognizing the result of telling myself “it’s fine” over and over—suppressing my own emotions. I need things to be okay in order to make sense of them, but sometimes life is just not okay. And it’s okay and necessary to sit with my emotions when they’re unstable and messy.

Another thing I’ve been working on is reevaluating ‘but’ statements related to how I’m feeling. This was largely prompted by the recent loss in my family. I found myself wanting to say things like, “It’s hard, but we’re getting through,” or “…but we’re doing okay.” Why do I need that ‘but’ in there? Two things can be equally true without downplaying my feelings. Instead, I’ve been trying to let the emotions stand on their own without a qualifier and express truth as a separate but equal thought. “Life is difficult. God is good.” These can coexist at the same time.

I don’t like it when my emotions are all over the place, but unless I recognize them and feel them properly, healing cannot happen. I can’t receive the help I might need unless I am honest about it. Sometimes things are not fine and I am not okay. That’s when I need to plumb my feelings and be honest about them—with myself, with God, and with others who can safely help me navigate them.

As you go through your days, I hope you’re listening to your internal monologue. If you find yourself saying that things are fine when they’re not, stop and evaluate why you’re doing that. Or if you’re downplaying your emotions instead of feeling them, recognize that can be an unhealthy pattern. Be brave and honest and ask for help if you need it. Sometimes it’s not fine—and when we acknowledge that, health and healing could be waiting on our doorstep.

Image by Joseph Marin from Pixabay


  1. Molly

    These reflections are more than fine…

    • Erin Mifflin

      You are a blessing to me, Molly! 💖


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