I few years ago I noticed myself saying “it’s ok” in my head quite a bit. Simultaneously I had a friend mention how that was her mantra, especially when things appeared to be falling apart. “It’s one of the only things that gets me through the tough moments.” Lately I’ve noticed it come back. And I realize how very helpful this mantra truly can be.
Now, of course there are going to be pieces of this that may be hard to digest and there are exceptions I will mention at least one, but here’s the jist…
Saying “it’s ok” to yourself, and sometimes to your children can really help you accept the moment for what it is. Thus diffusing the emotions and the judgments you may hold in regard to the situation which can bring suffering, not only to yourself but to those around you.
Let’s look at an example: If you are driving and you hit red light after red light, you may feel frustrated. But if you say “it’s ok,” then you believe that it’s actually ok. You no longer feel like it’s the world against you or that it’s a miserable thing. It is what it is and it’s ok. Life is going on, the world is spinning exactly as it should be. Of course if you have a great amount of resistance to the idea that this truly is OK and if you don’t trust the process of life (hence why there is so much resistance), this may not work well for you.
Now wait a minute-what about all of the things that really aren’t OK? Alright let’s see, how about if your child hits another child? That’s clearly not ok, right? For anyone who follows the golden rule knows they don’t want to be hit (minus the select few out in the world that may actually enjoy this), so hitting another does not fall in line with being OK. Well the truth is, if it’s happened, it is OK. That does not mean you do not seize the moment to teach your child that there are better ways to handle situations and that hitting hurts not only those being hit but yourself. It means that it happened. Your child doesn’t benefit by hearing “OMG THAT IS SO NOT OK” or “What you did is awful.” They benefit from hearing “It’s OK, I accept you for you, as you are, regardless of what mistakes you may make.” Saying “It’s OK” to yourself in this situation can diffuse you from freaking out on your child and gives the space and neutrality needed to deal with the situation from a calm space.
Your child spills something, breaks something, the list goes on; and no matter what, it ends up being OK because it already is what it is. It’s our resistance to life and life situations that makes things not ok.
Now in some situations it’s better to add the word Going . “It’s Going to be ok.” For instance, if your child sees a child hurt or sad and crying, you wouldn’t want to say “it’s OK,” because that can be confusing before they are old enough to understand these in depth ideas. But to say “They are hurt or sad and it’s going to be OK. They are going to make it through it,” conveys the message more clearly. This may also be necessary for you, the adult. For saying “it’s OK,” right now may feel like a lie. In which case it won’t help you as much as saying “It’s going to be OK.” So if you’re in a moment that feels awful and you can’t wait for it to pass, then reminding yourself that it is Going to be OK is your answer. Once you get to a new place you may be able to shift more quickly and see that it really is OK in that moment. Again that doesn’t mean actions don’t need to be taken. If your child has just had an accident and need care, you still need to care for them, take them to the hospital or whatever is necessary. In that situation, instincts take over and you get things done but once your mind reenters with the judgments of how awful the situation is, that is when you can remind yourself it is OK. Us humans are pretty resilient. Imagine all of the times you felt it was the end of the world and then you came out on the other side. You have that clarity now and can look back and see how it Was OK, it just didn’t feel as awesome as the joyful moments and ecstatic ones.
The point is, we can shift. We can accept ourselves, and our children and our situations if we see that they are ok and it’s only our judgments that they are not ok that hold us back. You are ok. Your actions are simply actions. You deserve love regardless of your mistakes and learning moments. Your children are ok regardless of their behaviors. They deserve love and acceptance.
Where are you at, can you shift your perception of each moment by reminding yourself that you are Ok, or are you stuck in judgments? Or are you somewhere in between?