Day 261: Fine.

After a fun day with family, and a long, long nap, we did a few fireworks in the driveway, and then I decided to find a movie to watch. I picked a Robert de Niro movie, because it said funny, and I like his acting. I was in the mood to laugh. The movie was called Everybody’s Fine. Even though there were some funny moments in the film, it was NOT a funny movie. But it did make me think.

If you’ve not seen it, I won’t give it away, but to give context, a recent widower can’t get his kids to come visit, so he sets off across the country to surprise them with visits. The kids all talk so they know he’s on the way, so they do things to convince him that they’re all doing as well as he always wanted them to, but he figures out on the journey that everyone is not fine.

As I watched, I kept thinking about Finding Kindreds.

We all do it. Someone asks how we are, and we respond with “fine” or “good” or whatever our catch phrase is. A big part of this journey I’ve been on is to be OK with not being OK. Not that we want to share everything with everyone who asks how we’re doing, but it is OK to tell certain people in our lives that we are not “fine.” We have to be real with those who really love us. If we’re not, we’re creating a facade, a wall that’s difficult to break through, and it’s especially difficult when we need those people’s help because then we not only have undo the “lies” but we also have to let down our pride. Those two things together, at once, make it nearly impossible to come clean, or ask for help, or whatever it is that you need. It’s much easier to deal out doses of truth as they come, rather than delivering one big whammy.

You can tell yourself you’re protecting someone by not telling the truth, but in reality, you’re only shutting them out. It doesn’t help them, and it surely doesn’t help you. Well, maybe it does for a moment, but not in the long run. So put away that plastic smile.

DAY 261 HOMEWORK: We need others, so stop pretending everything is fine and let those who love you in. Pick your kindreds and open up your heart to them. We’re all broken and those who are truly kindreds will love you anyway, so let’s get real.

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