Relax, you’re going to be okay
You’re going to be okay. That’s not an opinion. It’s not a guess. This isn’t some trite little catchphrase from some crappy motivational book that reads like it was written by a greasy televangelist.
You’re going to be okay. It’s the plain truth. You really are going to make it through this junk you’re going through.
So relax. You don’t have to do anything to make everything okay. You don’t have to close your eyes extra tight, grit your teeth, use magic words or clap for Tinkerbell.
Deep in your soul, you know it’s coming. You know everything will be all right, eventually.
Yes, things are bad. But you have a little, infinitesimal voice speaking to you right now. And this voice is reading these very words alongside you and saying to you, “This guy’s got a point. It really WILL be okay.”
This is not your voice. It’s a voice that comes from somewhere else. The problem is, you can’t always hear this faint voice talking. Namely, because you’re too busy freaking out.
But believe me, the voice is there. And every time you take a few moments to breathe, you’ll hear the voice. It chatters softly, originating from somewhere near your chest area.
“You’ll be okay,” the gentle voice will say again. “It’s all going to be okay. You’ll see.”
Also, the voice says other things like: “You’re not fat. You’re not stupid. You’re a smart person. You’re good enough. You’re very fortunate. You’re a miracle. Everyone really likes you, with the possible exception of your mother-in-law.”
Yes, you’ve been through some tight scrapes. Yes, your body bears the scars of private wars you’ve waged. But you’ve survived each cataclysm. You have proven everyone wrong. You’ve always been okay.
So I know you’re sitting there scanning this paragraph, wondering why you’re still reading this drivel, when I obviously know nothing about you.
But you’re also thinking about how you’ve had a hard last few weeks. Last few months. Last few years. Last few decades.
You’re also thinking about how you pray for relief but it never comes. You’re thinking about how you have tried to put one foot in front of the other, but now it’s getting harder to move your legs.
The little voice is practically screaming at you. The voice says: “Don’t quit! You’re almost there! You’re going to make it!”
Someday — and I know you can’t envision this — your problems will all be over. Every last one of them.
The issues currently messing up your life will all fade. The sun will shine. Birds will sing. The sky will be perpetually blue. You will hear symphonies playing.
Your body will no longer hurt. Your heart will feel light. Your mind will find peace. Your soul will be nourished.
On that day, you will reflect upon this godawful time you’re going through with bittersweet fondness. Because this hell-on-earth period will be what shapes you. And you’ll be thinking to yourself, “Wow, everything really did turn out okay.”
Listen, I’m nobody. And by now, you’ve figured out I’m not winning any Pulitzers, either. I don’t know how your life will play out. I don’t know how it will end.
But I know that I, too, have had some bad seasons. I have seen some terrible stuff in my life. I’m not all that different from you.
I remember certain people used to tell me precisely what I’m telling you. “Everything will be okay,” they’d all say.
And it would take everything I had not to respond by pressing my hands against my lips and making a flatulating sound. Because I believed these people were colossal idiots.
How could they know anthing would be okay? What gave them the right to tell me this? They didn’t know me. They were just peddling cheap, uplifting clichés from New York Times bestselling self-help books whose only practical purposes were leveling wobbly tables and swatting flies.
Even so. These people were right. Everything did work out. It always does. It will for you, too.
Just listen to the voice, which is softly reminding you that, if you can just hold on, if you can just get through it, if you can just keep going, all heaven is about to break loose.
Sean Dietrich is a columnist, novelist and stand-up storyteller known for his commentary on life in the American South. His column appears in newspapers throughout the U.S. He has authored 15 books, he is the creator of the Sean of the South Podcast and he makes appearances at the Grand Ole Opry.