I feel like writing this 'in the moment', honest letter right now, to you, and for anyone who feels that these times are very trying, challenging, and honestly, some days may feel impossibly hard.
If this is you, do you know that many people are also feeling this way too, or similar to you? Because they are. You just may not hear about them or perhaps know of them. But you're not alone. So many people are finding these times, right now, very hard. It's okay to be honest and real about how things are and how you feel.
And I write these words to you, in the hope that it might give you permission to feel like you can be more honest. Even if it's just with one other person in your life. And to not feel you have to do what I even do some days, if I am deeply honest, in this letter here. The times when I stop and collect myself and think very carefully about my response when someone asks me, 'how am I going?', or 'how am I?'. It's such a simple question that the simplest answer would always be 'I'm fine, how are you?'. And some days it is. Some days, my answer is genuinely as simple as this, on the good or better days. And other days, it's not. And that's just the reality, the truth, the real and honest feelings. Some days are hard. As they are for so many of us.
That's just the way it is, with honesty, when you live with something that's challenging, and then amongst these times right now, there's more challenge on top of that challenge. Extra layers of feelings and emotions, through all kinds of different experiences and circumstances right now. For some, harder than others. But most of us are feeling it, in some way.
Some days, 'fine' isn't always an honest answer at all. Some days the answer might really be, I'm just 'managing' or I'm 'coping' or even for some, on very hard days, it might be 'I'm struggling today', or 'it's a hard day' - and for so many of us, we rarely feel we can say that. Because we fear we will seem negative. We don't want to burden someone. We don't want to feel any more separate than we may already.
And even more so, if we are a coach or a counsellor or a health professional or a meditation teacher - or in any role of support to another - it's almost as if we feel we must always be pefect and have our own feelings and emotions and lives, always in control. Or have the quick and positive reframe and mindset check in place. Or be perfect in being able to see the opportunity through everything. And instead of sharing, it can feel easier to stay quiet. Or to say the words we feel are more acceptable for others to hear. The words for others comfort.
There's such an unhealthy culture that exists where we are encouraged in the self improvement space especially, to always have to be quick to seek the opportunities. What if, instead, the opportunity was not in needing to change something or create new thoughts or that mindset is 'everything' - but in just being how things are for a while, and just leaning into an acceptance of that. There is so much truth and honesty in crying and weeping and even howling. There's nothing negative in that. It's all a release. And sometimes that's where the honesty lies, in letting it all out.
I've always been a glass half full person. I feel very lucky in this way. I often wonder how I'd be if I wasn't. I've always been able to shift myself, to move through things in time, and to keep on choosing to move forward. Even in ways that have felt like miracles to me. And none of it has ever been easy. Especially at times when there is an expectation and pressure to so often see the positives or only share the good things, the uplifting things. I step away from any sayings or phrases like 'good vibes only' - they only perpetuate to me, a feeling amongst us all, that we can't be honest. That we are only acceptable and seen and heard when we have these uplifting and good vibes to share.
We forget too easily or we just don't look deep enough, to know that the vibes that are truly significant and perhaps even more powerful and of most beauty - are those very real, unfiltered, honest feelings and emotions that are so raw, sometimes like an open wound that's weeping. And yet, this is where the real meaning and all the things that deeply matter reside. It's where the inspiration is - not at the end of a story, or some kind of happy attainable goal where everything is better and brighter - but right in the thick of it. The inspiration within all the courage it takes to simply keep going through the midst of challenging things. If only we could be more honest about it. And feel encouraged to be.
It's never lost on me just how important and significant it is to remember and to remind ourselves that all feelings and emotions are valid. None of us are perfect. Many of us live with challenging things for all kinds of reasons, especially right now, and there is never any shame in having a hard time, in struggling, in feeling pain (all expressions of pain), in finding these times we are in right now, to be very trying. None of us choose to feel this way. But we might. Some days more than others. And I wish I could write you a permission slip to say exactly what you want to say, to express anything you want to express, and to not feel that you need to always be more positive or to see the light in everything, or to be perfect in any way to the outside world. Especially with those you feel closest to. I wish I could write myself this permission slip alongside yours, many days, too.
I wish I could also promise you that your true and honest feelings will be held with grace and with all the support and compassion you deserve, but I know that may not happen. Not everyone is meant to hear our stories, I believe this. And not everyone will understand you or is even meant to know you, in a way you deserve to be known. I've had times where I've bravely shared my inner most feelings, and felt really shut down. These experiences change us, our trust in others lessens and we wonder if we will open again. We can forgive those moments, but we never forget how they made us feel. I don't know what the answer is, but I do know that it's not to stay closed. It might be wise to be more discerning. But I think it's also an awareness to listen to ourselves, to tune in, to really understand and know who we are, and to trust in the feeling we have with someone and to really honour that. When we are honest with ourselves, I think we know when we can be open, and it just takes practice and trust to keep being honest, to be true to ourselves. Knowing that the right people will truly want this from us too.
I believe so deeply, that the more we go through, the deeper we know ourselves and have compassion for others. And it's true, we can only meet someone as deeply as we have met ourselves. It's been this way for me and it continues to be. My own challenges don't make me less than worthy as a support person to another. I believe they make me a more compassionate one. My own challenging times don't make me less than someone else, they make me unerstand what someone else is going through, even more. There is a lot of strength and resilience that comes through adversity and I don't think we ever give people enough credit for the life experiences we go through, how we have managed to just keep on going, and to rise, and to thrive - not only through recovery, or the happy endings, but through the whole entire journey, within it all.
If you have been through deeply challenging times, if you know uncertainty, if you have lived through adversity, and you are still open and loving with even more compassion than before, then I don't know anything more significant or that maters more in this world than someone like you. If only we could shake ourselves up and really and deeply believe in this. There are so many so-called ordinary people who have been through and are still going through challenging times, and they are extraordinary. Inspirational in incredible ways. They just don't need to tell the world about it. They just quietly get on with things, but they change our world.
It's something I reflect on for myself, and as you read these words, maybe something empowers you or shifts something in you, to know that everything about you is worthy and every single feeling and emotion you have and feel is so valid. It's all real, relatable and so very needed. Perhaps even more so, through these times we are in, and changes ongoing.
So often I wish for our culture to change, for us to feel that we can be more honest and express how we truly feel, to not always choose our words carefully, and be more positive. Or only show ourselves when we are in this 'fine' state or when things are 'okay'. And I don't mean showing ourselves on social media, as that's an entirely different thing to me. I write of simply being able to be honest with those we feel connected and close to. Those who we text, or call by phone. As being private and discerning is really okay, in fact, I believe it's more than okay, I think it's wise. But, that's another letter in itself. This one today, is just from my heart to yours, to encourage each other to be more honest and open with those we trust in and not have to pretend or hide. Or to feel that expressing honest emotions are negative, when in reality, to express with deep truth and reverance of the full expression of human emotions, is not only honest, it can be powerfully healing.
We often talk about what changes we hope for through these times. How do we choose to change. What things do we hope to carry forward. I ponder this, within myself, and collectively for us all. I know the changes I will choose and can make to my own life, moving forward. I also know the changes I hope to bring to others, with even more compassionate support. I also hope that we all, collectively, might embrace and allow and encourage even more honesty. To really acknowledge the truth of all our experiences, and to choose to be more comfortable with others feelings and emotions, and understand that by doing so, we help each other to heal. We support each other. We understand each other. We don't just look to the silver linings or the positives or the opportunities. We look to what's real, to all the layers, to all the meaning and significance that lies in the beautiful mess and of what it means to feel pain and sorrow, alongside love and joy. A willingness to want to know how it really is for someone, how they really feel, so that no one feels that they must hide or pretend or ever feel alone. And I guess like anything, it starts with us. With just one person. Perhaps it starts with me, and it starts with you. With us being brave enough to be more honest and to believe within ourselves, that's where the light is, that's where the significance of being human is - in everything that's real and just IS. And the true compassion and support that flows from this.
With love x
PS. If you've enjoyed reading this blog, you might like to receive regular 'letters of support' and you can sign up through this link and download a free ebook as a gift too - https://www.katiejanewellness.com/resources.html
PPS. If you would like support right now, to feel empowered with however you're feeling and whatever you're living with or moving through, then I'd love to have a conversation with you. Working with clients 1:1 is my very favourite thing x
Katie Jane is a Holistic Therapist, Life Coach, Health Coach, Nutritionist, Naturopath, Meditation teacher, writer and author. Katie has been working in the wellness industry for over 15 years, in private practice and online, and brings all of these qualifications and skills, along with her own lived experiences through challenges, changes and transitions. Her approach to life and wellbeing is truly holistic and unique for each individual. She supports and coaches clients to make powerful changes, to feel calm through uncertainty and change, to embrace self care as a way of being, and to thrive through life transitions.