Everything’s Fine… and Other Lies I’ve Told Myself

Posted on: May 2nd, 2013 by Christine

Excerpted from Pebbles in the Pond:  Transforming the World One Person at a Time (Wave Two)Pebbles_FullCover_01_012313.indd

How many times have you said “everything’s fine” when it wasn’t really true? If you’re anything like me you’ve said it too many times to count, and you’ve felt the negative repercussions of this small but powerful statement in your life.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve had the disposition of “everything’s fine.” If someone in my life, especially when I was a child, was struggling with a major difficulty or facing a challenge, my family seemed to disapprove of the person rather than being empathetic about the situation they were in. It was taboo if someone we knew was seeing a “shrink.” (That was what my family called a psychotherapist back then.) Nobody really talked about cancer (which three of my five immediate family members have survived) or any other life-changing illnesses or problems. Everything was always “fine” in our world. Except it wasn’t – at least not with me.

Of course I can see this behavior clearly now as an adult woman who is on a spiritual and healing path, committed to shifting my own consciousness. But as a child I didn’t know a different way of being.

I believe that my parents, given the circumstances of their youth, loved me and my sisters dearly, and truly did an amazing job raising us. There was never abuse, addiction, or any type of destructive behavior in our home. We always had a warm home-cooked meal on the table every night, I never heard complaints about “Mom’s taxi” driving to and from the ice skating rink where I trained, nor did I ever perform or compete without my parents cheering from the audience. They paid for my private college education, planned family vacations every summer to Cape Cod or Florida, and made sure my physical needs were always met. Sure, I was grounded when I misbehaved, and we had our fair share of arguments, but overall I believed everything was fine. So as I began my journey into adulthood, I proceeded in my life as though the “everything’s fine” philosophy was the truth.

Nothing was a big deal.

Doing terrible in college and trying to fit in by drinking way too much and way too often… no big deal. Moving 3,000 miles across the country after graduating from college to escape post-college reality… no big deal. Leaving behind the boyfriend I had for two years to make that move… no big deal. Having my fair share of bad romantic relationships… no big deal. Facing the aftermath of a breakup… no big deal. Taking on a new business that was far beyond my financial capacity… no big deal. Building another business despite an inner niggling that it wasn’t right for me… no big deal. Trying to do everything on my own without asking for help when I needed it… no big deal. Acting as if everything was fine when it wasn’t… no big deal. I’m sure by now you get the picture.

I was so emotionally shut down that I can recall a moment in 2003 when I began to see just how out of touch I was with my own heart. A dear friend of mine was going through a big transformation in her life that was the most difficult thing she’d ever experienced. We were supposed to get together to take a walk on the beach, but she called to tell me she wasn’t up to it because she was having a very difficult time emotionally.

I loved this friend and cared very much for her well-being. Yet I remember when she made the statement about her feelings, I felt in my being that I had no understanding of what it meant to have a difficult day on an emotional level. I honestly didn’t comprehend why she couldn’t just get herself together and join me on the beach. How could her emotions keep her from doing something as simple as taking a walk with a friend?

When I think back to that moment now, it breaks my heart. It was then that I began to realize that everything really wasn’t fine – and that it wasn’t okay for me to continue to deny my own emotional well-being and just keep going, and going, and going. Going where? I didn’t even know where “there” was most of the time. But as long as I was in motion, always busy, with a to-do list longer than Super Woman could conquer, I was “fine.”

Constant activity and busyness kept me on emotional autopilot…. or shall I say “emotionally shut-down” autopilot.

I had friends and a wonderful husband… yet no emotional intimacy. I was missing out on the gift of fully experiencing all of life’s ups (and downs) by not even being aware of the world of emotions that would help me feel more alive and connected than I ever dreamed possible. Life can feel really “flat” when the only thing you know how to feel is “fine.”

So that day when my friend cancelled our walk was when I unconsciously set my foot on a different path. I say unconsciously because ten years later I can see it clearly, but at the time I wasn’t aware enough to make the conscious choice to live my life differently and explore my own emotional landscape. So you may be asking how I know that my foot got set on a different path that day. I can say this for two different reasons. One is because that memory is so vivid to me. It was the first time I saw my inability to comprehend someone having an emotional life. Two, looking back from where I stand today, it’s almost impossible to recognize who I was then. I’ve grown, evolved, and opened my heart in so many ways over the years, especially the past two.

So how did I – and how can you – break the cycle of “everything’s fine?” Let me share a little of my own journey to breaking free of the “fine syndrome” in the hopes of helping you with yours.

First I want to say that I wouldn’t wish my journey on anyone. It was gut-wrenchingly difficult. Granted it was worth every moment of the pain and suffering because I love who I am and where I am in my life today… but wow, it was tough!

I finally began to consciously “wake up” as my life and business came crumbling down around me. Remember I said I’d built a business that didn’t feel quite right? Well, that business slowly crumbled for a few years. It really is impossible to sustain a business (at least a fulfilling and successful one) if, in your heart, you know it’s not totally right and not fully aligned with who you are. The slow crumble came to a crash in June of 2010 when, after years of struggle, my husband and I made the decision to file for bankruptcy. Talk about everything not being fine.

My biggest fear in making this heartbreaking decision was what people would think of me. They would now know (beyond any shadow of a doubt) that things were anything but fine! Of course, I was terrified of not knowing how I’d support my family, but the fear of this failure filled my heart and mind. Who was I if I wasn’t “fine?”

Ahh… that question, and the figurative two-by-four to the head realization that everything wasn’t fine, shocked me out of my emotional haze. For months I worked on sharing more of my journey, talking with people I trusted about what was going on, and healing myself through this time. Then, just as the bankruptcy proceedings were about to be finalized, I received another blow that ended up being the greatest gift!

You see, in 2009 I had established a partnership with a colleague through which I brought her into one aspect of my business. On some level, in our second year of partnership, I knew everything wasn’t fine… but I didn’t say anything about it because that partnership was my only source of income at the time. It was the only sense of security I had, which helped me sustain the difficult choice to file for bankruptcy.

But when she informed me that she wanted to dissolve the partnership, that was truly the “come to my knees” experience that burst my heart open! I felt emotions at a depth I never knew possible. Yes, some of those emotions were anger, hate, and rage, but there were also profound love, bliss, joy, and peace… unlike anything I’d ever felt before. I had no idea my emotions could be so deep and healing.

What I came to discover through this whole experience was that when everything was as “bad” as it had ever been in my life, I was really fine. How could that be? I sobbed for days. I was angry. I felt terrified. Yet I felt profound peace, witnessed countless miracles in my life, and was filled with gratitude.

I was grateful and peaceful because I could finally experience myself as being totally okay and totally “fine” in the midst of the most difficult and profound emotional experience I’d ever been through. Nothing was fine on the outside, but I truly was fine on the inside. I had finally found me! And that’s what matters most.

I know it sounds crazy, but I assure you that when you allow your heart to open, and when you allow yourself to feel your emotions fully, share them with people you trust, and be okay even when everything on the outside is falling apart, your life will blossom in amazing ways. It’s from your own emotional landscape that you’re able to love deeply, be present with others, navigate any challenge that comes your way, and support loved ones when their hearts are hurting. These are the greatest gifts a person can ask for. This is when you can say “everything’s fine” and truly mean it!

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I’d love to hear from YOU!  Have you ever said everything’s “fine” when it really isn’t?
Please comment below…

If this story inspired you, there are 19 others in Pebbles in the Pond:  Transforming the World One Person at a Time (Wave Two) including chapters from Neale Donald Walsch, Bo Eason, Barbara Marx Hubbard and Lisa Nichols!  Click the book title to get your copy, and some special reader gifts…

Comments

comments

11 responses to “Everything’s Fine… and Other Lies I’ve Told Myself”

  1. Linda says:

    Wow, what a powerful insight you have brought into this person’s life – mine. If this is the beginning I want to read it to the end. Your story has definitely resonated with me because I too have had the same type of childhood where everything was “just fine”. But it wasn’t, not really. I have been following you for quite awhile and I never thought that life could be anything but perfect for you.

    I know, don’t judge a book by it’s cover…

    Hope you are amazingly successful with your book and I can’t wait to buy it!

    Linda

    • Christine says:

      Thank you for your comment Linda. Yes, please do be sure to get the book… I was blown away by the transformational experiences my clients wrote about in their chapters. (www.PebblesBook.com) And, if you want to get a deeper look into my journey, you may also want to reay my chapter in Wave One of “Pebbles” at: http://christinekloser.com/the-best-worst-time-of-my-life/ (I lost about 200 comments on this post when I switch it to this new site.) It struck a nerve for a lot of people. Thank you for being part of my community!

  2. So many truths in such a small space… I read somewhere that FINE really stands for Frustrated Insecure Neurotic Exhausted. . . Waking up to ourselves is probably the most challenging, yet gratifying process we can go through… and in truth, there’s no short cuts, and believe me I’ve tried… as a therapist I work with people to go through their process and as an individual growing up “fine” I found that just talking the talk doesn’t work… we all have to walk the talk… I’ve been doing that with my clients for years, and learned, the hard way how to do it for myself… Thank you for sharing your story… it’s always good to know there’s always someone who can relate!

    • Christine says:

      Thank you for your comment Loren! It truly is a gift to know we don’t walk this path alone. Sending you lots of love.

  3. Nordica says:

    Christine:
    Not to be the bubble burster here, but I don’t think I get it.” …when you allow your heart to open, and when you allow yourself to feel your emotions fully, share them with people you trust, and be okay even when everything on the outside is falling apart, your life will blossom in amazing ways…” well, when I allow myself to feel my emotions fully, the only thing that happens is that I allow myself to cry….real tears. After that, I usually feel more isolated from the world, and resolve to protect myself from further pain, which generally means not putting faith in anyone or anything anymore and trying to run my world by myself, or not at all. ..I don’t see blossoming in amazing ways from those experiences. I am not without gratitude. My life is good. My second book is out, and I’m hopeful that it will do well eventually. Professionally, I have a good, stable career. When things fall apart around me or my family members, I’m usually the one to fix it or try. I’m doggedly loyal to the people I love. I don’t have much family now, but I have a few good friends, and I’m generally well liked. s However, I’m not anywhere close to that fullness of being and emotional bliss that you describe. I don’t feel fine most of the time; always just a little shy of it. I’m not asking the universe for worse experiences so I can “get it” either. I’m “fine” with the ones I’ve had, since I’ve survived in spite of them. What am I missing here? Pray tell.
    Nordica

    • Christine says:

      Thank you for sharing your experience Nordica. I appreciate your honesty. It’s tough to know the “missing” here without knowing more, but one thing that hit me as I read this is in my experience, I opened my heart to allows close friends to literally hold me as the tears fell. Yes, I cried a LOT on my own, but I also went through some of those gut wrenching cathartic cries being witness and literally held by a friend. Through the vulnerability (and witness on the part of my friends) a deeper connection unfolded rather than a shift into isolation. I also had to surrender to thinking “I” could “fix” anything… it was this surrender I believe that brought on the bliss. I hope this helps. XOXO

  4. Wendy says:

    Hi Christine, You have eloquently put into words your transformational experience. So many of us can relate to the “Fine Family” as I have called it for years! I discovered about 15 years ago with my own spiritual awakening that mine wasn’t as fine as I grew up thinking. The opening of the heart to Spirit and experiencing the full range of expression of Self is transforming and freeing. I love how you have shown through your story that it is never about blame. It is about gratitude and forgiveness. Forgiveness of self and others leads to great miracles of healing. I do believe if Ancestry.com set up a genealogy for the FINE FAMILY we would find much of the population in it!! Thank you for expressing it so well and for the work you do. Look forward to the upcoming TAE summit again!

    • Christine says:

      Thank you so much Wendy… from one “fine family” member to another. I appreciate you and can’t wait to “see” you again at the Transformational Author Experience!

  5. Tricia Woods says:

    I so enjoyed reading this Christine. Your openness is such a gift for me. Like you, I thought I was “fine” and everything in my life was “fine” until I went through a marriage break-down in my early twenties. This turned out to be an amazing gift of humility and real-ness for me at a time when I still held myself up to be “not the sort of person who would get divorced”. In my work as a psychologist and now intuitive counsellor and healer, it has been so important for me to be in touch with my own feelings so I can help others from that place of complete groundedness and honesty about my own humanity! Love to you, you inspire me with each email. Tricia

    • Christine says:

      Thank you for your comments Tricia! Here’s to your groundedness, honesty, humility and humanity. Sending the love right back at ya!

  6. Sharon says:

    HI Christine,

    Thank you for sharing your life story with us. I was a loner at first and believed that only ‘I’ could fix my own problems. I used to cry alone and isolate myself – my outside life was perfect to any one who saw it yet I was deeply alone and aloof. After becoming a ‘Theta Healing’ practitioner and I reconnected with The Creator, the true source of unconditional love and now I am able to feel I have a friend who shares my ups and downs. Funnily enough this relationship with the Creator actually allowed me to open up to select friends and let them witness with me my sadness.

    I also encourage all my clients to reconnect to the Creator and the feedback is awesome.

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