How Are You?
Updated: Nov 8, 2019
We were outside of a theater when it happened.
"How are you?" popped out of my mouth. It's a common courtesy. Something we say without thinking & to be honest often without feeling.
When they asked "Can I be honest with you?" I gave my consent for an authentic exchange.
They weren't okay.
The information they trusted me with allowed us to discuss how I could hold them in a way that was safe for us both.
Actually someone just knowing how they really were was 90% of what they needed.
This interaction changed me. I started answering honestly when people asked me "How are you?"
So much so that I don't get asked that much anymore.
Seriously... Sometimes when people ask that question I laugh and say how loaded it is. Sometimes I say that I want to say I'm fine but the truth is that I am a fat Black queer witch coming to the end/beginning of a spiritual journey and (insert name of recent Black person executed by the police state here) was murdered so many weeks/days/hours ago. So do you want an honest answer or can we continue with what we came here to do?*
As a caretaker and assistant to a person's healing process I thought this level of honesty would be a problem, that my clients would find me messy or lacking.
It's had the opposite reaction.
My clients have seen it as a strength. My clients have identified with it. My clients have trusted me to move big energy with them because I am in it WITH them.
If anything it's opened discussion on self care techniques. It's made me Spiritually and Physically put my "oxygen mask on first". It's helped me work from a more honest place within myself. It's helped them open up to me so we can engage in vunerable, shifting catharsis that is beneficial to us both.
It's an invitation for others to share their humanity with me. I think this is the original intention of the phrase. To see each other. I think that's gotten lost in the social niceties.
I don't go in much for social niceties anymore. But that's a discussion for another time.
*Always give them an out 😉