To call it a lie is stretching it a bit, but it isn’t the truth either. Either way, it’s a line I have been able to use for over twenty years. It wouldn’t surprise me to find other people use it as well.
It is a phrase that slips out when the heat is on, the pressure is rising. My family members are worrying. It seems to work, which is bizarre, as I have no idea whether I’m right when I say it.
So, what’s the line? What is it I say that lifts me out of trouble time after time?
Don’t worry, everything will be okay
My wife hates this saying, even more so given she suffers from depression and anxiety. “Don’t worry”, I say. It draws the look, you know the look, right?
The thing which amazes me is the fact I get away with it. Telling someone with anxiety not to worry… Well, as I have come to know, anxiety is a worry. They are the same thing. I’m patronising, I’m told.
How else do I reassure those around me? We don’t have much of a plan, which is strange when I stop to think about it.
I try and delude myself this saying isn’t a lie, but I know it is. It gets blurted out when I need to reassure, to calm and remove the worry. We have spent so much of our lives bouncing from one crisis to another, our lives out of control.
Everything will be okay
I lie because I don’t know what else to say. Life keeps surprising us and it is my way of reducing the worry that comes with them. I try to get control, but events seem to outpace us.
It started a long time ago, over twenty years to be precise. My wife fell ill and needed an operation. I didn’t know the outcome, so offered my line of reassurance. “Don’t worry, everything will be okay”.
I had no idea whether my wife would get through the operation. But without it, I know things would have very been different. It seemed easier to avoid the negative, easier, in fact, to reassure.
The operation was a success and my wife recovered well from the surgery. “You see”, I said. “Everything will be okay”.
And so it stuck. Every time we had to overcome uncertainty it was my staple line.
And so it stuck
It is horrifying how many times I have blurted this phrase out, using it far more than I should. It has become a convenient line to use, all too easy to roll out. Even more so as time after time, everything was okay.
Twenty years later, it still lives and comes out far more than it should. Much to the annoyance of my wife and family.
Is it a lie?
You see, I fear this is where lady luck has played her part. Deep down, I know it’s a lie, but every time I have used it, I get away with it.
The problem I have now, is I doubt myself. I doubt the truth of this lie, to the point that I believe it now. I know I shouldn’t, but I can’t help it. Everything is okay. It is true to say that things aren’t great, but they are okay.
My challenge is I don’t what things to be okay, I want them to be great. So, it feels like the time is right to stop saying this line, to stop lying and take control. To live with purpose and honesty, so no more lies.