• Ellen Wilson

Are You Okay?


September 9, 2022, by Ellen Wilson, LPC, NCC, Director of Behavioral Health “Are you okay?” If someone is asking me this, the answer is probably ‘no.’ By the time they notice, chances are that I have not been okay for a while. Some of us put on a brave face as burdens slowly break us down. Some of us tell everyone about our trials, desperately searching for an instant solution. No matter our response, distress loves two things: hopelessness and helplessness. As a therapist, I have seen some of the greatest relief to suffering come through radical acceptance. Acceptance places a healthy distance between us and stress, then gratitude shifts our attention to the little joys surrounding us. It will not eliminate the difficulty but place it in the greater context of life. Simply say, “I accept the fact that….” and fill in the sentence: “I accept the fact that money is tight.” Then, identify all the graces in the situation: “Our bills are paid, my husband loves me, my children are happy, we’re paying off debt...” We can expect to encounter hardships in life, but our blessings always outweigh them. If we ignore our blessings and cling to suffering, burn-out is just around the corner. Recognize and experience your emotional response, accept the facts of the stressor, then embrace gratitude. When the same stress threatens your peace later, take a breath, tell Christ how you feel, repeat the exercise, and move on. Simply receiving the graces that God is trying to give us in small moments can radically open our hearts to his love, increase our trust in His goodness, and improve our resilience. May the peace of Christ be with you. To get support in times of suffering, or to refresh your marriage, visit our support hub www.renewtheido.org/support-hub or subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.