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Image: Virtual hand reaching out from computer screen on laptop to shake hands with a real person. Caption: "Okayness".

I mentioned last time how my clients fluctuate in waves of emotions. Things seem even worse to everyone right now because of this concept I share with my clients I call micro and macro okayness.

Okayness doesn’t have to be beyond excellent or extremely terrible. Okayness sometimes just IS. Micro okayness is when you feel alright with your life. You’re plugging and chugging. You have hiccups but things are overall going okay. At the end of the day, things may not be perfect, but they are alright and you are functioning. That is micro okay. Someone who is a survivor of trauma may have okay days and not okay days, and that’s, well, okay.

Macro okayness is that feeling when the world seems to feel alright about itself. Good news story? That’s macro okayness. Your place of employment is successful and stable? Macro okayness! It could even be your favorite sports team having a winning season. Macro okayness is a product of environment. We cannot change macro okayness, but we can be an agent of change. A survivor of trauma might feel macro okayness when they feel like they are getting somewhere in the criminal justice process or when they are supported by others. As you can imagine, macro okayness to a survivor sometimes feels distant and out of reach, which is one of many reasons why we need to support survivors.

These two levels feed off each other. When you personally feel down, the world may feel down. When the world is down, it may impact you on a personal level.

Depending on who we are and where we are, there’s four general categories (and lots of levels of okayness between these categories, too!):

  • Micro okay, macro okay
  • Micro okay, macro not okay
  • Micro not okay, macro okay
  • Micro not okay, macro not okay

Where are you today?

If you are not okay, what can you do for yourself? If you are not micro okay, some self care tips could be useful. Not macro okay? This one feels a little more difficult right now, but maybe it means using smiling at someone at the grocery store. Maybe it means picking up litter. Maybe it means sending someone some good vibes. Maybe it means searching for positive news stories on YouTube. Sometimes working on our okayness on the inside helps us with the outside okayness, and vice versa.

Here’s the best thing about this stuff: It’s almost always changing. I know, change feels terrible at times, but sometimes, change is not the worst thing we can encounter.

We don’t have to be great today. We don’t have to be miserable, either. Sometimes, okay is the best place to be.

This post was contributed by Alicia Rathosky, SARCC Schuylkill Sexual Assault Counselor.

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