How are you? This is the question I dread hearing each time I go out. It seems strange but it is honestly why I don't want to go out because, " How are you? " is asked of me over and over. Today I called Wells Fargo about Phillip's checking account and the lady answered the phone, "How are you?" I thought it was funny since I was in the middle of writing this article. I go to the grocery store and look the lady in the eye and she says, "How are you today?" It is something I don't even want to ask myself because I know the answer deep down. It is lurking…the Ego, just waiting to be asked the dread question…waiting for me to check in with my emotions….I suppose it is the Ego that Eckhart Tolle speaks of, that insane part of our mind that is waiting to inflict pain on our psyche at all times. The funny thing, it is what people want to learn to ask when learning new languages so they can ask other people a question they really don't want the answer to….How are you?
How are you? This is a Mindless way Americans Greet One Another.
How are you? This is a mindless way we greet one another. Why not just say hello? The Ego runs the show most of the time. Americans are so on autopilot in their lives….we have social rules set up by our parents, teachers, religious leaders…it is no wonder kids rebel against it. Kids don't live in their Ego, until we teach them to. How are you? This question is simply another nicety we use in our society to ACT like we really care without really caring. How are you? How we really are as a society is: closed, scared, dishonest. We, as a society, take a creative, open mind and close it…making it proper and polite…I know I did it to my kids. You have to act "this way" in the restaurant, "this way" at school, "this way" around other children's parents. I am not proud of this…as a matter of fact, I didn't even know it could be attributed to the way my children turn out as adults. And I am here to tell you now that they are adults…it can be attributed to the way they become as adults. And of course there is a balance…kids who have no training end up in prison or worse…dead. I am not saying not to train them…I am saying there is a better way to train them…and I digress from the subject at hand, How are you?
I would even resort to physical violence known as spanking to get my kids to comply and act appropriately. What the heck? How important is it really to be accepted by others? There is a whole other philosophy on spanking children. I certainly did it when my kids were little and I would NOT do it again. There are other ways to train children than through spanking. I suppose that is a whole other article for that matter.
The Autopilot of the Question, How are you?
Society wants us to put our brain on autopilot and shut down creative thought. This is the collective Ego at work. Living in the moment doesn't take a lot of thought in my opinion…it is being fully engaged in what is going on…not worried about the fear of tomorrow or the threat of past events. The Ego will shut down everything we do that causes joy, bliss and being connected. It will shut down honesty. Shut down emotions. Shut down the very things that makes us unique. The Ego wants us to be FAKE, disingenuous, plastic. Why is it so important to be liked and to fit in? Why is it so important to look good for people in general. Why is it so important to look good for strangers? People you don't really know. Is autopilot really so attractive…do we all need to think and behave the same way? The Ego says yes.
How are you? How are you? Let me tell you How I Really am!
What would happen if we had more honesty in our society? What if someone at the store asked you how you really were and you really told them? It could be you just closed a big real estate deal or got a promotion at work…tell them all the details. Maybe your daughter or son is an honor student or they are getting married. All of this sounds great, right? What about the other stuff, the stuff no one wants to talk about? Your daughter was just arrested for drugs, your mother is terminal, your brother broke his leg or perhaps like me, your son was killed in a car accident. Is that what they want to know? Do they really want to know how are you?
What would happen if I said how I really was right now? Angry, pissed off, sad, empty? Oh my gosh, the personal growth advocate is not positive. What is going on? I thought she only posted positive stuff on Facebook and only spoke of positive books she has read and personal growth classes she has taken that have changed her life. It is sort of weird because even writing this I know it is wrapped in personal growth. I know that it is not healthy to deny or fake feeling good….denying my emotions. I am raw right now. I miss my son. I don't give a shit about social graces…how very ungraceful of me. Oh well. There is that Ego again.
How are you? I am sad, empty, grieving, hurting. It's okay to be here. I don't want to stay here and I find I struggle to get out. It is truly a struggle I can teach you more about once I get my Sealegs with it. Right now…I still wobble…I havn't grasped how to do it yet. So when someone asks me, How are you? I think I will answer, healing. That is what I want and as a Life Coach, the healthy attitude would be to focus on what I want without denying what I have.