How are You?

“How are you?” Such a simple question which we ask each other every day. It forms the usual conversation starter and is often followed by a “Good” from the other person.

But what are we really saying when we say “I am good”? The term ‘good’ could mean many things to many people. Once upon a time, ‘good’ to me meant “I am tired and in fact I am exhausted but with my coffee or energy drink this morning, I am feeling better and able to get through the day.”

Lately, to me it can mean: “I am going really well. I am feeling great in my body because I chose to eat foods that nourish and support me this morning, unlike the other morning where I realised the foods I ate made me feel rather heavy and dull before coming to work. And in addition I had a supportive rest last night, which left me feeling vital and jubilant when I awoke. Also, the self-honouring gentle exercises that I did before coming to work really supported my body for the working day, spent sitting at my desk.”

It occurs to me that there is a lot that is there to be shared when we say the word ‘good’; far more than initially appears by the use of the single word itself.

In past ages, words were used with a specific and definitive meaning that was clearly known with the use of each word. Often the way words were defined came from a way of being, an activity that was clearly known.

These days, words can mean anything. We can say one thing and the action it relates to can mean something totally different from one person to the next.

To me, the use of ‘good’ in the two above mentioned instances indicate two completely different states of being that are almost the complete opposites of each other. Are we not creating a lot of ambiguity with what we really mean when we use words in this way? Are we hiding from ourselves and from others the true state of our wellbeing?

I recently have had one of those ‘bad days’ where I was coming up against complications with a project I was working on that no matter what I tried, never seemed to be solvable. Adding to this, the complication was also delaying the time I could get the project completed in. I was feeling a lot of tension and stress in my body at the time. I was asked by many in passing, how I was and how my day was going. There was the impulse to just say ‘good’ but it constantly occurred to me “What am I really saying to another and to myself?” Am I then accepting that this ‘bad day’ is actually good?!

So what are we really saying then when we say ‘good’ instead of sharing how we truly feel with the other person?

I know for me personally, that sharing how I truly feel can actually be quite a vulnerable feeling and perhaps at that moment I felt too raw or sensitive to express what was really going on for me. Or perhaps we feel that we do not want to ‘load’ the person with all our issues or bring down the mood of the other, so to speak, with our rather burdensome issues. Or perhaps we even feel so joyful and amazing that we do not want to make others uncomfortable as they may not be feeling that same joy and bubbliness as we are.

Whatever the case, by saying ‘good’ and not truly expressing in full from our bodies what is really going on, we are basically saying, “I don’t trust you” to the other person. At that point it tends to be a conversation stopper from going any deeper and we then tend to drift into small talk to avoid feeling the awareness that may be there when we choose to go deeper.

The effect of just saying ‘good’ is felt in our being equally as it is found in the conversations we have with others. If we are just saying ‘good’, it cements in us the issue that may be running, and it dulls our joy and playfulness and we are choosing to close our heart in that moment to another. And our heart is not an off and on switch as we may think, so we are equally closing the door on ourselves too.

What I realise is that there is a deeper relationship we can have both with ourselves and with all others that can only be accessed if we are willing to be open and honest in each moment, whenever the opportunity arises.

By truly re-connecting with my heart and sharing what is truly going on for me, I have learnt that we don’t have to dump on another our issues simply because our heart would never do that. I realised that we can simply share our experience and by reconnecting with ourselves we all can learn from the experiences being shared. It deepens our understanding of each other, our honesty and our ability to trust, let others in and share all we are with them.

With inspiration from Serge Benhayon, a man who has inspired so many by his willingness to be open and real with how he lives and what is possible when love is made the founding impulse of life.

By Joshua Campbell, IT Professional, NZ

Related Reading:
The Art of Being Me
The importance of expressing truth
Not the typical man-to-man conversation

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877 thoughts on “How are You?

  1. Today I wrote a text message to someone and started with Hi how are you? I was quite busy at the time so I took a moment to check in that the message still was sincere that I really did want to know how she was,
    Sometimes we ask out of politeness not really wanting to hear back yet the person deep down always feels the intention behind the question.

  2. “We can say one thing and the action it relates to can mean something totally different from one person to the next.” Great comment and one to delve into so we can show each other there is no ‘normal’! This is medicine in itself.

  3. Yes, it would make such a difference to our being with each other if we honestly said how we were feeling, likewise it would tremendously support us if we started to ask ‘how are you’ only when we genuinely mean to ask and care.

  4. Great article Joshua, I feel similar about the so called “good” answer which could mean anything or nothing. I would like to be more honest when asked how am I , I am sure if I was truly connected to my body and inner heart I would definitely know what to say, a new and honest way of relating that opens us up to each other.

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