How Are You?

Image from Lenika Scott

A friend of mine asked me something today in the midst of conversation.

How are you?  I continued on with small talk not fully answering the question.

How are you?  A second time.  More small talk.

How are you?  Yes, a third time and quite the persistent  friend.

I had to respond.  Honestly.  Without a smile to hide behind or chattering about my children or exchanging information about the weather.  With three words asked three times, this person intuitively reached through space and forced me to turn the flashlight on myself  My Self.  Yes, the misspelling was intentional (I know there’s grammar police watching).  There’s something about shoving together my and self that can, at times, lead to overlooking our cores, our inner beings, ourselves Our Selves.  When my and self are married, the word can be said too quickly.  It can slip too easily off the tongue.  When I dissected it and separated the word, I had to stop and think.  How was My Self? My response necessitated an I.  I was forced to define myself as I was.  Not as how my hair was fixed or what color shirt I was wearing or if I had make-up on.  I had to glance inwardly, look through my lens of awareness, and speak the truth.

How are you?  Yes, it’s great that you are happily married or contentedly single or that you just got a new puppy or that your boss acknowledged your hard work with a raise.

How are you? Aside from having to shuffle your children to basketball or throw together a meal in thirty minutes or grade a stack of papers.

How are you?  Really?