It's Okay to Care

"I don't care."


"It's not a big deal."


These phrases are tiny lies we tell all the time, whether because it's a social norm, or because we don't want to "stir the pot," or because we want to be perceived as agreeable. 

Other times we use sarcasm or jokes to deflect, to not speak honestly about what we really want or what we're feeling.

I personally struggle with always trying to soften approach when I need to communicate something less than positive by telling a joke or two. It's a "save face" thing, and while there's nothing inherently wrong with wanting to lighten the mood, it's a way to shield myself rather than actually be vulnerable and real and honest in the moment.

All that to's okay to care.

It's okay to feel passionately about things.

It's okay to ask for exactly what you want, without mincing words. 

It's okay to tell someone exactly what's bothering you, without emoticons or jokes or an "I dunno, maybe I'm just being weird."

You don't need to be mean or unkind in your delivery, just say what you mean to say. We back off a lot from these true words because we are afraid that people will leave, or be angry, or think less of us. 

It's easier to back off, to not make waves, to keep things to ourselves.

It's easier, yes, but potentially leads to less meaningful connections with people (because we stopped ourselves from being vulnerable enough to make them)...

...or less fulfillment when we don't get what we want (because we never asked)... 

...or more resentment toward others (because we never mentioned what bothered us).

We won't always get it right (I certainly don't), but trying is better than not. And at least at the end of the day, we know we left it all on the table, lived honestly, and cared about something.