“I’m fine, fine,” said Charlie Croker, a Cockney gangster in the British caper film Italian Job. To which Mr. Bridger the crime syndicate boss replied, “You know what ‘fine‘ stands for, don’t you? Freaked out, Insecure, Neurotic, and Emotional.
Saying I’m Fine! when we are not is a coping mechanism that helps us re-regulate our emotions in the moment. In the long run, however, it’s just a way of stuffing our emotions and risking that they’ll erupt somewhere else.
I’m NOT FINE! . . . and Being REAL.
A Freak-Out episode can open the door to a breakthrough. If Ross had death with his feelings about Rachel and Joey’s relationships by saying, “I’m not fine, I’m in pain,” rather than by getting drunk and embarrassing himself, things might have turned out quite differently for him.
Stuffing painful emotions eventually affects both our physical and mental health. We get depressed, get caught in addictions and addictive behavior. Our blood pressure rises, we don’t sleep, we withdraw OR we act out in some embarrassing way that we regret.
Being real and truthful about our innermost feelings in the moment is an act of Personal Power. Speaking the truth always sets us free in the long run, allowing us to break out of other constricting and unreal aspects of our life. So don’t contain yourself any longer by saying I’m F. I. N. E.!
Accepting that you’re not fine, that you’re in pain can open the door to a lot of self-discovery and powerful self-awareness. Here’s a tool to help you open this door, to see what might be underneath being freaked out, insecure, neurotic and emotional.