My son asked me ...

My son asked me how do I know I am OK?

This is my answer:

“Thanks for asking for my perspectives.  It is just one perspective.

At least for now, the way I understand it is that being OK is a given.  For example, if I get hit by a car and die in the next moment; this moment is the last moment for me.   So existence of the next moment for me is an assumption.   So in any given moment, I can only truly be as OK as I already am.  For example, If I get diagnosed with cancer, many things I considered to be terribly not OK will suddenly have less or no relevance.

While knowing I am OK can be an intellectuals exercise; feeling I am OK is more of a moment by moment experience.

So to know when I feel OK, I need to know when I don’t feel OK.
To not feel OK, simply try the following:

Hold my breath
Don’t drink water
Don’t eat the essential nutrients
Focus on pride or shame based on the past
Focus on hope or fear of future

In each case I will soon feel discomfort or suffering due to needs (real or imagined) unmet.

What I do next determine if I am OK or not OK.

I can get what I need and feel OK or get a substitute which leads to unhelpful behaviours; repeating these unhelpful behaviours can lead to addiction to the substitute.

I can let go of an imagined need and be OK or get a substitute which leads to unhelpful behaviours which can lead addiction to the substitute.  There are only substitutes for a imagined need.

I also know things are never quite what they seem to be;  what things seem to me is a conclusion based on my limited experience.  There are many more perspective only visible to me if I remain curious and open to others perspectives. Thanks for being open to mine.”

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