Dear Friends: When I Ask How You’re Doing, I Mean It—I Don’t Want The Fake Smile

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“I don’t like small talk.

(I’m also really bad at it, too.)

Don’t ask me how I find the weather or anything of the like.

Don’t ask me how I’m doing unless you’re ready to hear how I’m honestly doing.

And know that when I ask you how you’re doing, I mean it.

I truly want to know how you’re doing.

Like how you’re really, REALLY doing.

I don’t want a fake smile, a little tilt of your head, and a forced, ‘Oh, I’m doing okay. How about you?’

Do us both a favor and leave that at the door.

Save that for someone else.

As for me?

I want you to tell me that somedays you are living your best life, singing along to your favorite playlist with your family in the kitchen, and preparing delicious meals that you’ve had pinned on Pinterest for months (um, maybe even years).

I also want you to tell me that somedays you catch yourself crying in the shower now more than usual, you wake up with the weight of the (heavy) world on your shoulders, and while at times you may not even realize it, your jaw is always, always clenched.

I want you to tell me that somedays you find yourself enjoying the pockets of peace, wherever you may find them.

Whether it’s cozied up on the sofa watching a movie, walking on your favorite nature trail, or that first sip of coffee in the morning (while it feels as if the rest of the world is still fast asleep).

I also want you to tell me that somedays you find it hard to pray, you find it difficult to smile, and you just fervently hope that the ones you cannot hug right now will still be there when this is done.

I want you to tell me that some days are easier than others.

I want you to tell me that some days are happier than others.

I want you to tell me that some days?

Somedays you just don’t know how you’ll ever push through.

That’s what I want you to tell me.

You see, I’ve come to learn long ago that sisterhood is not created in those fake smiles, little tilts of the head, or in those forced, ‘Oh, I’m doing okay. How about you?’

Sorry to tell you, but you just won’t find it there.

Rather sisterhood is created in the trenches.

It is created when you are lifting someone upon your shoulders, so they can easily reach the ledge and crawl out.

It is created when they finally get out of those trenches – only to reach their hand back down, in hopes to haul you out.

And should you not be ready to get out of those trenches quite yet?

Well, they’ll crawl back down in with you.

And you’ll try again tomorrow.

So let’s just forget about the small talk and the chats about the weather.

Those trenches?

They may be dirty, messy, and chaotic, but that’s where it’s at.

That’s where you’ll find sisterhood, my friends.

Don’t be afraid to crawl in.”

woman laughing and smiling with her friend by the lake
Courtesy of Heather Delaney

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Heather Delaney of Love Always, Heather. You can follow her journey on Instagram. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

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