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Essence’s Encouragement Journal Entry #6 Too Much “I’m Good” Is No Good

Day One

Me:          “Hey, how are you?”

Person:   “I’m good”.

Day Two

Me:              You, ok? I saw what you went through.”

Person:        Yeah, I’m good.

Day Three

Me:              Oh My God! That experience was horrible! Are you ok?

Person:        Yeah, it was crazy, but I’m good.

Day Four

Me:           “Man, that betrayal was traumatic! How did you handle that?”

Person:       “That was foul, but I’m good.”


How many times, when we are asked “How are you?”, do we respond with those common and familiar words – “I’m good.” It rolls off our tongues like “good morning” or “good night”. It’s as common as the other “goods” too. I know that for the most part, we believe that every time we say it, it’s true.

I want to challenge that sometimes when we say it, what we really mean is “I’m good on the surface and to the outside world despite what some experiences have tried to do to me and how they impacted me.” I would even venture to say that those who are emotionally in touch with themselves would even add, “I need a minute to process how I feel about this.” If that’s the case, ‘it’s all good’ because life sometimes takes us for a loop. It sometimes drops a bomb on us, snatches the ground from under us, and sometimes life knocks the living sh*t out of us! And NONE of that is ‘good’!

Now, if life takes us through one, some, or all of those, how do we manage to say, when asked, “I’m good.”? Well, I have pondered this and found a reason why we almost robotically use the term “I’m good.”

First and foremost, we really intend to mean it. In the grand design of things, to endure the knock down-drag out situations life dishes out and still be standing, in our “right minds” and not in a psych ward – that IS good!! But that’s not good in every sense of the word nor does it transcend to every part of our well-being.

There is an impact that takes place when life strikes us with trauma or adversity. An impact much like two speeding cars colliding head-on on a freeway.  This kind of blow isn’t always met with a quick rebound back to the state of being “good”.  Often, life hits us so tremendously that we need to take a minute to recollect and recompose ourselves. Sometimes we need to “take ten”. Like how in boxing matches, when a powerful punch is thrown and the ref steps in and begins counting, sometimes the fighter will use those counts to regroup and recalibrate because he knows that those seconds are critical aide to his recovery – even in the middle of the round!

Now, some spectators may see that as a sign of weakness and will even judge the fighter from outside the ring, inciting vicious “Boos” and other discouraging expressions of their outside opinions. And we know EVERYBODY has an opinion – especially from a spectator’s position.

But like a pro boxer, we must understand and utilize some of those critical seconds in life to regroup from the tough blows. Being “good” in situations isn’t always a speedy comeback. Sometimes it takes those seconds the ref counts. Other times it may be losing the fight altogether. After all, we win some and we lose some. But when loss happens, we need to sit it out, HEAL, and we live to fight another day. Come on, y'all remember what Pops told Craig in Friday! It’s really a life principle.

In this world currently, being vulnerable is often taken as a sign of weakness for people to prey on. But we must be mindful that those are the people we ought not to be vulnerable around. We just need to create in our lives a village of people who love and support us where we have a safe atmosphere to be vulnerable. It’s in that safe space we can lay our issues bare without judgment, discover what ails us, move toward healing, and honestly BE “good”.

Being good is exactly that – a state of BEING! And if we just keep saying it, I have to ask… who are we trying to convince – others? Or ourselves?

I’m Essence, encouraging you to know that you’re good – or know if you’re not. But examine the rounds of life we contend with to BE good. Don’t just let it be something that we say as a habitual response. BE good, y'all!


About the Author

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Robin Holmes began writing creatively at the age of eight. She loved the written word so much; she was deemed a “nerd” by her peers. In the 5th grade, her work was published locally. Her love for writing evolved with poems, rhyming words to lyrics, and original + popular songs.

Although, life forced her to put it on the back burner for some time. She never lost her love for the craft. A single mom at 21 years old, she continued to do the work that was necessary to enforce positive change in her and her daughter's life. After moving Upstate, NY in 2002 she began a new chapter in her life. It was a pivot that changed her.

She had a child, worked with children,

and that introduced her to another passion. Educating prompted her to further HER education. So, she returned to Brooklyn in 2008. After losing her dad in 2010, she later gave birth to her son in 2013. Ms. Holmes received her Bachelor of Social Sciences degree in 2017. This helped her rediscover her passion for writing after successfully completing this milestone.

Sadly, after losing a coworker Virginia Monger, coauthor of Nia’s Sick Sense, a series of works were born. She wrote more about adolescents. And because she watched the process of Nia’s creation, and losing someone so dear to her tragically it sparked her passion and drive for her to…

“Get back out there."

The pseudonym “Essence” is a name given to Ms. Holmes by yet another loved one that she lost. She uses it in honor of herself and how much she meant to her.

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