All is well

“All is well,” said a friend of mine. I had asked, “How are things?” 

She could have answered the standard, “Fine” or “OK.” “Fine” and “OK” can mean anything from “Fine” and “OK” to “It is what it is” or “Not so great” or “I really don’t want to talk about it.”

“All is well” means “All is well.”

The moment she said it, I realized that “all” and “is” and “well” are—when put together in one tiny sentence—three of the most satisfying words a person can utter and three of the most soothing words one can hear.

There are other meaningful three word sentences. I’m not a betting woman, but if I were I’d bet that “I love you” ranks number one in the small phrase category.

Hearts and flowers and music notes dance in the air when “I love you” is said with sincerity to ears that have been longing to hear it. Unfortunately, people are often reckless in the way they toss about declarations of love.

Sometimes, the user of the coveted three-word phrase is not genuine, but the hearer takes it to heart. Other times, “I love you” is spoken with true devotion when it is the last thing the recipient wants to hear.

Unlike, “All is well,” “I love you” is complicated.

“I,” “am,” and “sorry” are three powerful words that occasionally fall into the problematic “I love you” category. “I am sorry” loses merit when offered up with hypocritical intent.

It doesn’t help matters when recipients of sincere apologies will not, under any circumstances, grant forgiveness.

“Never” and “give” and “up” are three words that benefit with intrinsic and extrinsic rewards if—a BIG IF—we do what we say or, as my grandmother said, “Practice what you preach.” 

That’s four words. I know. 

The same holds true for “Believe in yourself.” It’s easier to never give up if we believe in ourselves.

The phrases “Let it go” and “Set it free,” are spoken across generational lines. But if we give the words a little extra thought, they are not exactly encouraging. 

I’m guilty—as guilty as my mother’s sister’s husband’s brother’s girlfriend—of advising friends to “Set it free.”

Oh, if only I could catch a problem in my hand, raise my arm high, then open my fingers and let it go—set it free to the Land of No Return. Alas, the power to make such a miracle is beyond my reach.

It’s difficult to know what to say when trying to help someone overcome a worrisome dilemma. Listening probably provides more comfort than any three-word phrase, but nobody is perfect.

“Nobody is perfect” is a popular saying. There are those who claim it is packed with substantial value. I am not one of them. 

Nobody is perfect is an excuse, a bad one. 

Everyone except the person who thinks he (or she) is perfect knows that nobody is perfect. Those who think they are perfect would never, as in ever, say, “Nobody is perfect” in reference to themselves.

“Live the moment” has a melodious ring to it, but even when I’m not thinking about “living the moment”, I am living and breathing the moment. If we’re not living the moment, then, well, we’re dead.

“I am possible” is a new phrase I happened upon—new for me anyway. I am possible? Do people really approach other people and say, “I am possible”?

I am impossible. That’s more like it. I am impossible—to deal with, to live with, to understand.

Try as they may, no three-word phrase is as honest or as reassuring or as gratifying as “All is well.”

An “All is well” day is 24 hours I’d like to extend to forever.


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