In recent years, I have been particularly attuned to language, both verbal and written. While I value precision in language, what’s more important to me is what language says about someone’s internal experience. So I listen for key words.

One word that stands out is the “F” word. No, not that “F” word. The other one, “Fine.” Like me, you probably hear it all the time, coming out of your mouth or that of others. “Fine” is always a red flag for me. Think about your reaction to, “It’s fine.” In my mind, it’s saying, “I don’t like it—whatever it is—but I’ll tolerate it.” So whether you use the word, “Fine,” to describe how you are feeling or in response to a request from someone, take a moment to consider the true meaning of this word for you.

What does this have to do with spiritual wellness? Often, when we talk about spiritual wellness, we’re referring to a spiritual practice, like meditation, yoga, and prayer. Or living by a certain spiritual belief system and values. I believe that as spiritual beings, we ought to treat ourselves with respect. And if someone feels like they regularly compromise what they want and need, they are not treating themselves with the respect they deserve.

There are many potential long-term consequences to being, “Fine.” One of the most important of these is losing sight of who you are and what you want. Or feelings of anger, resentment, depression, and regret for not truly expressing yourself. Or the belief that you don’t deserve any better and will, therefore, accept others’ decisions that directly affect your well-being. I know from experience, when I do not honor my feelings and desires, what appears to be small compromises can quickly transform into something with big implications. So part of my spiritual practice is to never be just, “Fine.” And that feels just spectacular.