Positivity Isn’t The Problem
Let’s start with the obvious. Fake is fake. We can spot that. We know what it looks like. There is a group of people out there that cover up their pain with positivity believing that if they just don’t acknowledge their pain it will somehow magically go away. We all know that it doesn’t work like that. But that’s their path and it’s not our job to change it.
Some of us though, get really triggered by the idea of positivity. When I see this, it screams to me that they are looking for permission to hold on to their pain. You don’t need permission to hold on to your pain. You don’t need permission to be miserable. You’re not being left out of some exclusive club because you’re still in pain. Positivity is a choice. Being miserable is a choice. You get to choose which side you want to be on every second of every day. Nobody can make you do anything! Who am I to tell you to be happy?
I’ve come out against forgiveness on occasion because it can become a little bit of a hammer that we use to beat ourselves and others up with. We can’t jump to forgiveness when we’re still busy being hurt and blaming others for how we feel. The same is true for positivity. If you’re still holding on to pain, you can’t jump to positivity and have it be genuine. You can fake it just fine, but that’s probably not helpful to you.
My goal when I steer away from encouraging people to forgive is to allow people to be okay where they are and to recognize that there are steps in the healing process. We shouldn’t swing the pendulum violently in either direction. It’s okay to slow down. You’re not inadequate because you can’t snap your fingers and be positive or forgive people. There’s nothing wrong with you. You’re human. That’s exactly as it should be.
I don’t teach positivity because it comes naturally as you learn to be okay. Positivity isn’t the problem. It only becomes a problem when we use it as weapon or a defense mechanism. It’s a problem when we use it to avoid pain. It’s not a problem when it comes as a result of letting go of or healing pain.
Allowing yourself the opportunity to take each step as you come to it is the real goal. As you’re able to stop objecting to where you are, and simply learn to be okay, the positivity actually comes on its own. There’s nothing to do. You’re okay because you’re okay. Nothing needs to change. You don’t need to fix anything. You’re just okay. You are where you are and that’s good enough.
It can be frustrating to watch people try to be positive when you just know they are hiding huge amounts of pain, but that’s part of their journey. We have to allow people to go down that path. Yes, there’s a brick wall at the end of it and they will probably crash into it at some point, but that’s the journey. We all found our own version of that brick wall on our own paths. We know what it’s like. The best thing we can do for others is to be there when they do crash. Our job is not help them avoid it. That would be a disservice to them. They need that experience to learn whatever it is the wall is meant to teach them. Helping them avoid it takes the lesson away from them.
We’ve been taught to apologize for pain. Often that’s where the positivity thing comes from. It’s the idea that your pain triggers me. I can’t be okay if you’re in pain. You need to be okay so I can be okay. That creates weird codependent behaviors that aren’t healthy for anybody. Let’s be honest, many of us have grown up like that. But I understand now that I don’t need you to be happy so I can be okay. I can be okay regardless because I understand that taking on your pain doesn’t help you or me. You don’t have to apologize for your pain because you’re allowed to feel whatever you want. Who am I to judge that?
I’ve said it before, we need to learn to leave each other alone. Let the positive people be positive. Let the miserable people be miserable. Be where you are and be okay with that because it’s perfect just as it is! Am I perfect at this? Hell no and you probably won’t be either. But the more we can make a conscious effort to leave each other alone, the better off we’ll all be.
Love to all.
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