Positivity is good, we don't deny that. But we have taken things too far; and as they say, too much of something is poisonous.
We Are Making Positivity Toxic
How, you ask? By phoning it in, that's how.
And it's not just positivity, but spirituality as well. We are faking it too. We have bashed negative emotions and feelings to ridiculous extents.
On social media, it's all about positive vibes, smiling even when 'haters' are tormenting you and life is taking you down the wrong path.
That's unrealistic as long as you are living in this world. You will never grow with such an attitude, or know yourself for that matter.
You Cannot Go Through Life Avoiding Negative Situations
Experts have a word for this unhealthy habit: spiritual bypassing. Life will get ugly sometimes, and that's important because that is also how you grow.
So you don't think it's just me trying to force these opinions down your throat, here are some words from Pema Chodron, a Buddhist teacher, and author. As you probably know, Buddhists are probably the most positive people we know, but hear what this nun had to say:
"Feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear… are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we're holding back. They're like messengers that tell us, with terrifying clarity, exactly where we're stuck."
There it is: clear, succinct, profound, and self-explanatory.
You were designed to have both positive and negative emotions for a reason. If you didn't feel extreme discomfort when you can't breathe properly underwater, many of us would have ended up as floating corpses long ago.
Similarly, when negative emotions come, they give you a chance to learn something and improve your life.
So, don't bury the sorrow, the discomfort, the conflicts, the hatred, the depression, and the anxiety so that all everyone sees is positivity. Embrace these emotions and use them as a stepping stone towards a better version of yourself.
Fake Positivity Even Promotes Mental Issues
We encourage people who have deep-seated mental issues to remain positive. That doesn't help because they have to fake the emotion.
Deep down, they are depressed or struggling with monumental psychological battles. That is why many people catch us off-guard when they take their own lives. We didn't see it coming because they seemed happy.
But they knew it was all an act. And it's because they heard words like: "you have to be positive; you cannot let any situation bring you down."
Like hell they can't! We can't choose what affects us. Not all the time.
We can be positive sometimes, and that's okay. But there is no need to pretend to be positive when you are dying on the inside.
Embrace The Negativity When It Comes, But Don't Overindulge It
Negative emotions should not take away your hope, but should open your eyes to new possibilities.
So, by all means, try to be as positive as you can. But when negative emotions come, deal with them rather than burying them beneath mountains of fake positivity and spirituality.
Until you deal with a certain emotion, it remains in you and will one day emerge when you least expect it.
As Individuals, We Have The Good And The Bad
Unless we are working on getting rid of the bad, it will accumulate until we can't take it anymore. This is how people snap and do shocking and unexpected things.
We appreciate joy because we know what sadness feels like. The value of positivity is best appreciated by those who know a thing or two about negativity.
So, all feelings are ours to deal with.
That means that the next time you are sad or angry, take a moment and digest that. Don't put on a happy face to fool us you are doing fine.