I'm going to be controversial and declare being positive will not get to where you want to go... you cannot do big things while shining on 100% of the time, so stop trying. It's a straight up unkind, exhausting expectation for yourself. There is value in the pain we feel, its the only way to fully live a life worth living, it has the greatest lessons and healing power. So inspired by a great read I shared on my FB page recently. Written by a psychologist to help illuminate the fact that true evolution of the mind, body, and soul, is sometimes messy, ugly, angry, and sad. With our society so filtered through our common engagements on social media and the effort to create "desirable connection" we are sitting on diamonds and calling them coal. If you aren't expected to "hustle", you're expected to be transcendent with the positive-vibes-only fairy. Full of lips, lashes, and booty, with her filter on point. I'm offering relief of any expectations on what evolution looks like.
So what happens when we are constantly aiming for positivity, and how bad can that goal be?
For one, we feel disconnected from ourselves, we feel like no one understands and knows us because they don't and neither do we really, which is lonely and depressing, and at some point we realize the positivity will never be enough to experience a truly settled peacefulness and joy, and isn't that what we are after? It can lead to a total melt down on a small and epic scale. Ever hear of a mid-life crisis? We risk becoming fake... and lost. The lost is really the best part of the whole thing... We are finally at a point where we start to ask questions. Once we recognize this feeling of aimlessness and give ourselves the respect to sit with it for a minute, we have the opportunity to ask ourselves "What's going on with me? What am I ignoring within myself? What wants to be heard/seen?"
You could be the most charming person on the planet with millions of fans and if you aren't checking in with your souls needs and the pain in your heart, it is going to be a very lonely ride, and a lot of suffering here on Earth. How many famous people have we seen as complete shining lights and only later found out they were suffering inside? And we are all shocked, because they are always so positive?... We need to be the stewards of our own happiness and that includes valuing the lessons in the unpleasant emotions. Feel it all as the Buddhist saying goes, what we resist will persist. This is the reason anxiety and depression hang around for so long, some feelings aren't fun to feel, some feel we shouldn't feel mad or sad, or it can feel like too much to handle. It isn't, trust me. The moment you REEEAALLY sit with each feeling as it pops up and let yourself feel it, real time, fully... they don't hang around anymore. This doens't mean you have to do something with the feelings, like go tell someone off, have a melt down right then and there, or throw something (although later maybe find the feeling again and allow that if you want)... just honor that it came up, it's human, part of a healthy life, and be present to the emotion until its gone, like waiting for clouds to clear. Easier said then done, I know, and also easier the more you try. You have to know you are worth it. To deny yourself all the feels in the world is limiting your everything.
Do you know how exhausting it is trying to keep a positive lid on our experiences? It chips away at our potential joy every time we ignore a feeling. A lot of positivity coaches will encourage you get it done, and imply don't go there, just do... if that works for you great, sometimes its useful. If its done too much we can end up not knowing what to do with ourselves when we don't have a task to do. This is when we try to numb out; overeating, drinking, smoking, drama-ing, anything that will fill the quiet time that comes available. Because at that point we have overrode so many little emotions in the day its like walking around a giant pile of laundry in order to avoid having to fold it. Why deal with the pile, it just keep accumulating? Well, it won't if we slow down and be present to whatever emotion comes up. So, let yourself be pissed, sit fully in livid-ville with love in your heart, knowing you are doing to VERY best thing anyone can every do for you, witnessing you. Don't abandon yourself the moment shit gets ugly, be 100%, unconditionally present, and in love, with whatever it is that is your human experience. Then, there is no good and bad, just pain and love... we aren't bad for being mad or sad, and don't worry about affecting others- when we are present with ourselves we don't project onto others because we have already done the appropriate thing and the soul settles down. It’s not about blame and story that goes with it. It‘s about your own loyalty you.
What if good was allowing yourself to fall apart? What if you could be the biggest hot mess of a narcissistic baby and you were still totally adored... by you? Can you love the part of yourself that fails? Can you love the part of yourself that says the wrong thing at the wrong time, that speaks their truth no matter if it's agreed to or understood? Can you rest in the fact that your life can only be a joyous one when you are doing it your way?... no matter if it's the hard way, or beginners way? What matters is, did you do you? Were you honest with yourself? Or are you tricking yourself into feeling like everything fine, when it isn't?
Now, I'm not about rehashing stories of yesteryear, it's not the story I'm after. The story is a construct of the mind that has a limited usefulness and can perpetuate the past and reopen wounds. It's the cleansing of the wound through tears and full presence that allows the spirit body to start to mend. Healing comes from the heart, not the mind. Heal the heart, retrain the mind. Suffering loops that have been around for years can be easily found with "this always happens" and "not again" statements. Next time you hear this story in your head, pause.
Take a second and be with that thing that "keeps happening".
Is there more wisdom within this feeling?
What do you feel you went without?
What do you want?
Grieve for not having that when you needed it.
Tell yourself sweet soothing things.
Being present here will tell yourself you are loved better than any word can express and slowly, the pain will cease, and relief will replace it.
Some things can feel too big to tackle on your own. If this is the case you are welcome to contact me or I can refer to a good heart-based therapist.... one of my favorite resources is a place in Salem called Journeys, filled with licensed practitioners, Lisa Solterbeck is my favorite person for trauma work. Heres their Facebook page where you will find some more info.
The great news of dropping the Positive vibes only facade: You get to be all of you, all the time. The more loving, present, and unconditional you are with yourself the happier you will be. You will probably have more energy, which will lead to better fitness and choices. You will be more clear minded and start to manifest the life that feels the fullest, your relationships will improve, as well as your health. If you have a pile of laundry to fold, take your time, there is no rush, and you don't have to be perfect. Showing up is half the battle. I release you of being perfect, I want all of you, even the messy. The gateway through to happiness and more energy is sometimes focusing on the positive, and sometimes feeling and moving through the shit. Neither one is better or worse or more valuable than the other. They are both equally vital towards a joyous life. . You get to have it all. You are so worth it.