Is it just me or is anyone else aware of the unmerciful onslaught of positivity in the world? It feels like a giant wave rolling over us that brings reproach to those who aren’t part of the movement.
It’s premise is to be positive, speak only of the good, and deny any hurt ,uncertainty, sadness or concern. Extreme positivity encourages us to pretend and belive everything is okay as long as we deny it isn’t.
I am all for positive thinking and optimism and I consider it a great attitude when it is actually our reality. I would describe myself as a positive person who generally sees the glass half full. However, I am also for speaking my truth and being authentic.
I hear from so many people who dare to tell the truth about their life and then apologize for being angry or sad. They express guilt over not being positive. I also personally know many who won’t admit to being hurt, crushed, afraid, angry or depressed, for fear of 1) being judged for not being positive, and 2) being struck by a lightning bolt for speaking of their shadows and darkness. It’s become anathema to be real.
Somehow we’ve bought into this belief that if we speak our truth we’ll be punished by the gods that be. It’s like we move and live in a fog of denial for what’s really so. Barbara Ehrenreich, in her book BRIGHT-SIDED (see Books I Recommend), says this relentless promotion of positive thinking has a downside which is personal self-blame and national denial.
I have learned that I can live in bliss and have a life of peace and joy while I continue to speak my truth and be present to my shadow-self. In fact, I can cry, be depressed or angry, feel lethargic and uninspired, and admit it to myself and others and still know in my core that this too shall pass and I’m okay in the midst of it all. When we live in a place of thinking something is wrong with out truth as it is, we automatically learn to deny ourselves.
I understand that smiles, when they are real, are contagious. I also understand that the contagious effect applies when the smile is not forced, but comes from a genuine happy feeling. To live from a forced state of well-being and positivity does not necessarily make for a happy life.
A recent meta-analysis of over one-hundred studies of self-reported happiness worldwide found Americans ranking only 23rd. Americans account for 2/3 of the global market for antidepressants, which happens to be the most commonly prescribed drug in the U.S. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061113093726.htm We rank 150th among the worlds nations in The Happy Planet Index. http://rankingamerica.wordpress.com/2009/01/11
It is a conundrum. If positivity is the right way to do it, why are we depressed and anxious? Could it possibly be because we’re missing the opportunity for real peace, contentment and healing by denying what’s really going on within?
I believe a big part of the purpose of the emerging powerful energy and light that is present now is to enable us to experience deep healing work within. It is an opportune time to see and walk in authenticity. Because of the light, more is being exposed and if we’re willing to see it and have the courage to step off of the positivity cloud, we can possibly heal our soul.