There is a new religion spreading like ebola on a rush-hour bus. Ok, it might not be new, but our worship of it sure is growing out of proportions. I am talking about the positivity-wave. It’s everywhere. Instagram, Facebook, commercials, influencers, blogs, places of work, ect. Sometimes it pisses me off. Sometimes I laugh. And sometimes seeing those quotes in the morning is exactly what I need. But overall it concerns me. I am not saying that being happy is at fault or that we’re not allowed to express our happiness or our place of enjoyment. No, it is deeper than that. I am concerned about the facade people struggle to keep up and the destruction it brings to them and those around them, once caught in a never-ending loop of positivity enforcement.
We’ve all heard the quotes “stay positive”, “a problem is a new opportunity” and so on. I don’t have a problem with these quotes, but I do have a problem with the idea-base we are likely to interpret them from. You see, being positive has nothing to do with being chronically happy, this interpretation causes you to ignore problems and to sweep your feelings under the carpet. Positivity is not the synonym to happy. That right there is a recipe for disaster. I’ll go as far as to say that it is the highway to negativity. Seeing opportunities and solutions is a positive thought pattern, but that means that you first have to recognize the problem. I fear that our society is being trained to be overly positive and with it comes destruction. The view of positive and negative as black and white is dangerous. Speaking for myself, I have to admit that the hardest situations in my life has reaped me the most positive experiences and results in the end. I wasn’t barfing rainbows at those times, smiling and looking for opportunities – I was heartbroken and shattered. And I have been, several times. These are not times to fake it, it’s the time to find your pieces and then start molding and putting them back together. Same applies to work situations and workplaces – experience and impression tells me that most people are so caught up with being percieved as positive that they create an arena where problems cannot be addressed – and God forbid, if you do, then you are the problem. Places like this goes to shits one way or another in the end. Imagine a place where everyone had the same education, opinions, aspirations and solutions. How far would they go? How successful would they be? It’s not exactly an endless waterfall of creativity or progress. What we are talking about here is an utopia, an unrealistic ideal where everyone are children of sun, with flowers in their hair, a world where everything is known and no-one needs to learn and everything is free. Where we’re never hungry and where everyone loves everyone. Hah. That puts a smirk on my face. I sleep well at night knowing that this isn’t realistic. Thankfully. I love challenges. I thrive in problem solving. I am absolutely loving that I’m not liked by everyone. Hell, to be honest, there are very few people in this world I actually like and/or love. That is earned, not given, and I wouldn’t expect other rules to apply for myself than for others. Life is a process, we learn and we experience. What are the children of the sun learning and experiencing in the end? I would be bored out of my mind. I hear a voice in the back of my head going “Love. They experience and give love”. Well, love wouldn’t mean a whole lot if it wasn’t so challenging to both give and receive – you are trashing love’s authenticity with this positivity-hippie-bullshit. Trashing human authenticity. I don’t love anyone or everyone. To say that or convince myself of that would be a lie. That doesn’t mean that I don’t treat people with love. That I don’t come from a place of love in my everyday movement. But I don’t love everyone. I don’t even like half the people I have to deal with. I don’t put my energy in convincing myself that I have to, so I live splendidly with that – and that my friend is not a negative.
Being positive doesn’t mean ignoring the negative. Being positive means overcoming the negative. There’s a big difference between the two.Marcandangel
We’ve got the concept of positivity and negativity all wrong. I am going to paint this out for you with a picture I found doing some quote-research:
Ok. Try putting two positives in your remote. Not much action for you, no? No. We need both. This is what Taoism is all about: Balance. I am amazed by the human capacity to over-glorify units and forget the bigger picture. This pattern happens in every area of life, history repeats itself over and over due to this. It’s overcompensating. One must learn that one is not bad and one is not good. They work together and the bliss point is in-between. I think we tend to categorize everything into the right or wrong -boxes. If life were that simple we would be children of the sun, and utterly boring I must add. Being afraid, uncertain, sad and angry are all places of feelings where we have the possibility to grow. To learn. To be brave, take risks and to experience accomplishments. To thrive. See, this is a positive thought-pattern, but keep in mind that you actually have to go through with the fear, the uncertainty, the grief and the anger to get there. No sweeping. If we stay somewhere close to the middle and avoid the extremity on both sides, I sincerely believe that life will be more rewarding. Both to you and to those around you.
There’s no shame in brining an umbrella on a sunny day, as long as it’s not weighing you down. It’s much worse to walk in sandals in a blizzard.