Posted by: Admin | June 26, 2011

Being Positive is the key…right?

Yesterday’s post was all about being positive. Regular reader, WH, was moved to comment:

This is all lovely, but if you spend all your time following your dreams, quitting your jobs because you don’t like them and embracing passion, but forget to earn a living and pay your bills, you will soon be up shit creek. I know. I lived with someone like that and we pretty soon ended up bankrupt. I don’t mean to be a misery guts (!) but I think that the real message is balance. I can never remember the Latin phrase but it means something along the lines of “feet on the ground, looking at the stars”.

Quite. I preach taking responsibility for our own happiness, embracing change, taking action rather than moaning, but I’m not a fan of relentless “positive thinking”.

© Jo Blackwell

The rallying cry of “be positive” can become a bullying tactic as well as encouragement. How many people battling serious illness feel they have “failed” if they haven’t managed to “beat it” with their positive thought processes? How many times have you turned to a friend to talk over a problem only to be met with a breezy “think positive!”

The fact is, while it’s true that misery loves misery, negative emotions are part of the human condition. They need to be acknowledged and worked through before one can adopt a more positive outlook. It’s dangerous to knock them aside – no one can be “up” all the time. Nor should we try to be.

© Jo Blackwell

I once attended a seminar by a prominent “positive thinking” guru and watched with increasing discomfort as delegate after delegate revealed genuine emotional pain for which they were publicly (in my eyes) humiliated. Anyone who disagreed was brushed aside. “You’re not in the right place yet to understand,” seemed to be the general consensus. Right. Too often, “positive thinking” is used as a stick to beat people with, or is worn as a badge of belonging. It can be used as a cover to crush dissent, as there, and that’s when it makes me feel uncomfortable.

So… YES positivity is a GOOD THING, but if you’re not feeling it, that’s ok. However, this might at least make you laugh… (it is Sunday, after all!) x

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