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Toxic Positivity

Updated: Dec 6, 2021

We have learned to have an intolerance for unpleasant truth. In the era of “positive thinking”, we have conveniently learned to excuse ourselves from having to look at the truth of our shadows. Instead of accessing and activating empathy for another human, vulnerability sharing their pain, we have learned to dodge and redirect stealthily, giving the underhanded but clear message, “I don’t want to hear about your pain. It makes me uncomfortable and I’d rather you would just be quiet about it”. We just don’t quite say it like that… Instead we say:

  • “Don’t give it energy”

  • “Focus on the positive”

  • “But there were good times too”

  • “Just forget about the bad times”

  • “All you can do is move on now”

  • “If you focus on it, you’ll just repeat it.”

  • “There is no value in looking back.”

  • “You should probably talk to a professional”

What we have forgotten is the value of GRIEF. EMPATHY. UNDERSTANDING. LISTENING.

Sometimes, all I needed was to vomit up all of my shadows in order to make sense of my pain - to gain clarity. To find my own solutions. To find my footing and my own empowerment. This is what we lose when we shut it down, shut it out, and condemn it as “negative” and “useless”.

Life is duality. Of course, focusing only on the negative is unproductive and soul sucking. But so is solely focusing on the positive. We must learn to honor both our light and our darkness. <3

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