My Problem with Positivity.

Positivity. The end.

Is it?

So simple to say; so much harder to execute. We love dishing out healthy advice to those struggling, but we tend fall deaf to that same advice. If we just be positive, then we’ll attract positivity. So, we must keep up those high vibes every day of our lives, right? Think again. Many people fall prey to that thinking, I’m not arguing it’s wrong, but we know good people also attract the worst things. How can we be so hopeful when living in a world like this? Is there any hope?

I watch a lot of gymnasts and ice skaters. Their athleticism is a marvel to behold, yet when I see them balancing on the faintest lines, I stop breathing. I worry they will fall; their ankles will snap and they will tumble down in agony. Most of the time, they don’t. They perform complex dances that the average person couldn’t dream of doing with their bodies. These athletes have one thing the rest of us don’t: practice, and with practice, first comes a mountain of failure. They’ve fallen, snapped tendons and bones, bruised flesh, and torn muscles, sometimes they have been temporarily paralysed. Yet, they keep coming back to the beam or strap on the ice skating shoes.

That pursuit of balance and perfection comes from years of trust in their bodies. It’s no different for our minds. The one thing they often tell themselves is ‘stay up,’ instead of ‘don’t fall.’ Its much easier to point out what we shouldn’t do, but what about showing ourselves what we can do? Staying positive isn’t about ignoring negativity; it’s the acceptance that negativity happens and how we react to it. Sometimes those negative situations warp our minds and hearts into believing that only the worst is out there, so what’s the point? I’ve fallen in those holes of despair countless times, but I remembered that it’s only temporary. All bad and good situations are phases, they come and go, just like life itself.

My contacts have borne the brunt of my emotional tantrums, my exclaims how injust this world is and how they should step in sooner to prevent further suffering. Instead of telling me to calm down, which would infuriate me more, they repeat the same thing I’ve been hearing from them for years:

“You are in control of your reality. You decide what to do and say. Having horrible thoughts as a response is part of living but being consciously aware of a better action will be your judge. Mastery of oneself is mastery of the universe.”

Balance of mind, of body and of both. Balance of relationships, of work and between the two. There’s always a lesson to be learned in a terrible situation, but that’s all it ultimately is, a long and painful lesson. Pessimism and optimism are another forms of delusion, there is nothing to be gained from being one or the other. We are all students in this school of life, and its up to us to work together to see each other through. If we start practicing within ourselves, we can show it to another and so on.

One can’t live without the other, because if we were constantly happy or constantly angry, or sad, we cannot compare when the good times come with the bad.

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