Why “Be Positive” Isn’t the Best Advice When You’re Down, By Michael James

This article – Why “Be Positive” Isn’t the Best Advice When You’re Down, By Michael James – came to me via Tiny Buddha and I had to share.

To add a spoiler, I’m not necessarily backing up the article because I think meditation (specifically) is the end-all-be-all necessarily – phenomenal it can be, everyone is different, and meditation is both a highly individual, and incredibly varied practice.  But I DO like a lot of what is said (and do like meditation personally), and I appreciate that Mr. James is willing to say “positivity” isn’t always what’s needed.

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I’m a positive person but that does NOT mean:

  • That I’m peachy 24 / 7
  • That I don’t make judgements
  • That I’m not an inherently flawed human being

Trust me, I am.  I make mistakes ALL the time.  I * try * to see sun and roses, but there’s plenty of rain and storm clouds too.  While I’ve been mistaken as someone who presents only that happy image, I’ve never been anything but honest about the fact that I am as much a tempest as Mother Nature – some days you don’t know what you will get.  I’ve felt badly enough about it in the past to land myself in some very abusive situations, but. . .  While I have a long way to go, I no longer fundamentally think there’s something “wrong with” me because I feel so deeply.  

As an Empath I respect this idea that some days the LAST thing you want to hear is “BE POSITIVE!” (*insert friend with annoyingly feigned smile here*)  While of course I (and anyone who might chime in with the phrase) am *trying* to be helpful, it may not necessarily be the best default. . .

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Sometimes you just don’t damn well feel like it, and that’s MORE than okay.  I’ve had a problem with minimizing, justifying, and avoiding the act of “feeling” in the past – some days it’s more important to sit with the discomfort to get to the root of things. 

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Two of the things stood out most for me from the article: 

“Like Instagram and other forms of social media, this “positive thinking” movement seems to be about living up to an ideal standard of perceived perfection all the time. Not satisfied with looking “perfect,” now you’ve got to think perfectly, too.”

True.  Scary.  Thank you for putting this solidly in verbal terms!

and. . .

“…authentic masters understood that negative thinking is part of the human journey, and that it’s okay to feel less than your best sometimes. And they also knew that it’s a quick route to self-hatred to expect any more of yourself.”

Thank you, again, for reminding that it’s okay to feel whatever emotions we feel.  There is not right, and no wrong.  We are allowed.

So yes. . .I love the designation of “professional cheerer-upper” that some friends and family have given me.  I feel honored and blessed by the compliment – right or wrong, I identify with bringing joy to others.  BUT…  BUT.  I’ve got my sad, grumpy, frustrated, gloomy, and altogether dark days too (article on that, by Madisyn Taylor.)  I’ve had to do a TON of work to recognize that it is not only okay to feel those things…but also to not want to “be positive” for a time.  

If all we ever saw was the sun (or that was all we were TOLD to see) then it wouldn’t be such a glorious thing, would it? There’d be no special positivity associated with its warmth or energy at all – so then what’s the point?  

No….I’ll take some showers along the way, and expose my soul to the rain when I need to.  Sometimes, that’s exactly what it needs – the positivity will find its way, not to worry.

 

When Life Gives Lemons…He Got Flowers…

Last week was a busy, terribly trying week for my fiancé.  Most people would bring that home with them… It could be in the form of silence, and deliberate distance.  It could be worse, like yelling or taking out frustrations…

Instead, though, he sent me flowers.  Sunny, happy-faced, yellow blooms to say thank you…just because.

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I cannot speak for the masses, but I can speak for myself, from a heart brimming with gratitude.  The thought ALONE is one that makes my eyes well up with tears – I’d be lying if I said I don’t have them as I type.  For most of my Life (in fact, for ALL of it where significant others were concerned until he crossed my path) I’ve never known someone to be so aware, so caring, so kind…and so thoughtful.  

When we love, we always do our very best to support our partners – Life is complicated and riddled with challenging days.  But even then, days can bring us down. When we are in a partnership, remembering that another heart is at stake – and that we don’t always know everything that took place that day – is vital.  As they say, people are always fighting a battle you know nothing about.

Knowing that I am as hopelessly flawed as the rest, I accept that I will make mistakes, cause frustrations, and maybe not always be able to right a bad day.  But I will always try – if nothing else – to let my love know that he is appreciated, and that I notice the efforts and kindness put forth.

How honored and blessed and touched I felt to see these “Life gives you lemons, and lemons bloom” beauties…

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Instant Confidence Stick

So there were a couple of posts about this out there – I hadn’t really internalized that this could be potentially offensive to some, but it seems that it was.  For some, naming the product “Instant Confidence Stick” was not only not expected from Bobbi Brown (generally known to embrace our natural beauty – aging and otherwise), but also because it suggested that we need a product to give us confidence (focusing primarily on our superficial appearance, as it were.)

I didn’t take anything negative, nor controversial, from it so much – they way it reads to me is that if I am having a day that I feel I look as though I need a pick me up (my personal opinion about myself) then this might offer some help.  It doesn’t suggest to me that I am lacking in some way, no beautiful enough, or that without a product(s), I’m somehow sub-par.  

I understand – and agree – with the notion that we should love ourselves the way we are.  We should – we are fabulous, damnit!  But that doesn’t mean that if we want to pull ourselves together and present a cleaned-up version of ourselves – all the time, or occasionally – that there is anything wrong with that!

Per Bobbi’s UK site (where it is available):

Bobbi’s magic eraser—instantly blurs the look of fine lines and wrinkles for a smoother, more lineless look. The colourless, breathable and ultra-lightweight formula glides on easily and feels weightless, making it comfortable for all-day wear. Use it to prep skin for seamless makeup application, or to touch up and control shine throughout the day.

Infused with a powerful peptide, the formula helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as soon as you apply. A unique triple suspension complex creates an effective yet breathable blurring layer that helps to smooth and perfect skin’s texture. Plus, it works over time to absorb excess oil and control shine.

So it smooths out those pesky lines I sometimes focus too much on (yes, I’m sure they ONLY bother ME.)  AND it helps over time to tame shine…which also sometimes aggravates me.  I rather appreciate that there’s a lil’ easy-to-use stick out there that might assist me in achieving those things since – let’s be honest – I DON’T always wake up flawless.

In my opinion it is totally okay to recruit a little help because it will make me feel a bit better on the days something to perk me up.  And trust me, my confidence hasn’t taken a dive, nor my spirt been wounded, by the name…or the offering.