A lot of people can’t stand positive people. Especially when they’re in a slump. I know that when I’m feeling sad or distraught or upset, the last thing I want to hear someone say is “Oh, buck up. Think of the positive!” Sometimes I can be one of those people, and even I want to punch myself sometimes.
But I want to talk about this thing that Robert Holden calls the tyranny of positive thinking. My blogger friend Melissa Field wrote a post about it as well not too long ago, which was pretty spot on. It looks sort of like this in your head.
Ugh, everything is going so badly today, but I know I should be thinking positive. Positive, positive, positive!
Everything is so hard right now, but I need to stay positive.
Why can’t I be more positive about things? Why do I let them get me down? Why can’t I just be a positive person, instead of drowning in my own sorrow?
(These thoughts brought to you directly from my own head. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming).
The tyranny is always trying to be positive, even when our soul needs time to be sad. We get this idea into our head that we need to remain positive in order for good things to happen, but that’s just not true. Good things can still happen when you’re honest with yourself and your feelings. Sit with yourself for a moment, and let the feelings be felt. Once they’re felt, you can come to grips with them, and allow the energy to flow. That’s when good things start to happen.
In other words, you’ve gotta feel it to heal it.
Marie Forleo also says something like ‘Sit with it for five, and say bye bye.’
There’s a lot of little catch phrases we can use here, but the important thing to remember is that it’s 100% okay to be sad or angry. Yeah, you probably knew that already, but seriously. Don’t discount the fact that you feel a certain way about something. What is the feeling telling you? Louise Hay always says when there are problems in our lives, it doesn’t mean there’s something to solve, it means there’s something to know.
And even people who seem super positive, like me, have super low points and low days. It’s part of the beauty of life. I like to sit with my sad feelings, because they’re begging to be felt, and I can feel them demanding my attention. I even wrote a blog post about sitting with your tears years ago when I first started blogging. (Looking back on that post still makes me cry, because I remember how sad I was writing it.)
Sometimes I just have to cry it out and let it happen. Things fall apart and people upset you, but that’s what life is. It’s not cherries and daisies, it’s blue, it’s black, it’s deep, deep gray, and then out of the great wide nowhere, it’s fucking pink. It’s a box of chocolates, Forrest! Trying to keep it together all the time is just too damn tough, and not a way I like to spend my time. Feelings are so beautiful in all of their beautiful spectrum of colors. We wouldn’t have them if we weren’t supposed to feel them.
Don’t get me wrong, I like positivity to a point. I really enjoy trying to make myself feel better about things by thinking loving, positive, and uplifting thoughts. I genuinely enjoy throwing my whole self into self-development when I’m feeling down about something. It’s so wonderful to focus on things that you are passionate about, and that uplift you.
But what I’ve learned is that I can’t ‘positive’ my way out of a depression. And that is the biggest takeaway here. I’ve tried to think positive in situations where I’ve been extremely low, and it just doesn’t work. That’s when I really realized that what I needed was self-love and self-care, not an injection of sunshine and rainbows.
You have to truly listen to what your inner self is trying to tell you, and sometimes it presents itself as a bucket of tears. So you coddle that bucket of tears, and listen to what that voice inside your head is telling you afterwards. Sometimes it’s telling you “cookies…let’s get cookies” but other times it’s the silence after the sniffling, telling you exactly what to do.
What methods do you use to keep yourself sane when you’re feeling upset? Do you cry it out or do something else? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading! This post is part of a 30 days to 30 series, read all about it here.