In the interest of networking for Absolutely Tara, I’ve been reading and commenting on a lot of “self-help” blogs lately. I’ve read many great articles and am feeling daily inspired by a lot of these, because they present concepts in unique ways, and offer encouragement. However, I have to admit there is a religion of positivity going around that is driving me crazy!
I would define a religion as any belief system that defines certain beliefs, emotions, or actions as “good” and anything that is in conflict with that standard, wrong or “bad”.
What is wrong with having a standard of good? I mean, don’t you want to be good?
Well, here’s the thing. Because we have an inherent need to be loved, and we instinctually feel that in order to be loved we need to be good, we have an emotional survival instinct that needs to believe we are a good person and deserve love. So the minute we define something as bad in our minds, we will automatically (and even subconsciously) deny or feel shame for anything “bad” we have inside of us.
The problem with this, is that being alive, and by alive I mean that everything you are on the inside is uncaged and free to burst out of you and shine to the reaches of the universe, we have to be willing to accept and love all that we are.
If you picture each of your emotions as a color, yellow being happy, red being angry, blue being peaceful, etc…, then you can see that if you were to block out all emotion, you’d be grey. But if you were to allow yellow (because it’s positive, and doesn’t hurt other people, or give you grey hairs), but not allow red (because you’re afraid of it, it makes you feel negative, and God forbid someone starts to hate you) then you’d be living a muted existence. And there would be all this energy you put into holding those other colors back and pretending they don’t exist.
But here’s the thing, they do exist. They’re part of our genetic makeup. It’s what makes us human. So denying them doesn’t make them go away. In fact, it makes them affect us MORE. Emotions take up space and don’t listen to logical reasoning, so no matter what you believe is right, they will have their say, one way or another, and you’ll have no control over it when they finally do show up.
But this isn’t about control, this is about experiencing. There’s a beauty and depth contained within the spectrum of emotions, and we’re really missing out by not acknowledging that.
I’ll never forget the first time I truly allowed myself to hate someone. I already hated them deep down, but I never acknowledged that to myself, because my belief system said I wasn’t allowed to hate. That I was supposed to rise above it and love instead. So I acted loving towards them, thought loving thoughts, and forgave their hurtful ways. But when I looked inside and allowed my heart to speak without boundaries, I found that I didn’t love them, I hated them. And oh how great that hate tasted! It was an entirely different flavor than I’d ever allowed myself to experience, and I loved it!
And it’s funny, allowing myself to acknowledge the hate, then enjoy the flavor of it, not only made me feel alive, but it also took away the toxicity of the hate. (Toxicity being the acidic feeling that accompanies negativity.) It somehow became a joyous feeling that I could indulge in. And because I was acknowledging it, I was able to process it and let it go. I was also able to make more informed decisions about my life, like not being in a relationship with this person anymore.
If we tell people that they should strive for positivity, then when they feel negativity, they will feel shame. When they feel shame, they won’t be able to be authentic with themselves. And if they can’t be authentic, they won’t know who they are. And the knowing of oneself, is the best part. Don’t you think? It’s the part that makes us come alive. And alive is an amazing feeling.