This week we explore what occurs when we only focus on the positive. Does this mean that we are ignoring reality and being genuine? Well, it can. The author who really brought this phenomenon to light was author Barbara Ehrenreich in her book “Bright Sided: How positive thinking is undermining America”. Her great contribution to the conversation is recognizing how “positivity” can be forced upon others and even, we can force it upon ourselves and undermine our own reality. Reckless optimism helps no one however, what is the underlying point of “positivity” anyway?
Well, one way to talk about being positive is to recognize that all events are neutral and that we are having our experience based on our own perceptions and meanings. And, even though we can put our attention on what is going well, this does not mean to the exclusion of what isn’t going well and especially to the exclusion of our feelings. The real deal is looking at what can occur when our experience and events are grounded on a foundation of authenticity. What this means is being able to feel our feelings and being authentic about what is occurring in our lives in the moment as well as recognizing what might not be going well in our experience either. For example, we could either be positive or negative. This is part of the dualistic separation that we create as humans. But the truth is that there is no substitute for being able to hold all of our reality and not park ourselves into one camp or the other. So, being positive is great and if we also aren’t willing to be authentic and skip over what is actually occurring, especially in our body, can really drive us away from balanced wisdom in our lives.
How do you feel about being positive? When is it good for you and when isn’t?