Tuesday, 2 February 2016

STOP the press--I quit the positive-thinking club!

If you're like me, you've seen a few of these babies circulating around social media, and, if not there, maybe you're getting an earful of something similar from that soul-searching friend of yours. Or maybe the whole 'positive-thinking' thing just seems to haunt you just for shits and giggles, always in the back of your mind as something you could be a little better at. Whatever the case, it's a hard concept to refute and an even harder thing to get away from. Yes, I said 'get away from,' because, if you're like me, (and quite possibly you're not) you are downright sick of it! Stop the press! I hereby quit, revoke any membership from, and halt any fake attempts to belong to the 'positive-thinking club.'

For one, isn't this whole movement just another case of ordinary people ambiguously assigning a name to their latest cause, and in the process creating a whole (and lesser) sub-category for people who disagree with them. “Oh, you're not in the positive-thinking club? Well then you must be in the negative-thinking club, and I don't associate with negative thinkers.” No, that's not the case you say?

Well, have a look at these doozies, and, believe me, this is only a small smattering...

My heart is full of positivity, 
 there's no room for you
-Rachel Wolchin-

Beautiful things happen in your life 
when you distance yourself from all the negative things 

Poisonous people are not allowed to take my peace. It's difficult sometimes 
but I can't take on other people's negativity. 
 - Alex Elle -

Poisonous people? Like people with mental illness? Addictions? People who have experienced trauma or loss? Or just an ordinary person going through a hard time? Who are we talking about here? Because dissociating yourself from this just makes you a miserable person in my opinion. If you are a truly prolific member of club, wouldn't the philanthropic thing to do be to share some of that positive-thinking shit around? Just saying.

And what business do people have labeling emotions (even entire people!) as 'positive' or 'negative' anyway? I have news for you...Grief, sadness, fear, anger—these are not 'negative' emotions. They may be unpleasant, but, they are not negative. They are necessary, understandable, and universal things we all go through from time to time, and how dare the positive-thinking club interfere with someone else's god-given right to experience and work through that stuff. As for labeling entire human beings as one or the other...You know what EVERY single person I have ever met has in common? They are ALL doing their best. Where's the club for that?

And, who can forget...

It could always be worse. 
- annoying people everywhere -

You can't argue with that! And until I am in the position of having lost all human abilities other than that of feeling excruciating pain while having just experienced the loss of all my family members to some terrible calamity, that will ALWAYS be the case. But has this philosophical tidbit every actually succeeded in making anyone feel better? So, yes, I hear you, there are starving kids on every corner of the planet. Thanks for that, my pink-eye is so much more palatable with a side of guilt.

As an aside, have anyone else ever had a club member tell you in throes of your illness that a little dose of positivity is all you need for symptom relief? Or that maybe the whole illness itself is a manifestation of your deep-seeded negativity? To this, I have to say, “Friend, I love you dearly, but STOP TALKING, and when you are at the tail-end of three years of bad health, you may resume.”

I won't bore you with the details, but do you know the BEST thing I ever did for myself with regards to chronic health struggles? It wasn't anything to do with positive thinking. It wasn't telling myself that things would get better. Nope. It wasn't visualizing laying on a beach watching my symptoms float off in a balloon. It certainly wasn't thinking how much worse off I could be nor was it smiling bravely uttering no complaint (I think I only lasted 10 minutes at that). You know what it was? I simply accepted that I did in fact have a chronic illness and that I hated ever minute of misery it had bestowed on me, and that, going forward, I would probably continue to hating that. Oooooo, So bad-ass!

So, if this all sounds like a load of crap to you, that's fine. There are tons of other like-minded positive thinkers out there with their irrefutable philosophies and catchy sloganeering, and you can all synergize your awesomeness into oblivion for all I care. But, in the event that this shit ain't working for you, I've started my own club. It's called the 'I own what I think and feel' club. Here we assign no positive or negative value to our thoughts and emotions. We just accept them and move on...and we're currently accepting new members.