F!#k Positivity

Now. I do know that the title of this one seems a little harsh. I ask for nothing more than a chance to explain my thinking on how unhealthy positive thinking actually is, because in terms of the mental damage it causes as this endless campaign of “joy” is pumped into our eyes, hearts and souls in modern society, positivity is a poison like no other. It serves to cause you no less pain or anguish than any negativity that may lay at your door. So I ask you- read the title again, consider how you reacted at the moment you read it. When you get done with this piece, read it again and see how you feel.

Everywhere we look these days, in books, throughout the media, on YouTube, the “stars” of Instagram, Facebook and the idea of fame and fortune, the ideology of positive thinking is always there. Always. We are told “the key to happiness is found in positive thinking.” It’s everywhere, this idea that whatever you think or feel, whoever you choose to be should all be span into some form of positive light, then all of a sudden actions, thoughts or ideas you once feared seemed much more capable.

This slavery to positivity is everywhere, even in some aspects of mental health. It’s almost a form of anxiety, as if almost manic to the point where the world may be burning around you, but your still there “looking on the bright side.” Think of it like this. If the building you were sat in right now was on fire, the crackles and embers of the burning furniture growing ever closer to you, what would you be thinking? Would you be thinking “this is nice i was starting to get cold.”

No. Just…no. You would be taking rather significant steps to get out of the burning building.

Now before you scoff, tell me to fuck off and go for that X in the top corner, bare with me, i know that was a ridiculous example, that was kind of the idea to make the point I’m trying to make about positivity and the secret the world has been keeping from us. We are told that positivity and negativity are polar opposites, truly yin and yang, if you will. So, to take this as an idea, you can’t have one without the other. Without positivity, negativity is meaningless and vice versa. So the “only positivity” way of thinking is just as damaging, if not more so than the obsessive pessimism and general cynicism a lot of people may feel everyday. Positivity is almost like an ignorance of the world, not to cliche a Rocky quote that “the world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows.”

The world is not a nice place, and to act as if it is?- that’s certainly no healthier that the overthinking and persistent negative thoughts that blight so many people in modern society. It’s almost as if we are easier to manage this way, when very much either in one camp or the other. Each technique has a pathway and this is the road we choose to travel on in that moment.

What if the world was cheating us though? What if both of these roads…these long tiresome roads actually went to the same place? I feel as if positive and negative mentality are actually very similar, therefore one is no better than the other, whether you choose to see only the positive aspects- or negative aspects of your life and society as it grows around us.

Then from this, when we are being “positive” in the sense of the word that society has given us this definition- for something to then go wrong in our grand positive scheme is tantamount to a disaster. In contrast when we are of a negative mindset and something goes as we weren’t expecting, there is a weird sense of surprise of “well i cant believe it went the way i hoped,” and so on.

Which life should we be living? If i were to lay to pathways ahead of where you stand- which one would you take? Easy.

Neither. Rip the road up. There is no road, there is no journey to a predetermined destination by positivity or negativity. There is just understanding, and feeling who you are and who you want to be, here in this moment.

To me, this obsessive positivity isn’t going to create a happy environment, or any positive environment quickly- only a world disillusioned from how the world really is. The same with negativity- it has a way to paint the world in a fairly dreary shade of grey. However sometimes seeing the world in that dreary shade of grey gives you a much greater appreciation of how beautiful the world can be when you see it in colour. You have to actively look for the beauty in the world in order to be able to see it, so positivity has its place in your world, but negativity should be given a residence in one of the corners of your mind too.

It’s a battle, it’s a war. But the end result is you.

So fuck positivity. It’s just not worth it.

Yours, with love as always

DR x

Image by John Hain