Everywhere, all the time, everyday, without fail, I can find a post, a tweet, an ad about how to end or oust or reverse negativity whether I want to or not. It’s there. And it sometimes makes me cringe. What does the author, expert, person mean by “negativity?” What do I mean when I use that word? Negativity is the reality of being negative without considering the alternative positive possibility, being negative without opening up to life’s lessons, being negative out of sheer habit or sheer stubborn refusal of anything else, out of total lack of imagination. Professional “stick in the mud.” But. Here’s where the cringe comes in for me…If you oust or otherwise curtail it without owning up to why it exists, why it is such a comfy thing for you, and do not discover where it started, then you’ve just painted over it. You’ve not grown. You’ve changed your stripes.
Another cringe-catalyst: if you can’t handle the downside of life and lump anyone who is real about their pain, their struggles, their confusion into the “negative” pot, then you’re afraid of life, afraid and unable to truly, fully be with. Be with self. Be with others. Be with ALL that life is. Guess what? Life can chew you up, spit you out and leave you without recourse. And to have a season of grief, of floundering in the dark is good for the soul. It brings you to deeper awareness, to a place of knowing what needs to come next so you can smile from within.
Authenticity, a sometimes risky unfolding of self, a sometimes “negative” aspect of amness is the higher call for me. Sometimes we roil in truthativity and it’s not pretty. It’s not pleasant. It’s not fun for others. What if enough is enough and the rumblings of change begin with a “sour attitude” for, well, for days? What if the sour attitude is down there hiding under the smile because negativity isn’t helpful? That’s sometimes the only way to manage our worlds with finesse. But at some point, negativity – depending on what that words means to you – needs to be used for what it is: an opportunity to discover what needs to change, a chance to affirm the soul’s needs and desires, an aspect of self screaming for growth.
Unless, of course, you really are a sourpuss who needs to grow up, buck up and get on with smelling some roses since we all know the cow dung stinks. But always ask this before rushing to “fix” “negativity”: Would we label any human process as “negativity” with any real regularity if we were aware of how deeply vital the processes of personal growth are? Would we fixate on being “positive” if we valued authenticity to the point of growing beyond anything anyone could truly categorize as “negativity?”
True authenticity won’t drag anyone down in the long run, not if it’s about growth, about finding the strength to let go or stand firm as needed. If all you can see is the glass half empty, dig deep, find the reason and heal the source. Then you won’t have to put on the positive, it’ll flow from deep within…