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When Being Positive, Is Negative

Look on the bright side. Make lemonade out of lemons. Everything happens for a reason. Every cloud has a silver lining. I could go on, but I won't, because finding the positive, is sometimes negative. It's sometimes euphemistic for numbness, ignorance or denial, and it's not always the most effective way of surveying your life and handling the circumstances in front of you. It can be a mask that doesn't leave space for the learning or healing that's needed after a wrong turn or disappointment.

“Optimism is the madness of insisting that all is well when we are miserable.” - Voltaire


Sometimes the best option, the most honest, and essential response is to complain, to whine, and to feel bad – for a bit. I'm not talking years of the sad story, drowning your sorrows, or embracing a perpetual state of negativity or hopelessness.

Sometimes however, you have to be willing to get down and dirty, and sometimes dare I say- embrace the negative, go to the dark side, wallow in it, shout it out – for a bit. This bit of time, is the length of time it takes for you to realize the full extent of what you don't want, the repercussions of certain choices, and the results of your thoughts and beliefs on the quality of your life. This is also the time to get the support and care that's required to recover and restart.

Hitting rock bottom, and crawling back is the meeting point between your reality, and the realization of your part in this reality. No amount of positive thinking and sugar coating can change underlying beliefs or bad habits. You must first expose them to the light.

This is the birth place of optimism, the place where new options and potential can be realized. Combined with a healthy dose of self-awareness, and personal responsibility, you can move forward, with positive energy, a new language, and a renewed plan.

Masked up, facade-like positivity is a weight, and combined with the weight of your disappointments, these feelings unexpressed and covered over, limit your flight, and stall personal growth. You must get through the disguise, and the mask to discover what's going on underneath.


I'm talking about accepting and embracing the downside as an experience, not as a state of being. I'm not talking about believing the worst about your life and yourself. I'm not talking about being negative, and thinking negative. I'm talking about facing the negative with the fortitude and determination that comes from connecting to the part of you that's separate from the experience.

Forced positivity covers, limits, and persecutes. It's more comfortable for you, and for others if you appear as if, all is right with the world, but how can you change what you don't acknowledge, what you don't face, and what you don't take responsibility for? How can heal what you won't feel or see? What habits, patterns, and actions contributed to this downside, and what's the upside of changing that? Not covering that with right words, and a happy smile, and a fake mask, can have a truly positive impact.

Has embracing the downside, ever created more upside? I would love to hear your experience!

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