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My Case Against False Positivity

I’ve always been relentlessly optimistic, one to focus on the plan, not the problem and I’ve never been quick to emotions. Yet yesterday, for the first time since this all started, I sat down on my floor and just released all I’ve been feeling. I cried and mourned for the people who have died, for those who’ve lost their jobs, for those who are sick and uncertain in the hospital, for the healthcare workers risking their lives, for the kids who don’t understand, for the parents who are overwhelmed and for those who are missing their loved ones. I released my frustration that there isn’t more I can do for my people, that I don’t have all the answers, that I can’t help them more than I know how to right now. I cried for my friends who have had to cancel weddings, baby showers, birthday parties and anniversaries. I selfishly cried for myself that there’s a real possibility we’ll bring our little one into this world during this strange and scary time.

 

I know you’re getting a lot of messages about how to stay positive right now, about how to be productive, and how to use this time wisely. I also know that you are a human being, not a human doing and it’s ok to feel like a human being. The work I do is grounded with a sharp focus on reality. Therefore, my philosophy has never been pollyannaism or unfounded optimism. I don’t believe in not acknowledging reality as I often find it the hardest yet most important step in order to move forward. It’s not about not feeling and not acknowledging what’s happening, it’s about a commitment not to stay there. So I peeled myself up from the floor and sat in front of my journal and after acknowledging all the bad I forced myself to write out the good, to write out all the things I’m grateful for, and there was so very much to be grateful for.

 

I’m incredibly grateful for mine and my baby’s health. I’m grateful for this extra time I’ve had with the Big Guy, I don’t think we’ve gotten this much time together since we first started dating so many years ago. For my family and friends who I’ve had more time to connect with. For the people and leaders, I’m incredibly blessed to be in business with those who have not only risen but soared on this occasion. For the extra time with my puppy who’s the real winner in all this. Grateful for the planet’s much-needed break from our pollution. Grateful this time has allowed many of us to find ourselves with a bit more kindness than when we started.

 

Life isn’t singular, dark doesn’t exist without light nor negative without positive. It’s easy to only see one and yet, what might you learn if you challenge yourself to deeply understand both? If we’re going to acknowledge the bad, we must also acknowledge the good, if we’re going to mourn we must also celebrate. What are you grateful for?

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