Toxic Positivity: when does your solution leave you behind?
Toxic positivity refers to the tendency of people to invalidate negative emotions and force themselves or others to maintain a positive attitude at all costs. It is the belief that any negative emotion should be suppressed, ignored, or dismissed in favor of positivity. This can be harmful because it fuels the stigma around mental health and limits our ability to process and cope with difficult feelings. Toxic positivity can also backfire and lead to feelings of guilt, shame, or pressure to be constantly happy.
Here at Benched Sinners, we don't use empty platitudes. We explore the dirty, ugly, and real aspects of recovery. Today, we're going to explore The Law of Attraction (2004).
First let’s talk about toxic positivity. Toxic positivity often leaves people feeling like their dreams aren't manifesting because they aren't good enough or don't want it enough or aren’t asking for it the right way. This kind of self-reproach is at the core of toxic positivity. It tells us that we aren't getting what we want because we're doing something "wrong." To me, this comes from centralizing the practice (i.e., The Law of Attraction) leading to us molding ourselves around that belief.
This idea is that when we have constructed ourselves just so, we will accomplish peace, manifestation, and relief. However, this approach doesn't work for me. I need to centralize myself and use these practices as tools instead of litmus tests.
Using The Law of Attraction as a tool instead of a judgment helps me accomplish my goals. I visualize what I want then meditation helps my subconscious get on that same page. By reprogramming my subconscious for what I want (instead of how I’m failing) I'll be more attuned to the signs that show up and lead me to my desired outcomes. “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” — Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist (2006).
So, what happens when we centralize our desires in meditation? I believe it sets our subconscious to be on the lookout for opportunities that may lead us in that direction. These signs were always there, they don't just appear because we're good or deserving or asking in the right way. This simply program our minds to look out for these opportunities!
I believe we can use some of these toxic positivity tools to our benefit. We can do this when we can focus on our goals and release the internalized judgment of being "deserving". We all deserve peace and happiness.
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