Positive Vibes Only!
A phrase like many others that is often times used in the wrong context and simply put over used.
While I may not believe there can be “Toxic Positive” no more than there can be a “Toxic Masculinity” or ” Toxic Femininity “. I do believe that there is this false idea that Self Care and Health is always an Instagramible or perfect moment. Today the term “Positive Vibes Only” has created a standard that no one can live up too. Many use the term as an excuse to dismiss responsibility and cut ties with those who call us out on our Bullshit. However, the term also gives many of us a reason to suppress emotions that we need to let out. In short Toxic Positivity can be explained as, “Encourages ignoring negative emotions.” In the wake of Self Care and embracing positivity it is still hard to turn a blind eye to the up’s and down’s that we all go through. And because of this some ay use a Self-Care or Mental Healthy to avoid confronting situations and responsibility. Toxic Positivity is not to be confused with someone who is optimistic; those who encourage us to keeping going and to see the brighter side or bigger picture are doing so from a place of healthy perspective shifting.
Toxic Positive is a new word the was created to bring some checks and balance to Positive Vibes Only because let’s face it depression, escapism, and anxiety is real. However, the term brings neither help, clarity, nor comfort to our society. What many of us lack today is Duality.
Duality: being twofold; a classification into two opposed parts or subclasses.
(geometry) the interchangeability of the roles of points and planes in the theorems of projective geometry.
If there are two sides to a coin, metaphorically speaking, there’s a duality. Peace and war, love and hate, up and down, and black and white are dualities. Another term for a duality is a dichotomy. Duality has technical meanings in geometry and physics. In geometry, duality refers to how points and planes have interchangeable roles in projective geometry. In physics, duality is the property of matter and electromagnetic radiation to be understood best through wave theory or particle theory.
Dichotomy: A dichotomy is an idea or classification split in two. When you point out a dichotomy, you draw a clear distinction between two things.
A dichotomy is a contrast between two things. When there are two ideas, especially two opposed ideas — like war and peace, or love and hate — you have a dichotomy. You often hear about a “false dichotomy,” which occurs when a situation is unfairly represented as an “either/or” scenario. For example, the statement “All cars are either small and efficient or large and polluting” creates a false dichotomy because there are some cars that don’t fit into either category.
Oftentimes we are tempted to block out one aspect of ourselves or life for the sake of portraying an image to others to hide the parts of ourselves we don’t want anyone else to see. Because of this we lake duality which is a major aspect of life. Duality isn’t solely about just embracing the good and/or the bad in life but to rather bring awareness to both aspects. Duality teaches us the importance of catering to the positive all while challenging us to ask ourselves, “What can I learn or take away from the negative?” In the definitions offered above we notice language such, ” Being Twofold and Interchangeability of Roles”; drawing out the idea that duality is also about how roles and situations can work together towards a bigger picture as well as take on both sides of the coin. When working with duality we realize things are never one sided and may also be more complex than what we would like to accept. This concept also keeps us mindful of trying to box ourselves as well as others in. The Yin and Yang Philosophy is arguably where we first see dualism. The philosophy teaches us two opposites which positive-negative, good-bad, light-dark, etc exist in an inseparable way. As the two may contradict one another the ultimate goal is to reach order and achieve harmony.
In Duality Yin and Yang attract and complement each other and, as their symbol illustrates, each side has at its core an element of the other (represented by the small dots). Neither pole is superior to the other and, as an increase in one brings a corresponding decrease in the other, a correct balance between the two poles must be reached in order to achieve harmony. Ancient Encyclopedia
Where the advocates for the term Toxic Positivity drop the ball is by failing to realize where the real problem lies. The problem is not the positivity; it is the intent behind the statements being made at that time. Not everyone is meant to give advice and many can not handle when others vent to them. Because of this encouraging ourselves and others to use discernment when confiding in other. Everyone deserves a sounding board. Someone who gives constructive criticism as well as offers a different perspective on a series of unfortunate events. Positivity can not toxic nor can optimism, hopefulness, or any other synonyms for positivity. However, intentions, behavior, and words can be toxic. The different in positivity and negativity is in the mindset the person has at that time. Mindset is often fueled by the persons intention. The problem also lies in the lack of duality we have in society. We are continuously asked to chose sides. Today within the self care and love movement it may seem as though self love is all things positive when is actuality it is all about balancing the good and the bad. Many of us may be under the impression that self love is about embracing everything and being completely happy with the good, the bad, and the ugly. With this way of thinking it is easy to have anxiety and depression because we beat ourselves up because we honestly can’t.
IT’S A FALSE NARRATIVE
Self Love is about compassion which is another tool of positivity. It is okay to be out of shape, it is okay to be depressed, it is okay to get off track. What isn’t okay is continuing toxic behavior that feeds all of things you are unhappy with. When we feed the negative things we want to change it makes positivity and change seem further and further in the distance. A major factor of Self Love is getting to the root of the problem by asking why, jotting down triggers and cycles, and most of all not running/escaping. When we run we constantly feel like we are being haunted by our own shadow. The secrete to growing in positivity and self love is: 1. Speaking up and confronting the things that are weighing you down. That means realizing sometimes we are the culprit. Sometimes we have to come to terms with we are how we got here. It may also mean making sacrifices. 2. It is continuous process. Being positive is a daily commitment. No one is in control of our mindset but us. We choose what we focus on daily; do we choose to let 1 bad moment ruin our day or do we decide to tack on something we know will make our even more bomb? There always be a bad day however each day is a chance hit restart.
The chart above illustrates the verbiage used by someone who is portraying Toxic Positivity and Validation and Hope. In the right column Toxic Positivity can arguably be described as insensitive to the persons emotions. While the left column displays someone who is encouraging. The flaw within this chart is the failure to offer scenarios. The right column offers a vague range of phrases and slogan society loosely uses without going in-depth. When looking at the left column we can see there is a fine line between holding space for someone to experience their emotions and enabling them to give up or become consumed by their emotions. Statements such as, “It’s okay to give up.” may send a message to someone who has a history of always giving up that it is okay never finishing anything I start. While instead trying the question, ” Have you tried a different approach?” or ” Do you know anyone with experience who could possible be of some assistance?” Reminding someone it is okay to take a step back to let something breathe is always an option; however, exhausting your options gives room for your ideal outcome. A we look a little further we can find the statement, ” We make sense of is all later.” When life is happening the situation will probably never make sense. The one thing that we can offer is perspective; a moment to really sit back and reflect. Reminding someone there is always a lesson to be learned no matter how stupid or inconvenient the situation gives the person seed of awareness. Awareness is one of many things we lack today. We become so consumed in our problems and others we never have time to remove our emotions, expectations, and wants. When we are mindful enough to step back we can see things for what they really are and sift through the bullshit and things we brought upon ourselves.
Today more than ever we need good friends and family who can hold space for us to let everything out. And we also need people on our lives to help us unpack it all for us to make sense. Most importantly we need people who are non-bias, objective, reflective, who can constructive criticism. All of this requires someone who is positive that will hold you accountable. If we are not careful we will find ourselves down another rabbit hole that causes even more division .
Share With Me,
Vibe With Me,