Tag: toxic positivity

The 4th Pillar: Explore [Your] Divinity (Pt 3- Divine Character)

Connecting with Spirit doesn’t have to be complicated or convoluted. It can absolutely be as simple and pleasant as having a conversation with someone you are fond of.

Prayer becomes talking to your wisest, most caring friend. Meditation becomes listening to the songs of the trees and the stars. Worship becomes honoring the earth and the water and the sky. Enlightenment becomes falling in Love with the Truth of your own Highest Self, and recognizing the Highest Self within those around you.

Remember Love, though you may be talking with a Divine Being, you are also a Divine Being. The only difference is that at least one of you is currently existing in a human body.

traditional tibetan candle holders placed on table
Photo by Julia Volk on Pexels.com

By actively exploring the essence and qualities of Divinity and cultivating our connection to all things spiritually- including nature, community, and self– we develop a profound sense of mutual caring, respect for, and recognition of the wholeness of life.

When we begin to consider the traits which define the Divine, we first look to the archetypal characters found in the sacred texts, literature, and folklore. Our most ancient ancestors created and passed down stories of gods, goddesses, and the ascended masters to help learn and teach about the world around them as well as the emotions within them. We still hold these up as the perfect models that we aspire to.

To begin to recognize this Divine essence, let’s look at what are considered some of the most positive or pleasant characteristics attributed to Divinity. A few examples:

Sacred, Holy, Eternal, Truth, Blessings, Transcendence, Love, Joy, Peace, Creativity, Beauty, Goodness, Abundance, Generosity, Justice, Liberation, Freedom, Healing, Compassion, Kindness, Grace, Power, Sovereignty, Wisdom.

This is a brief, not an exhaustive list of many of the Ideals (standards) and Values (drivers) that we tend to assign to spiritual beings and deities across world religions and faith communities. Often these are Values that we also either look for in, or erroneously assign to, people in positions of power, governance & leadership, and Ideals that we individually strive to hold ourselves to.  

reflection from glass on black background
Photo by Maria Orlova on Pexels.com

So what about the characteristics that have become vilified? What do we do with the so-called negative or “low-vibe” emotions of Anger, Vengeance, Sadness, Jealousy, Fear, Hatred? Though they may be uncomfortable to handle, they are no less Divine than any other feeling. These are just as real, just as powerful, and just as necessary for understanding our experience in this life.

One of the biggest frustrations I have with so many spiritual communities is the phenomenon of “toxic positivity” that is alarmingly prevalent and ever-present. Toxic positivity is what I call the tactic of bypassing our more challenging, difficult, uncomfortable, or otherwise highly-charged emotions. Feelings like Anger, Vengeance, Sadness, Jealousy, Fear, or even Hatred have become vilified and labeled as negative or low-vibe, when all they actually are natural, normal, very human and indeed part of the myriad characteristics also found in the Divine.

Instead of learning what these powerful feelings are, why they show up, and how we can work with them to create positive change and transformation, we are taught all sorts of “mindset hacks” to avoid experiencing and expressing these emotions. This is not healthy and it’s not in alignment with reality.

It’s reductive and dismissive at best, and what’s worse is that we are shamed into believing that we are wrong or bad or broken for having these feelings, and we’re not spiritual or holy enough because we haven’t “transcended negative emotions” like a proper guru or one of the ascended masters.

The problem is that’s total Bullshit.

Expressing Anger doesn’t make you less spiritual. Wanting Vengeance doesn’t make you less holy. Neither does feeling Sadness, experiencing Jealousy, carrying Fear, or holding Hatred make you any less spiritual, holy, human, or Divine. All of these are real, they are normal, and they have just as important a purpose for us in our spiritual journey as do the light, bright, easy, lovely emotions.

Our work is to learn why we feel them, what triggers them in us, what messages they hold for us, and how we can work with them for our Highest Good without being shitty to others. There is beautiful, powerful healing available to us when we are willing to dive into this.

asphalt dark dawn endless
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Over the past week, I had the privilege of visiting a beautiful, healing retreat in the Arizona desert. This spa/resort held a Divine spirit that was palpable; so peaceful, so immense, so transformative. The majority of people there (of the few that were allowed to visit due to COVID restrictions) were totally blissed out, and without exception all of the guides that we encountered had a calm, positive presence about them that told of extraordinary journeys and lives deeply healed. 

Most everyone that we interacted with commented on my “positive energy” or my “great attitude” and stuff like that. And it’s true, I definitely shared the best of myself whenever possible. But what most people didn’t see, and most people didn’t witness, were the parts of me that I typically only share in the safest, most controlled spaces.

Only a small handful of folx got to see me cry, cuss, and use all of my mindset tools. Only a few were there to witness me push through my fear and physical limitations before I tapped out. Only my husband could hold me close and love me in my messiest places of Anger, Hatred, Fear, Frustration, Jealousy, and Sadness as I moved through them to find Calm, Clarity, and Healing. 

And that is the whole point of Transformational Positivity. In opening ourselves to experience challenges and allowing ourselves to explore the more difficult emotions as they come up, instead of pushing them away or stuffing them back down deep inside of us, we can begin to view old patterns in a new light, untangle ourselves from old stories, and move forward with a more empowered, clear, and healthy vision for our life.

We experienced some powerful mindset shifting, and some personal transformations of our own this past week. It was a spiritual experience that had nothing to do with religion, and everything to do with connecting to the Highest Power within, and seeing same spirit moving through everyone and everything around us, as much as they chose to open to it.

Toxic Positivity

The biggest difference between Transformational Positivity and #toxicpositivity is that the latter doesn’t invite or encourage you to fully express the difficult feelings of heartache, anger & pain when you’re suffering from the very real life experiences of disappointment, betrayal, abuse and generally shitty behavior from other hurt, angry, unhappy humans. That’s not Transformation- that’s just bypassing.

As a writer and speaker who values telling the truth AND is driven by a desire to ease our suffering, I often find myself in the sticky space of highlighting the transformation while still trying to honor the struggle. The struggle isn’t pretty, everyone wants to focus on the transformation, and yet I know that you simply can’t have one without the other.

As I continue to work on my craft, I know that I don’t always get the balance quite right. I have been guilty at times of focusing too much on one aspect without giving enough weight to the other, and that’s just not helpful. I want to thank you for supporting me as I keep on trying to help us express our whole life experience, the Light and the Shadow, without the unhelpful gaslighting and trivializing so often found in overly simplistic affirmations. Those have their place, but that’s just not here.

We do have the strength & wisdom inside to heal of our wounds. We are capable of moving through the hard and dark and daunting places of our past in order to step fully into our brightest light. There is such POWER in our words, YES, and we can create new ways of being in the world that are loving and supportive and keep us moving forward. AND. And. We must be willing to sit with our deep discomfort, our “low vibe” and “negative emotions” when they are triggered without being made to feel as though we aren’t awakened enough or spiritual enough for feeling them. That we’re somehow broken and doing it wrong.

Love, if that is the message you have been hearing in your search for healing, then I want you to hear this: You Are Not Broken. You Are Not a F*cking Mess. You Are Allowed to Feel What You Feel. You’re Not Crazy. You Are Loved, Amazing, Seen, Heard, and You’re Not Alone.

P.S.- I took great pleasure in creating the following Affirmations, which are anything but airy fluff. These have Teeth!