Toxic Positivity vs. Active Faith
If you've opened your phone or made your way online, you've probably come across some manifestation guru telling you that if you believe hard enough and maintain positive pure energy, you'll receive the desires of your heart. As if everything that you could ever want will just fall into your lap if you are just positive and believe enough. Yeah, that's not how it works. Don't believe the hype.
While it does pay to have a positive mindset, the reality of the situation is that real shit happens in life that makes you think in feel bad. You may be on a roll paying bills and dominating debt and an accident occurs that wipes your accounts clean, or even focusing on your own self-care and doing what's necessary to heal emotional wounds from the past only for your mom to call which takes you all the way back to the beginning. This stuff doesn't feel good and you can't just ignore your feelings to think that everything is okay. Everything is NOT okay, but it can be.
Kendra Chelly of VeryWellMind defines toxic positivity as the belief that no matter how dire or difficult a situation is, people should maintain a positive mindset. That's like beating someone's ass and asking them to stop crying or feeling pain because they're still alive. Life is full of challenging and downright difficult experiences. It isn't about always thinking positive in the midst of chaos that brings about change in a person's life, but believing that better is possible and actively finding the path it would take to navigate from where you are in your personal life journey to where you'd rather be. It takes more than just believing its possible and feeling good to get there. You have to put forth the action to make it possible.
Your mindset has a lot to do with whether something is possible for you or not. If you're more pessimistic then you will probably have a challenging time seeing all the avenues available to you and making a wise decision that would help move you along. You might look at a situation and say "I know that I want to reach more people, but I don't have what it takes to make people interested." That's not a truth that you have to choose to believe. You could choose to focus on what is impossible, or you can research what is possible and form a plan that consists of small realistic steps to make it possible for you. It's not possible to get from "I'm broke" to "I'm rich" when your focus is on how broke you are. You have to believe that it's possible and that you deserve to be rich and then create your path to wealth and most importantly...WALK IT!
Toxic positivity says that if you ignore all your problems and believe that everything is good then they will be. And that shit is unrealistic. Ignoring all your problems is the definition of ignorance. Instead, you'd want to understand what the problem is, identify what exists between you living in the problem and living in the solution, and create and EXECUTE a plan that will remove those barriers and propel you to the solution. You have to believe that it's possible in order to work, and you have to do the necessary work that it'll take in order to make it happen, but you can't just say "screw what's going on, it'll all be okay." That's how you end up broke, alone, and bound by your circumstances.
Active faith requires you to do some work. And if you're trying to get somewhere grand, it's going to take you easing your way into each step of the process and doing what it takes to navigate through it. Without the faith you can get burnt out and never make it to your destination, and without the action you're just walking around believing that your change is going to fall out of the sky. When I finished graduate school I had no idea where I wanted to work and had no job lined up. Something told me to collect what I had and move to the Chicagoland area. Now, at first I was like "how the hell am I going to do that without a damn job?" But, I had faith that it would be exactly what I needed so I trusted the universe would provide, I put together a plan that fit my situation, found a place that fit my financial situation at the time, and made it happen. Within a month of me moving I landed a job.
Faith requires action, not just positive thoughts. The game of life is simple, ask for what you want, believe that it is yours, align with the energy of having it, and the universe has no choice but to respond to you by bringing what you've asked for. If you feel that life is overwhelming you with burdens or stressing you out, find peace in prayer and meditation or talk with a trusted friend or relative. Steer away from gurus or other folks that minimize or exaggerate your feelings. If you find that there is no one in your circle that can help you sit in your feelings but encourages you to get back up, speak to a professional that specializes in the area that you are having difficulty. Life is a journey of ups and downs. Not everything is going to be roses and sunshine. You have the power to navigate through your situations to get to the other side and learn the lesson you're meant to learn. Don't be deceived by folks spitting toxic positivity. Not everything will be easy, but you are equipped to overcome anything that you are brought to.