Shedding light on the darker side of life
I am in a bit of a mood today! I blame the moon! but I don’t know about you but sometimes all the negative thoughts I’ve been pushing aside or ignoring flood my brain! Like many of you I am dealing with battles no one knows about. Well, a select few know but I do not share everything on socials. You guys get the highlight reel. My tribe get the day-to-day struggles. I do my best to be raw and real but I have also learnt the hard way that not everyone can be trusted.
Did you know there is such a thing as TOXIC POSITIVITY? yip, too much positivity can be bad! Why? because it requires sweeping issues under the rug that need to be dealt with. Jung calls it the “Shadow self”. Christians call it the flesh or “lies from the enemy.”. I guess being in Church for so long I learnt the art of toxic positivity but these last 3 years of deconstruction have stripped away the facade and revealed what lies beneath.
What is Toxic positivity?
Toxic Positivity is creepy, it can appear robotic and invalidates the human experience. The suppression of negative emotions can lead to trauma, the feeling of isolation and unhealthy coping skills. It is the dysfunctional mismanagement of emotions. There are two sides to this, either you suppress any negative emotions for fear of being judged or you judge others for expressing emotions that make you feel uncomfortable. Responding to someone who is speaking about their trauma with “ Just think positively” is not only unhelpful but it causes the person to not want to share their emotions because they do not have access to the magical think positively button. They can pretend to make others around them feel better but are not properly dealing with the issues at hand.
Toxic Positivity in church
I use the example of the church because it is a frame of reference I understand. Have you ever walked into a church and people smile all the time? It is not only weird but the fake façade of perfect people makes newcomers feel uncomfortable. In church, people are seen as sinners or saints. There is no room for the in-between. The process of sanctification. People are shunned for having struggles with sin. When the Bible calls us all sinners and Jesus’s own words say “No one is good but God”, but we have church leaders pretending to live holy lives faultless and without any sin.
Being a Christian means that you do have darkness and sin and this is why you need Jesus. Jesus is the sinless one, not us, and even Jesus knows this. We have to allow room for the grey areas, the walking, the journey of healing that takes time. If we adopt this grey thinking, we become inclusive and loving instead of shunning those we deem unworthy and judging them.
Owning your own darkness is half the battle won! understanding your dark parts helps you to conquer them and see the light. There is no point in hiding the dark parts. We are made up of both, light and dark, flesh and spirit, yin and yang. Shadow work is acknowledging and understanding the dark parts of you. Identifying what that is is the first step and sometimes not that easy. It could be suppressed quite deeply in your subconscious mind. It starts with self-awareness. No one likes to admit their weaknesses or uglier character traits but when we do we can begin to shed light on how to heal those parts.
Living an authentic life
Being authentic means sometimes not being liked when you let the beast out for a bit of air! haha…being truly authentic takes courage and the friends who stand by you in the journey of good and bad are the ones to keep! Thank you to my specials ‘who know where the bodies are buried’ and love me anyway. This is how I love but hurt me and I set boundary walls that keep you out…..a conundrum for sure!
Deep calls to deep