We need to stop the “positivity porn”

You cannot scroll through Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook without coming across a positivity post. I am totally guilty of having a great day and posting something uber positive because I am by nature ordinarily positive. I see the good (sometimes to my detriment) in most people, places, and things. I tend to make the best of bad situations and not dwell too much on negatives. Like everyone though ‘I have bad days too, and mostly I don’t share that stuff on social media because, usually ,the cause or situation is something personal to me. Also, because as an empath I do not want to burden people with my silly insignificant problems when the world is such a scary place to be, pandemic notwithstanding. All that was asked of us, humans was to stay safe. I love a nice positive quote or picture and I do find them to be uplifting at times. Other times I want to fling my phone out of a moving car and rage. People may read this and call me a hypocrite. But I digress.

The Corona Virus pandemic hit me in ways I did not think possible. I like many others spent a lot of time scrolling to look at the numbers, projections, and deaths. The outlook at times was bleak. But I guess there was a certain element of riding out the storm , practising resilience and just being. Something that astounded me though was the number of headlines encouraging people to use their time to regroup, upskill and bond with their children. I could just imagine some poor woman sitting at home thinking “Sure Jan, I am working from home, trying to entertain a teething toddler, not murder my partner and home-school an obstinate eight-year-old”. From my perspective my job went temporarily, and with it a massive part of my identity. I was floundering for a while, wondering whether to write, use social media or Marie Kondo my house. Truthfully, all I did was be unproductive and scroll. Everyday posting silly unimportant things on Twitter to occupy myself and others. I could feel their suffering through my phone, and was pretty sure they felt mine. My Wardrobes are still a hot mess, my spice rack full to the brim and the laundry still going. But I did what was asked of me. I stayed safe. I washed my hands , wore my mask and stayed away from my friends a family for the most part. When things reopened so did my social circle ( albeit on a much smaller scale).

It really struck me though how there is a whole new breed of people out there peddling what I call positivity porn and to be honest I did not like it one bit. It didn’t make me feel especially bad about me or my life daily, however on the days I was feeling a bit down or had PMs it did really bloody irritate me. I remember distinctly one week ,the only time I brushed my hair properly and blow dried it was to go buy tampons. Positive thinking and the Law of Attraction are relatively new buzzwords out there, a replacement for the older adages of you reap what you sow. While fundamentally I agree that inner dialogue is important , there is a part of me that feels, now more than ever that so much is out of our control. What if though you are massively anxious, depressed, impoverished or abused? How must it feel to someone who is in any of those situations to be reading about Life Coaching and enlightenment? You cannot think yourself well if you have a medical condition. As for yoga ? while it may alleviate anxiety for some it is not a cure for anxiety. I will tell you something I know for certain , no amount of crystals, seeking your true purpose or “living your best life” will help someone who has hit rock bottom. They do not need to be told to be a boss babe or live authentically. They are living in reality, their reality. They don’t need to be a leader. There are some things that you cannot manifest, turn onto a lesson or something positive, sometimes you just must endure it and while it is horrible, I guess in a way, that is life. I think it far healthier to have a jot of sympathy and empathy for ourselves and others rather than encouraging them to ask “what is this teaching me? “

I would consider myself to be emotionally intelligent, capable, and generally doing well in life. Obviously, that is subjective of course, but even now on a sunny Monday before I make my return to work, I am in a relatively good head space. I have plenty of what I love, a small home and car the bit of glam I love and a little peace. I do not actually need a lot, I am fortunate to have a great circle of friends and people I can rely on, and I have had to do that more recently. I have also tried to be a better friend myself. I am lucky that I recognise that sometimes I need help, a bit of therapy and all is right again internally. Everyone has a tipping or breaking point.

Twenty Twenty has thus far been an utter shit show. And who knows where or when it is going to end. This New Year’s Eve will be like no other as we wave goodbye to the year that the world stopped. Hopefully along with that the utter drivel that is the “blessed culture”.