I do read a lot on the internet about healing and mental health. I am very interested in how other people approach this topic both because of me and because I am working on workshops for people in therapy. I myself write about it. But there is something that worries me, a generic and almost religious approach to the healing process. Happiness and positivity. Sure, both are important and make us feel better. But only if they are true happiness and true positivity, at least for me. Once again, I do only write about me and my perceptions, about what works for me. You are a completely different human being than me. But I know that I am not the only one with this perception.
For decades I’ve been pressed with happiness and positivity, as if I should hold to these concepts in order to be happy and positive. But that meant denial. It felt like a facade, and it was. My unhappiness and negativity are very important. Not because I prefer them, but because I want to treat them so I can find a healthy balance. It wasn’t until I decided to stop listening to what the majority told me that I made the most important step in my recovery.
I do respect people who believe that we are what we think and we are what we eat, but that doesn’t mean that I must believe the same. I am far more complex than that. Why do I think the way I think? That’s more important for me. Why? Because I do have self respect and want to learn and keep on growing as a human being.
Life is brutal, there are more than enough reasons to be mad about injustice and world crisis. Is the solution to all our common problems to avoid them? No, I don’t think so. We as individuals ain’t going to solve everything, but acknowledging that we all have common crisis to solve is a very important step to take if we want to solve any of the many crisis we face.
Does denying the climate crisis make it disappear? Does denying problems make them disappear? Does denying negativity make it disappear? Does denying unhappiness make it disappear?
Proportionally, happiness and positivity focused healing is much higher and easily found than a real holistic approach. I’ve been fed happiness and positivity for decades in different ways and at different levels. Through advertisement, movies, friends, magazines, blogs… everywhere! As unavoidable as religious symbols which are fed to us everyday. So I ask myself, how is it posible that something so widespread doesn’t work? Am I and millions of other people doing it all wrong? No, we are not. It simply is an option that does not work for everyone because we all are different. So I am honestly done listening to that “focus only the positive“ movement.
I won’t get tired to say that what works for me doesn’t necessarily work for you. I don’t expect anybody to believe me, and I am fine with that. It hurts to see people hitting the happiness facade over and over again, but hei, it’s their head not mine. If repeating “I am happy” makes them happy so be it, but why do some of them try to feed that mantra to me? Do they know me better than myself? Do they seek my approval? Do they feel like they are in a higher position than me? Because that is how it feels, like they try to show me that they are right and I am wrong. No matter how good their intentions are, when somebody takes that position without trying to understand who I am I then feel like they are trying to put themselves in a higher place. As if they are repeating something they self have been told by others. And because they choose to follow other’s paths so should I. Well, no. I ain’t doing that no more.
I’ve had long talks with people who tried to sell me their religions and gods. Yes, they actually try to sell something so intimate. I do always ask them the same questions “if your god is so almighty, why is it then sending you to sell me your beliefs to me? Why should I believe that you are its voice? Why don’t you believe that your god will find its way to me by itself? Why do you consider yourself more illuminated than me? Why do you throw your most intimate beliefs to me even when I didn’t ask for them? Would it be okay for you if I just show my most intimate me to you? Why don’t you look at yourself instead of trying to convince that your beliefs are the right ones?”.
The same applies to the “focus only on happiness and positivity“ movement. It has never worked for me, and when I decided to stop trying and accepted that every single negative though is as important as every positive though… PLAFF! It happened! So I am really happy for all those who find comfort in the happy and positivity movement. But for those who don’t get better no matter how hard they try to focus on happiness and positivity I would then ask them to consider the possibility that maybe accepting life‘s brutally will be more enriching and listening to the negative thoughts may enhance personal growth. But this is a very personal choice and I only know what works for me.
In my modest opinion, the need to convince other people about the way out of a personal struggle may actually be a symptom of self denial. Don’t get me wrong, it is beautiful to help other people, but why and how we help may say more about ourselves than we are aware of. Sincere help will always acknowledge individuals, helping from a “higher knowledge” position with strict rules and steps to follow may actually be what the helper may need to do, not the helped. And when this kind of help is passed on it may be leaving a trace of unresolved problems for each individual who predicates this kind of help. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why this movement has not really fixed so many people’s struggles, because it ain’t sincere help. This is obviously only my perception based on my own experiences, I know what I needed and need to keep on doing for my own healing. I know where I was, where I am and where I want to be. I know what I am capable to do. And believe me, it ain’t because I focused on positivity or followed instructions about how I should be managing my thoughts. The only way I can help other people is by inspiring them to find their own healing process. And the only way to inspire others is by being open and showing that I actually found my way out by acting congruently. The only way I can help others is by doing what I am good at, not what I am expected to do or say. The only way I can help other people is by being honest about the help I can offer and why I offer it.
If you want to help, be honest with yourself. If you want to help take first a big deep look into yourself. If you want to help you should be honest and stop repeating generic pseudo mantras. Accept diversity and individuality before acting as a recording with other people’s words. If this provokes you, ask yourself why. If you feel like you need to prove me wrong, then take a moment to consider why. I am doing fine and don’t need to be converted or convinced. We can all learn together, but I won’t accept being told what is best for me anymore. I’ve managed to get rid of chronic pains and much more, I don’t need no external confirmation because I do know that I am doing what’s right for me.