Is positivity ever negative? Positive people will shout, “Of course not!”
I have been transcribing an interview tonight on the law of attraction. Let me just say that I am frustrated with the whole idea on many levels. One of the biggest annoyances is that people believe it’s good to lie to themselves and deny reality. For instance, in this interview, the doctor is saying that if you wake up sluggish and not wanting to get out of your bed, you should just say out loud, “Wow! Today is a great day!” She says if you are in pain or unhealthy to tell yourself, “I am healthier and in less pain than I was yesterday.” She says that this will eventually lead to that outcome. You will eventually be healthier and in less pain because you will attract that reality to yourself. That’s absurd! So, does this mean that we can eat whatever we want and smoke and drink etc but (doggone it!) if we declare that we’re healthier than the day before, we will surely be healthier eventually. Hogwash!
What I really want to say is that, in general, this new age positivity kick is not all good. I’m not trying to be negative or Debbie Downer, just realistic. I don’t believe in being positive or negative. To me, this means that you are trying to make the situation something that it isn’t, either more positive than it is or more negative than it is. Why? Why not just see it for what it is? Why must there be tinted glasses or a colored filter? Maybe because the reality is hard to face. I try my best to always look at a situation for what it truly, genuinely is – good, bad, or in between.
For instance, some people believe that you should always see the good in things and in people no matter what. Look for a silver lining, blah, blah, blah. Those people just can’t grasp how this could ever be a bad thing to do. Well, what if seeing only the good in someone means that you leave your child with a baby-sitter who is less than stellar and maybe even molests your child? What if seeing only the good in someone means that you marry someone that is abusive? I could go on and on and on and on. There are so many situations where it could be wrong to only see the good in someone. The most common one I’ve seen as a counselor is that seeing only the good in someone often leads to not protecting yourself or your loved ones from harmful people.
We would all like to believe that the earth is full of roses and everyone is safe and kind-hearted. However, the Bible tells us that “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? I the Lord search the hearts and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” (Jeremiah 17:9-10). I see it as not only dangerous to just see the only good in someone but also unbiblical.
There are some people who will literally think about a person or a situation until they can twist it around in their mind to make it positive somehow. Why do they do this? Why work so hard to frame a situation in a way that is more comfortable for you? I’m guessing the answer is that they have trouble sleeping at night with any other viewpoint. Folks, reality is hard to face. It’s often sad and scary, but it is what it is.
Again, I am not trying to be Debbie Downer. I often see plenty of positive things in people and situations. I like to have a balanced and realistic worldview. But, in order to balance out the over-positivity of our modern day culture, I feel the need to take a harsher stance today.
What are your thoughts? Could it ever be negative to be positive?