Wednesday, October 7, 2015

On Struggling Times and Staying Positive

At some point in our lives we all will experience struggles and some form of suffering. Being a spiritual person myself and being active in the spiritual community I hear the same things over and over again. “Envision abundance” “Stay positive” “The law of attraction”. Apparently if you do all these things then your struggles will get easier and go away. But this is not true and to tell someone who is in the middle of a life struggle to simply “envision abundance” is to belittle their struggle. While I do believe that we should have hope that “better is on it's way” you should not expect yourself to surrender to this way of thinking while you're in the midst of suffering.

To tell someone that all they need to do is envision abundance is to demean and make light of their situation whatever that may be. I see it all the time. Just because we are spiritual does not mean that we won't suffer or that we should not feel our suffering. Life is good and bad, positive and negative, black and white and gray. It is not all rainbows and unicorns and glitter. It is not all fluffy bunnies and positive thinking and happy go lucky mindsets. Sometimes bad things happen. Life happens. And we should be made to feel that it's ok to experience our struggles and to experience the feelings and pain that comes with our suffering. To tell someone that they should not feel the pain of their suffering is to tell that person that the way they are dealing with their own struggles is wrong. And you're giving that person false hope. That all they need to do it is envision abundance and abundance will flow to them.

It seems that our world nowadays doesn't want to feel the “bad” only the “good”. But life is not all good. And if we keep teaching people not to feel the bad then we will never be prepared for when it inevitably happens because it always does. Yes, if you want to think positively it does help with your mindset. But it won't necessarily help with your actual real-life situation. Sometimes things happen in life which are out of our control. This is real life. We do not live in a fairy-tale world with only love and light. There is real suffering in our world and to ignore it and tell people to think positively is just wrong. It's one thing to give words of encouragement or to try and give someone hope. But it's quite another to tell that person that basically they shouldn't be feeling the way they do because if they just envisioned abundance they wouldn't be dealing with what they're dealing with now.

We are allowed to be upset if we are struggling. We are allowed to cry and feel like giving up when life is being particularly harsh for us. To allow ourselves to feel all of our feelings is to grow and learn and mature. To suppress those feelings is not healthy and it doesn’t make them go away. Of course we all love the good times in our lives and we don't like to bad times. But life is comprised of both regardless of how positive you are or how much mediation and yoga you do or how much abundance you envision.  Life doesn't care how many affirmations you say a day. Life is meant to be lived and experienced and feelings are meant to be felt. We need to allow ourselves to feel and experience the bad as well as the good. Yes the bad will eventually leave and the good will enter. It is about getting through the bad the best you can so that when the good does come, you can appreciate it more. And you will be stronger because of it. Being strong is not envisioning abundance. It is making it through a tough situation and coming out the other side all the wiser. And many times wisdom comes from lessons learned. And many times learning lessons is no walk in the park.

Feel all of your feelings and don't feel bad for it. You are not weak because you are struggling. You are not weak because you may not think positively during tough times. You are not weak because you allow yourself to feel the bad. You are strong and you're doing the best you can with what you've got. Know that you are not alone and try to comfort yourself the best way you know how. To all of those who are in the middle of struggles or suffering, I empathize with you. Your struggles are real. Don't ever let any fluffy bunny or sparkly, positive affirmation guru take that away from you.

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