REAL TALK (a piece on why I value being real over being positive)
POSITIVE. Throughout the past, people have always described me to be a “positive” person. I used to take that as a compliment.
Over the last 3 years though, since my accident happened, my views on “positivity” have shifted.
“I’m doing amazing!”
(insert smiley face here)
These were my common responses to others when asked how I was doing.
TRUTH: POSITIVITY IS A PERSPECTIVE.
It is a BIAS towards looking at life in a particular way.
Little did I know that by always focusing on the good, I was being DISHONEST with MYSELF. The truth is that the last 3 years have brought with it many moments of physical pain, sadness, frustration & irritation, anxiety, insecurity & fear.
By ignoring the “bad” & only acknowledging the “good” – my “positive” outlook on life was actually preventing me from moving forward & truly healing. For how can you move forward if you cannot first acknowledge the TRUTH & REALITY of where you are in the present moment? (even if the moment feels horrible.)
I’m not saying that it is not helpful to BE POSITIVE. I wouldn’t be the stronger individual that I am today if not for an attitude of HOPE.
What I am saying though, is that there is MORE benefit & HEALING POWER to simply BEING REAL.
The REALITY OF LIFE is that it is only as GOOD as it is BAD.
So why deny the pain?
Why deny the rain?
It’s gonna come.
Denying it would be…
As Rocky Balboa has said: “life ain’t all sunshine & rainbows!”
You are only as successful as you have failed.
You are only as brave as you’ve been fearful.
You are only as strong as you’ve been weak.
SO LET’S BE REAL.
We are human beings with the ABILITY to experience a full spectrum of thoughts, emotions & sensations – both positive & negative.
This ability is a GIFT.
So why can’t you let yourself experience the FULLNESS OF LIFE? Both the “good” & the “bad?”
Are the “low” moments of life less WORTHY of your PRESENCE & ACKNOWLEDGEMENT than the “high” moments in your life?
Life is comprised of ups & downs.
If we only focused on the ups, then we’d be DENYING HALF OUR LIVES!
Now there is surely a time & a place for being positive.
For instance, one my personal sayings is:
“WHEN SHIT HAPPENS, USE IT AS FERTILIZER & GROW.”
That’s obviously a positive outlook.
But, before I can move forward with the INTENTION to use shit as fertilizer…I have to first BE REAL & acknowledge the REALITY that what has just happened IS shit! Not flowers, not gold…but shit!
How can you problem SOLVE if you don’t acknowledge the PROBLEM?
How can you HEAL a wound if you don’t acknowledge the WOUND?
Now my next point can perhaps be driven home best with the help of the symbol of the YIN & YANG.
This symbol is more than just about BALANCE.
This symbol is about REALITY.
The reality that not only is life as good as it is bad…but the reality that even in the midst of great joy, there can be some pain…the reality that even in the great depths of sorrow, there can be happiness.
This is not about being positive…
…this is simply about BEING REAL.
This is about acknowledging the REALITY OF LIFE.
Acknowledging things when they are good.
Acknowledging things when they are bad.
Hey, I can be down for positive talk…but I’m always UP FOR REAL TALK.
Let’s encourage each other to be real with ourselves.
Let’s encourage each other to be real with our lives.
Let’s encourage each other and JUST BE REAL : )
The next time someone offers me a compliment, instead of calling me “positive”, I hope they simply call me “REAL.”