There’s one issue that seems to run rampant in the Positive Psych/Self-Love community: the idea of being perfectly positive. Some gurus have even claimed that by thinking positive 24/7 one can build their ideal dream life, implying that any failure to achieve such a thing means a failure on their part to be optimistic enough. Manifestation- which while incredibly useful, should not become the center on someone’s life- ends up being the greatest action one can take. Ill luck or unfortunate happenings are demanded to be met with a smile because if you perk up you’re going to be okay, okay?
To put it bluntly, that is such bullshit. I never thought I would feel so inclined to write a post like this, but I feel like it’s my duty as a member of this community to be honest and warn people that are either new or in too deep. Especially when it comes to those of us that deal with mental illness, or any sort of chronic illness really, it’s simply dangerous to think this way. You don’t have to avoid negativity to lead a positive life. Your mistakes and mishaps do not define you, and your inability to live in perfect joy is sure as hell not your fault. It’s okay to be sad sometimes. Let me repeat: it is okay and even good to be sad sometimes. There would be no happiness or peace without sadness or chaos. Humans are hard-wired to feel a large variety of emotions and to assert that we shouldn’t feel one of the more negative emotions is a slap in the face of the whole concept of self-love.
Loving yourself means accepting yourself. Accepting yourself means feeling what you feel and understanding feeling shitty doesn’t mean you are a failure, that you can’t be a positive force in this world. Don’t let anyone tell you to cheer up and shut up. Positivity does not equal perfection and you are not required to ignore your feelings in order to properly love yourself. I’m not telling you to wallow in self-pity and never break out of negative moods, but give yourself a good amount of time to recognize, accept, and deal with those feelings. Just because you have high anxiety or battle major depression doesn’t mean you aren’t a lovely, positive person. You just gotta feel your feelings, as silly and redundant as it sounds.
I know this turned into a bit of a rant, but I hope my message came across clear enough. I love you very much, and am wishing you all the best for the times ahead, rough or smooth.