The other day, someone in one of my classes said:
"I hate all that inspirational stuff you see on social media, it makes me feel like there is no way I can live up to it. I just keep scrolling right past that stuff."
I thought that was brave of her to say that out loud and I’m betting there are more than a few people who feel the same way at times.
When do the quotes and positive memes become too much? Are we overly exposed to too much positivity? Do all the positive quotes and posts encouraging us to think positive, be positive, etc.; sometimes work in reverse and set us up to feel less than?
We are exposed to advice, quotes and teachings that imply if you are positive enough, or set your intentions correctly, magic will happen, and your life will be wonderful. But how does a person feel when she thinks she is doing all the right things and nothing is happening? Does she end up feeling like she is wrong, that she isn’t doing something right and then assumes that it must be her.
Or are the expectations seemingly so high that a person feels like there is no way they can attain or maintain a certain level of positivity, so they don’t even try?
I lean towards the opinion that all the wisdom quotes, inspirational memes and positive material isn’t that helpful when we don’t give the realities of day to day life equal time. I am not saying that you shouldn’t be positive and cultivate a good attitude. But I do think that we need to consider that we can’t be UP…all the time.
Of course we can aspire to be positive, to be a positive force in our lives, to choose to focus on the positive, while also making room for and accepting that life and circumstances can also be challenging sometimes.
We need to be honest with ourselves and others when we run into periods where we feel down or discouraged, or when we are struggling with something, because we all struggle and feel challenged from time to time. If we are creating a culture or community that expects positivity and inspiration as a constant, then we are ignoring the mucky but meaningful parts of our lives that can teach us just as much.
When we invite both positivity and truth into the conversation we are being vulnerable which can be scary BUT it is also a wonderful opening to conversations that are ripe with wisdom, compassion and understanding.
What are your thoughts on this? Leave a comment below!