We all lean hard on the positive, but that’s not always what helps or heals. It’s not popular, or sexy or even something people want to know ~ but it is necessary. Me? I’ve been seeing red all season so far. Red is going to be my color this year I imagine. I’m fine with it. I like red. It’s the color of love, the color of autumn, the color of fury. There are times, women need to light a fire under it in order to get shit done. I’m in full transformation mode ~ a fire is needed. A phoenix will rise from the ashes. But first, she has to burn.
As a matter of fact, after years of being in the bubble of the upbeat, proactive, positivity movement … I had to speak up.
I’ve been ghosted by the field as a result. Oh, that and I refuse to stop being authentically myself, which includes open ended bold questions and cussin’ ’cause cussin’ is part of my language.
When I woke up to the realization that as long as I stayed cute, blond, young, upbeat, and flattering toward others … they welcomed me into the fold of the specialization of the positive.
Yes. We’re talking about psychology.
As soon as I started asking questions about how our field is serving ~
Financially fragile people ( “middle class”)
People of color, or people in minority status
Immigrent status people
Impoverished issues that people under the poverty line face
The “isms” ~ racism, ageism, sizesm (this one is totally ignored)
I was ghosted and ignored, unfriended and even blacklisted.
Yes. These power house big name people will back channel red flag you as ‘difficult’ when you start asking questions about hard topics.
And if you are a woman without clout or influence that is very public, you will be denounced as a nobody.
One aggressively rising male in the positive psychology movement came onto the scene by asserting himself into all of the influencer’s radar. I had been a moderator of one of the biggest and fastest growing Facebook pages, doing most of the work, while the tenured Professors w/the biggest names were also moderators, but rarely doing any of the work.
This guy actually said to me in a group chat,
“Who are you? Are you somebody? Are you somebody I should know?”
They LOL’d but didn’t respond or correct his rudeness. I did.
I told him it was a rude question. Just like several of these huge name power house people who are easily making 6 & 7 figure salaries as our celebrity psychologists, will be rude to people like me who were helping them promote their careers for years.
They have thanked me for promoting their books, or write about them in my now dead blog on the PP movement. But a few of them also grew into entitled people who acted as if they were doing ME a favor by allowing me to help them.
WHAT THE ACTUAL F8ck is that upside down and backward attitude.
How many things make me happy?
Ya ~ remember where you came from.
Ya ~ go ahead and blacklist the no-names.
One day, the no-names will have a name.
They will perhaps forget the words that you used, but they will never forget how you treated them or made them feel.
People in the motivational speaking and academic “my research proves… blah blah blah” field have their flaws too.
Some of them are so busy being in their own bubble, they don’t even realize how they come across to others.
This is one of the problems of people who are living on that success cloud.
We go into our own bubble, focusing so hard on what we want our lives to be, that we forget that the lives of others won’t reflect that.
How do you teach the positivity ratio to people escaping devastating life events? Can it be taught to them? Sure. Can they adapt it into their own lives, if they have severe PTSD, or have just escaped years of abuse? What about all the humans who are now refugees because their lives were intolerable where they were? They are traumatized 24 hours a day. Even their sleep is disrupted by trauma?
As someone who used to teach the positivity ratio while also going through hell on earth of a life experience myself … it works. I know research has come out saying the opposite, but I put it to work for my life and it worked. It first got me through the most painful days but I was still angry at it. Then, it got me through the less painful days, and I ended up embracing it. I still use it on those days I want to scream at the world. I’ll add a link in case you’re curious.
As much as I cringe when I hear “positivity” because it’s now OVER used …. the original, was a great book and reference.
No. We have to help ease the pain of the trauma first, and then, only then, after their basic needs are met, introduce the idea that our thoughts are powerful enough to heal our mind, body and soul.
Trauma bonded to a loop of fear based thoughts was the MOST difficult bond to break. I speak from experience and from working as a helping professional in the field of psychology.
We can glibly say, “Oh, you just have to think happy thoughts” to which that person is either feeling really shitty about themselves because they can’t do it OR< they are silently telling you that you suck at your job because it’s an unrealistic act you are asking them to take.
Empowerment is an inside job ~ so is healing.
We can bring the new ways of being, thinking and acting to the table. We can offer them as a suggestion. We can even create a road map to the table as we go on an explore of someone’s greatest epic journey. The journey toward feeling fully empowered.
I’m a guide to that universe so know the power of having a guide while walking through middle earth toward the ultimate destination of discovering who we are.
Sounds cheesy and corny. It is both of those things. For sure. It’s also the bravest thing some of us will ever do.
Dare to heal. Dare to live again when all we want to do is give up.
Feck those people who think they are more entitled to a good life or a wealthier life than others. One day, they’ll face their challenge. It is out of your hands. Be you. Focus only on you. Don’t forget where you started and definitely work toward having humility, but be you. Love is the cure. Self love is the way.
To feel empowered, we have to step in it. We have to step off that cliff of comfort so that we can set ourselves free of the cages we are put in along the way.
In peace and power,
(c) @happinessnoir @InkHoneyPub @K.ArenHenryMiller
Photo: K. Aren Henry Miller