This year has been highly saturated with wishes of love and light and good vibes only. It’s hard not to see why. 2020 has certainly not been easy for any of us with transiting Pluto in Capricorn influencing extreme societal changes. Toxic positivity has become rampant this year in retaliation to all the hardships we’ve faced as a global community. It’s particularly common within spiritual communities, which only maintains the idea that spirituality = disillusion and the erasure of reality.
It’s in our human nature to combat darkness and all that’s bad in the world with optimism and positivity. Good vibes only is a declaration that we do not welcome any negative thoughts, energy or intention into our space. Love and light is a defending response against any bad energies that surround people and experiences. We may believe that we’re doing good by repeating these mantras, but they’re only impactful on a surface level while doing much more internal damage. They only sound good. Preaching love and light is restrictive and overtly dismissive of the balance of light and shadow that encapsulates the universe. We cannot begin to understand and heal ourselves and the world around us if we only acknowledge one half of existence.
T O X I C
P O S I T I V I T Y
Toxic positivity as a phrase refers to the belief that the right way to live life is through the rejection of anything that may trigger negative emotions. This perpetuates the idea that positivity, love and light are the only acceptable energies. Light and shadows does not translate to what’s good and bad. Positivity and goodness isn’t what’s most relatable, it’s just the most openly acceptable and therefore easily understood. These are definitions that we ourselves have created out of fear of all that we don’t understand. Toxic positivity is a mentality that we must alter as it is detrimental to our growth and self-acceptance.
Excessive positivity reduces the sense of realism about ourselves and the world around us. It oversimplifies our experiences. It reinforces the harmful idea that everything should be positive and that when things are not all positive, it must mean that there is something seriously wrong. By shutting out anything negative, we aren’t removing darkness from the world but are lessening our understanding of life unpleasantries. This only breeds ignorance, denial, shame and a severe lacking of social and personal awareness.
E Q U I L I B R I U M
The balance of light and shadow is present within ourselves, the world around us and in the universe. We would not be whole without this equilibrium. See what’s light and shadow as a representation of what’s accepted and unaccepted. Understood and misunderstood. On the surface and deeply internal. It’s not so much darkness itself that triggers our overly optimistic responses, but the inharmonic balance between light and shadow.
By preaching love and light, we are seeking to breathe more light into the world to balance out the increase of darkness. Light and shadows are interwoven. One cannot exist without the other. It’s the innate balance of everything and everyone in existence. The Taijitu of the universe. The two halves (Yin and Yang) which rely on each other and together create wholeness.
Inner transformations and soul growth can only be achieved once we accept that we were not created to be all light beings, but a dual blend of the two. We must develop an honest acknowledgement of the darkness within ourselves that reflects raw, human experience. We have to let go of the restrictive belief that we ought to be positive, optimistic, light beings at all times. Breaking this cycle of deflecting negativity will allow us to instead validate and create an understanding of reality. Only then will be able to love our core selves and accept the balance of life.