The first few years having my own business, I built a body of work around pure positivity. I talked about watching the words we use, practicing gratitude, and the best mindset shifts… all very, very important things.
But sometimes positivity just looks like pretty polished words on a piece of paper… things you wish you could feel into, but you can’t, because your heart is so broken — your soul so shattered — that they remain simple words that “sound nice.” Simple words that leave you emptier than you were before, more alone than you knew you could be.
I still believe in being positive.
I personally vouch for the power of gratitude.
And mindset shifts? Well, they’re like magic for our lives.
But since walking through the most gut wrenching kind of grief, I’ve learned the power of owning and facing into the hard parts of life. The places that aren’t so simple or pretty or fun to call by name. And I also know the deep isolation that builds when people continually throw positive affirmations and “sayings” at you, because they don’t know what else to do with your tears or heartbreak or pain.
God never gives us more than we can handle.
Turn that challenge into opportunity.
What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.
You’re learning and growing so much.
And my least favorite… you’re going to be okay.
When we’re going through trauma, grief, heartbreak, or loss, we don’t need polished positivity, we need to be met inside our pain.
And we need to be met by ourselves, more than anyone else.
If we’re unwilling to face into the parts that are hard and that hurt… we’re never going to be able to fully heal. If we’re unwilling to name the truth of where we stand and all the awful emotions and feelings that come with it… we’re never going to be able to experience the full, rich range of joy and fulfillment. If we’re unwilling to name things for what they are — challenge, struggle, painful, hard — we’re never going to be able to truly and fully see what they can be… beautiful opportunities to grow or the foundation for a rich, purposeful life.
Spiritual bypassing and polished positivity don’t serve us. They don’t actually allow us to grow, they simply allow us to expand our collection of pretty, flowery words that we then throw around when we’re uncomfortable with what’s really going on. We hide behind them.
What I’ve learned in the last two years is that we don’t have to be so afraid of the words themselves. It’s all just semantics, and we have the power inside of us to change the meaning and energy behind them.
I’m not afraid to admit that I still struggle at times.
I’m not uncomfortable when things are hard or challenging.
I’m grateful and full of joy when I call myself damaged goods.
I know without a doubt that because I’ve fully owned, faced into, felt, and healed in these areas that I’m happier, healthier, and more aligned than if I just chose to talk about them in a prettier light.
Positivity has its place… and if you’re deep inside of the hard parts of this life, my simple invitation to you is to allow yourself the room to just feel what’s true for you, without attaching negative meaning to it.
The gratitude, growth, and gifts will come… they always do, especially when we face into the pain. Right now, let it be okay if things are hard. Welcome it. Feel into it fully. Cry or yell or write it out of you.
Meet yourself inside the pain.
That’s where the real healing begins.