“Being positive” is one of the most common obstacles to awakening for those in the new age community. There are positive affirmations and meditations meant to embed positivity into your life, and countless teachers building their practice around reframing people’s suffering with a positive spin. But what if being positive is not what we need?


The combination of meditation and positivity can pull people into a dissociative trance. It is self-avoidance masquerading as enlightenment. We have found ourselves in an addictive state of defaulting to positivity under any and all circumstances. There is a refusal to be present for all that is. The constant need to find the light in every situation prevents maturation in the deeper realms. There is an inability to fully support and hold the space for another’s suffering and a turning away from the growth work that is demanded by our life’s challenges.

The idea that there is a connection between our thoughts and a responsive universe is a vast improvement over the belief that we are alone down here and victim to life’s circumstances. However, the suggestion that all we have to do is change our thinking without the deeper work is a backward step. If the universe responds to anything it is authentic expansion – not feigned positivity or wishful thinking.

To heal the emotional body, we must understand that our job is not to gloss over life, to re-write our stories and pretend we are ok with what happened because “it is all meant to be”. The truth is that life is inviting us in. Life invites us into simple and sudden moments that contain a quiet and invigorating bliss. We are being called into ourselves. It is time to honor that calling. It is time to look fearlessly at what lies inside our hearts and to sit with it. Not to do whatever we can to change it and make it more “positive”. We won’t eliminate victimization by pretending that there are no victims. We won’t grow if we dismiss our feelings and emotional experience. Not to turn around the story but to turn towards it. It is time for raw honesty. To hold the space for our story’s with a depthful presence. It is time to really hear each other.

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