The Numbing Effect: Positivity

One the biggest mantras today for success and self-preservation is positivity. Think positive, be positive, and do positive things, while having a positive attitude. And don’t get me wrong, I know there are times I allude to that philosophy and worldview, and I do think that positivity and the essence of it is great and definitely has a place in the culture and society today, simply because of all of the negativity that goes on, and to be honest, not many people enjoy actually being around people who are always negative. So, yeah, I get it. But for some time now it’s began to bother me.

The problem that I have witnessed is that when people are so positive, they disassociate from their own emotion it seems. As much as we want it to be, life is not all peaches and cream, smelling of strawberries, and what a lot of people do is they seem to negate that life is tough. And a person like me, it’s hard to open up to a person that is so positive as to where it seems as if nothing is ever wrong and if I try to share, I’ll be hit with a positivity speech. It’s hard to connect with people when the response to the pain of life and struggles is a simple “stay positive,” because either I’ll think they are full of it or I’ll build up a wall because they show no possibility of honesty or wisdom…I’m sorry. I got carried away, so moving on.

Now like I said previously, it definitely has it’s place, but so does negativity. And truth be told, often times negativity is reality, so we wind up in a conundrum when we disregard reality, because often times that means that things are not confronted or dealt with and all we do in turn is create more masks to wear, and things aren’t dealt with. On the flip side, positivity often forgets that things will not always turn out the way we want them, no matter how positive we were or how optimistic we are.

There is a saying that goes “to blessed to be stressed” that was referenced in a sermon I heard as a bad philosophy and that is so true! In theory it sounds nice, but it further pushes a gospel that assumes being a Christian means you will never be stressed out, have a bad day, or have any trying times, that life will be honky dory and if you feel stressed or anything of the liking, you are not doing something right. That is so far from the truth. Yes, the Bible has plenty of scriptures of God’s promises associated with positivity, but there are just as many that remind us of the hardships in life that shouldn’t be overlooked. I mean look at Jesus. There were many times he was stressed, tired, sad, and weary, but his livelihood was rested in that fact he knew who his Father was, and at the same time, he was vulnerable with other people so they could see that it was okay to cry or be angry.

Bottom line, if we aren’t careful and guard our hearts, positivity will numb us to the reality of the world around us and we will miss the opportunities to really minister effectively and or share Christ. It can truly desensitize us to deal with issues mentally, emotionally, spiritually, financially, and even physically, because more times than not, people don’t need positivity, but a sincere raw truth about their situation spoken in love, which means it won’t always tickle their ears, although ear tickling is what many people are getting these days. Furthermore, there are some things, situations, and people that don’t deserve a positive response or there truly is not one that can be given for one reason or another. I mean Scripture points out that the obtaining of peace often comes by way of war, and some times a negative action does require a negative response (through wisdom, discernment, and direction), but I digress, I don’t want to go to deep of the trail here, plus I feel like I am beginning to ramble again.

With all that said, be positive as you strive to be your best self for a purpose, just be careful not to allow positivity to cloud your sight and the dire realities around you, that you become an anesthetic or band-aid, to the problem(s) you were meant to be an answer to.

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