The Misconceptions About What It Means to Choose Positivity in Spite of Chronic Pain


The whole new age, positive thinking mentality is easily and commonly misconstrued as a band-aid for the deeper, darker feelings we have.

That, and it can piss off those of us struggling, when we’re in the thick of it, to hear a “just think positively” – like that instruction is going to truly help! Positivity cannot be inflicted upon someone struggling; they have to want to find it. The best thing someone can do if they know someone is struggling is to be an example: “tell me five things are you grateful for.”

I dislike that positiveness has been twisted by some followers into being an anti-human emotion movement, which is sad misconception.

I like to see the whole “positive movement” at its base, as saying OK, feel the deep dark difficult emotions, sit in them for however long we need to, don’t waste energy feeling guilty or like we attracted them – but try not to dwell longer than we need to and become reactive from it.

Instead, we can make small choices to feel better which puts us in position to become responsive to our pain, without letting it eat at us.

I have seen these new age thoughts be treated as an excuse for judgment or blame, which is only a reflection of the person doling it out, not of the movement at its core.

As someone with fibromyalgia, it’s important to make space for my pain, guilt, shame, misery and suffering. Am I sad, negative or angry sometimes? Heck yes. But, and there’s always a but, it becomes more deeply rooted the longer it goes on. The longer I comfortably sit in my misery, every day becomes more about surviving than thriving within the body I have.

I am finding that simple things like making gratitude lists, gentle movement, listening to music more often, taking more time to make myself nutritious food, unplugging, having small morning and evening rituals, meditating every day, reviewing what I am proud of and value – all that shit – it actually helps me feel better. In turn, other people or situations begin to bother me less because my focus is to feel good.

There are definitely some people who might want to make others feel poorly for self-care, but do those people live your life? Nope.

So do what you need to do to feel good until it becomes habitual because it is possible to re-frame your entire world with just a few small changes.

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” – Jim Ryun

This post originally appeared on Warrior Goddess.

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