Mocktail Monday: Unpacking Toxic Positivity
Greetings to you!
If you tuned into our new IG Live podcast series with @martinimamaspodcast titled Mocktail Mondays, you might remember us discussing toxic positivity. This phrase has been trending as we see a rise in the metaphysical and self-healing movement. Toxic positivity, what is that?
Toxic positivity is adapting a perception that everything is just that, overtly positive. It's positivity at the detriment of our wellbeing. It's adapting a reality that omits the "negatives" and solely focuses on the positives. By not acknowledging the truth, we are disillusioned from unpacking the lessons and messages, which leads us to missing the opportunity for true self-healing. Like girl, how can we keep it real with others if we are not keeping it real with ourselves? It's the masks we wear (thank you friend) to help us cope with the discomforts and transitions through life.
Is there a difference between being honest versus being truthful with yourself? I am reading the book The Energy of Money: A Spiritual Guide to Financial and Personal Fulfillment by Maria Nemeth, Ph.D. (highly recommended). Dr. Nemeth distinguishes between honesty and truth. "Honesty clears the way for the truth. When I use the word truth, I mean the accurate facts or reality of a situation. The truth is measurable and objective, without embellishments." For example, imagine you said you were going to meditate at 9 pm and you did not uphold that agreement you made to yourself. Looking at the situation honestly might look like this:
I was going to meditate but I had to stay late for work.
I did not have time to meditate. I was too tired because I was up late studying.
Being truthful omits the contributing factors and just looks at the cold hard facts. I did not meditate because I did not allocate the time and energy to do so. I would like to add to Dr. Nemeth's teaching by saying to add grace to your truth. Be truthful with yourself but do so with grace and understanding that you're a divine spirit having a human experience and you are figuring this thing out.
So, what does truthfulness have to do with the topic of toxic positivity? Being truthful with ourselves helps us look at things objectively. When we can look at our reality without rose-colored glasses, we can assess and then take the necessary steps to accept and change when applicable. When I think of change, Dr. Nemeth's point of authentic action comes to mind. "Authentic action concentrates and amplifies the energy of money. All the insight and inspiration in the world means nothing if you don't take action that brings you closer to your goals and dreams". Although this book is focused on money- you can interchangeably replace money with your reality, emotions, perspectives, and whatever "it" is to you. When we can be truthful with ourselves, we are then able to create space to make those authentic steps toward acceptance, change, and progression.
Can toxic positivity affect your parenting? I found the answer to be a resounding yes. I am transitioning in my household- where we once had four members in my household (mother-in-law included) we have dropped to three. My mother-in-law supported me greatly during my first-year transitioning into motherhood. When she left, I found myself piling on my responsibilities in my household, mothering, and being an entrepreneur. I found it challenging balancing being with my son 21 hours out of the day, cooking, cleaning, writing emails, teaching, creating... it was a lot. I told myself, I got this, I do not need extra help- but I was so wrong. Just as Reka had mentioned, in last night's live, when we spread ourselves too thin, it shows up in our interpersonal relationships (paraphrasing). Spreading ourselves too thin can show up as anger, frustration, and aggression, and no one wants to be around someone who is bitter and angry all the time. All of this impacts and affects your baby. As we know, our children are deeply in tune with our emotional and energetic being. They feel every bit of our frustrations, aggression, and anger. Our pint up emotions can manifest directly in the way we interact with our children. It is our responsibility, to acknowledge our emotions, unpack them, and then release them- coming back into a space of emotional balance.
How can we support ourselves to support others (our family and children)? We can support ourselves by relying on our communities, creating space for us to do the true internal work, and having truthful and graceful conversations with ourselves, in which we can accept our truth and then make authentic actions. We are fully empowered to elevate from any challenges... we just have to be truthful.
Sending you love and see you next Monday.
Nemeth, Maria. The Energy of Money: A Spiritual Guide to Financial and Personal Fulfillment. Ballantine Pub. Group, 2000.