In most modern spiritual communities, there is the thought of remaining positive. At surface glance, this idea is wonderful. The world is full of negativity and chaos and we really could use positivity. We really need the cute puppy, kitty, and various animal videos online because they bring us into a state of positivity, of safe love, and take us away from the rest of the internet which is typically a bunch of arguing, politics, shootings, and various negativity.

I am all for positivity. I am all for gratitude. I think the world would be a much more wonderful place if we were all grateful for the things we have rather than focusing on what we have not… on seeing the good of the world and each other rather than focusing on the negativity and chaos that are so dominant in our world.

But I am for true positivity, true gratitude. Realness. It is well understood that we put on masks to cope with the world, to cover who we truly are. Most of the people that I see that are espousing this spiritual belief that “everything must be positive”… or light, or that we should not focus on the chaos and negativity of the world are quite negative themselves. The person with the most positive memes, the fakest cheeriest smile is typically the one that under the surface you can see the chaos, trauma, and negativity brewing.

I understand and have compassion for the fact that this is how people need to survive. That we are all doing what we generally think is the best we can do in this world. But in general the people who are constantly preaching about positivity, about love, about the oneness state and how it is bliss are not feeling those states themselves. And this fuels the jealousy, negativity, and “shadow” of people who witness them acting and speaking this way- others think that their lives are perfect, and blissful, and full of oneness and connectedness to all humanity. So this adds to the cultural illusion, the shadow. And any time we deny ourselves, what we are experiencing, what we are feeling it adds to the personal and collective shadow. 

So we have a situation in which someone is acting really positive but they are actually quite lonely, or chaotic, or even suicidal. They are denying themselves. That energy that they are covering not only festers underneath the surface of the individuals’ lives, but since it is not attended to it enters the cultural shadow at large. The jealousy, thoughts, and anger that the person who witnesses these people and do not understand that it is all an act also adds to this cultural shadow because it is a large energy that is also not directed at the right place (anger and especially jealousy point to our own trauma and desire for a different life).

These unattended emotions and self-denials create a cultural cloud, a cultural shadow. Individually we are creating our own little realities- our own belief systems, our own understandings of the world. But as communities, states, cultures, and even the world we are creating our communities, states, cultures, and the world. We are dreaming ourselves into existence. And right now we have a bunch of people creating huge cultural shadows out of not attending to their negativity, their chaos, their trauma. Our wars inside ourselves create our wars outside of ourselves. As an individual we do not create a war… but many individuals not attending to themselves and their true emotions and developing compassion and embodiment for themselves and others do.

One of the things I encourage people to do most is to be real. To know how they are feeling and attend to it. If we are angry, we should be angry. If we are happy, we should be happy. If we are constantly angry at every little things in our lives we should get help for it through bodywork, counseling, or meditation. We should attend to ourselves. We should not vilify any emotion, experience, or thought that we are having. By doing this we can not only have a clearer, dare I say more positive experience on this earth, we can also do our small part for releasing our unattended thoughts, emotions, and experiences influencing the collective energies of the community/state/society/world. We cannot do this with wearing masks, even if they are masks of positivity, “light”, “love”, wisdom, or anything else we would pretend to be. Once we finally are instead of pretending to be something we wish we were, we can become real in a society that is not, in a cultural narrative that is not, in a world that is not. We can free ourselves from all of the restrictions we have created for ourselves, and that our communities, genders, culture, society, and the world has created for us.