Sometimes positivity is not useful, since it does not have anything to do with healing. Neither being positive or negative has anything to do with healing, because for one, healing is active by itself, it is an action of itself. Positive or negative are adjectives, stagnant, inactive, placements, which needs a verb to suggest movement, the verb “being” to fully achieve what they want to mean. Again, useless!! Useless, in terms of healing.
I am reminded of a physical injury which I am still yet to fully recover from. Last September, during a performance, I injured one of my fingers. I remember not feeling anything at the moment when my knuckle smashed into the rim of the drum. I remember the blood however. The blood spurted everywhere, and kept flowing excessively during the entire performance. I kept going and it is possible that the mixture of excitement and nervous adrenaline may have been the reason I felt nothing when the impact occurred. Of course, my finger eventually stopped bleeding, but the pain of it, the pain of the internal injury still has not stopped… Granted, the pain is not as intense as the beginning days of healing, but my point is that it still has not fully recovered.
I remember being concerned whether the injury would affect and hinder my playing the drums, because I could not bend, flex the finger without experiencing severe pain. I can do it now with at times not much pain, but the skin feels like it would tear apart when I bend my knuckle, because the injury trauma occurred at the joint. I wonder when and if it would fully heal…
I believe the reason this incident reminds me of positivity and negativity is that the healing of my finger has nothing to do with being positive nor negative, but it has a lot to do with time, enduring the painful process of getting well… And getting well never ends as long as you are alive. Who knows what other ailments will develop because this injury has now opened a vulnerability to other painful unrest that is perhaps outside of the normalcy of wear and tear, maybe in addition to wear and tear because I still drum.
I am starting to believe that the reason there is a huge encouragement and push by others to recommend such desires in fruitless statements: be positive, being positive; is that possessively, they do not know what else to say, but then there is the self interest involved in those exertions. Because no one wants to be around sadness. Not even sad people want to be around sadness.
I am a sad person, and I know that I do not actively seek sadness, even though sadness has been my companion for the vast majority of my life. I guess that statement, “misery loves company” is really an untruth, and a true misunderstanding of circumstances, and as well, how we are together and how we are not…
The group I attend every other week had a holiday gathering which was organized by my therapist. My therapist had everyone speak about what they were thankful for, talk about any goals they had achieved or they are working on. This was an incredibly difficult exercise for me to sit through, because I listened and felt the pain and struggles that my fellow fighters are experiencing. I wanted to leave because it made me feel even worse than I already felt, to hear such pain and see the tears, the blood. I said inside, I do not want to hear this, and this is key in my argument. My internal thought of fleeing and statement of, “I do not want to hear this,” is what is happening with the collective suggestion of “be positive,” “being positive.” A very vague remedy for pain, while pain is not uncertain. There is not a vagueness surrounding pain. So a vague remedy, just leads me to believe that it is a hot air balloon of self interest. Also, and because it is so vague, it leaves so much room for labeling/defining actions that are by chance ways of healing the hurt as negative.
There is not a formula for healing hurt, at least internal hurt. I have not discovered a structural format for the erasure of hurt. It seems to me that “be positive,” “being positive,” pretends to attempt this almost impossible science. To go back to my finger, because I found that my observations on the healing process of my finger was and is poignant, and if I am going to believe and entertain that there is a science to healing internal hurt, then I think observing how my physical body heals is the best point to start.
Like I said, time was and is crucial. I let my finger do what it needs and is capable of doing at the moment, undisturbed. I let it rest. It is like what a friend told me once when we were discussing this very subject about positivity. And she said that it is like having the flu, you let it run its course. I could not agree more. But, I also recognize that many of us cannot afford this run its course, because we are constantly weighing which is more severe: losing a finger over not having anything to eat? These are both impossible states to be weighed against each other. It just breeds more sickness, and there is nothing positive to breathe about after deciding that, yes, maybe my finger is not that important.
I was also active in helping my finger try to heal. When it was capable of doing basic movement, I did those small attempts. The physical wound had made new skin, and it seemed like the internal hurt that the joint experienced needed to start its process of healing. Whenever I could, I made small flexes. It was almost like I was reminding my finger that it could perform such actions. It was painful, but I endured the painful process of getting well. After a month, I noticed that my finger was improving. But all of this would not be possible without time.
If I were to apply this process of healing for internal hurt, who knows, maybe it would work. It seems more plausible than a vague remedy of a saying.
One of the things I noticed that seems helpful is being listened to without judgement, because like I said, healing takes on ways that may be viewed as negative. I have been trying to heal for a long time, and now what I have noticed in a false adoption is my inability to physically cry, even though in my dreams I am crying and inside I am crying. It is deadening to not be capable of simply crying. But in my act of being positive, I walk around with a smile and I laugh. People like you when you do these things. You can get a job if you are doing these things. Which reminds me of another saying: “Fake it until it is real.” Which just seems to share the sameness of “to be positive.” Except, it is also deadening to fake what you feel internally, and there is nothing healthy or healing about this practice. I understand that there is a consequential backlash to this, but honestly, if I have to fake how things are in order to get the help that I need, then this whole thing is just stupid. Because it is not a game, an equation nor a sum.
At my group’s holiday gathering, a fellow fighter was totally choking up and holding back her tears. You could see that she was; it was clear that she was trying to be strong. Another fighter got up and walked over to her and just genuinely hugged her. The tears flowed freely, and another fighter got up and gave her tissues. These little acts were powerful and may not have include a self interest. Most important, it made this fighter feel less alone and stronger in the process of healing. Crying is important in the process of healing. Yes it does involve enduring a deep pain to cry, but it is like with my finger enduring the physical pain of basic movement which actively helped. The brain is a muscle and actively doing activities helps, but the mind is totally under-discovered for each and every individual. Is not that what makes us unique? So if the mind is in pain, then the entire body is dying.
Another facet of “be positive,” “being positive,” positivity that is stifling and deadening is when your experience of pain is being compared to another’s. The thought that comparisons would present movement that is healing is a lie, a complete lie, which discounts both you and the person you are being compared to, to their experience.
I did not realize that the experience of severe pain was measured on a quantitative benchmark… I did not realize that the experience of pain was an item. This is where comparisons of something that is internally felt becomes deadly. There is firstly the assumption of an imbalanced model for pain, which seems to only happen when considering Capitalism. That you are better off than that person, a dynamic that is based on so many fallacious illusions, hate, and is just hurtful.
It is a hurtful, fallacious illusion equating your experience of what may seem like the bottom to you, to what you project as worst than or the bottom of bottoms for someone else. And this does not have anything to do with having a Zen thought. The idea of bottom suggests that you are dead, while you are still alive. Being dead inside and walking around alive is a horrible feeling. There is nothing positive about such a state. So how then, feeling good about your bottom is positive just because it looks better than the bottom of someone else’s plight?
Bottom does not invite the possibility of healing, because it is supposedly fathomable. Bottom presents no movement, no process, while living to heal is unfathomable, which makes this idea of bottom incongruous. If we are to entertain this thought dynamic that, “at least I am not this person whose bottom is worst than mine,” then we have no idea about compassion, empathy or even sympathy.
As I said, this comparison discounts both your individual experience of pain/hurt, and as well the other person’s, who you think their bottom is worst than yours, when they may not even feel like they are at their bottom. This process of comparing then becomes an insult for both individuals’ dignity, because this has nothing to do, or even comes close to addressing the real reasons. It does not even allow another perspective, but it however supports an ideal of self interest in the most negative of ways.
I am wearisome of positivity… There is a place and time for positivity and as well negativity, but not all the time, and honestly we have not achieved that thought of positivity collectively to even celebrate/adopt its notions. Most and many people are not capable of experiencing both mutually. So since positivity has not been defined “correctly” in a process that is helpful, in its role during the process of healing, it then becomes a typical band-aid: unrealistic, un-pragmatic, un-exerting any empirical evidence as a real scientific methodology for healing hurt.
What seems real, pragmatic for me while trying to heal, what I have discovered for myself is having TIME. Time to learn how to cry, to endure the feelings that are living inside, to understand them. To have TIME to learn new ways of coping, since some wounds are more severe than others. I am not undermining resiliency, but resiliency is very individual. It is even individual when you consider your body, and how it heals.
As for instance, going back to my finger, this was not the first time I have had an injury because of some activity, but this was a serious wound that I could not even go get checked out. It has taken a long time for just the skin to grow again, and stretch over, for the wound to close itself up. During this time, while skin was trying to reach each other, where the gash divided them, I worried that the wound would never close, but it did. It just took the understanding that time was necessary for the separated skin to really heal and grow again.