Wow, this has been hard. But I figured something out – a lot positivity is false positivity. I’m serious. I’ve been consulting with folks about this whole positivity thing and overwhelmingly I’m told to fake it until I make it. I’ve been taught strategies for assuming good intentions, deflecting passive aggression, not letting people intentionally derail me from my work, etc. All are very valuable, especially in the work I do (I’ve written about that toxicity before).
During these sessions, I’ve been told that I’m a movement builder, and I think that’s why I have a very hard time smiling and shrugging it all off in the name of positivity. I refuse to accept movements that are really social clubs – say the right words, look the right way, and you’ll get in. In my world, true movements find a place for everyone who wants to join and honestly believes in the cause. I don’t want us all to go back to grade school, constantly wondering what people really think of us, not knowing who will be our friends on what day. This is all stupid, innane, and childish. It’s a result of oppression that furthers oppression. It has real consequences.
And this has all resulted in something positive.
Yes, I just wrote something really negative and said it is positive. That’s right.
Here’s the deal. I think the most positive thing ever, EVER, is truth. Authenticity. Here’s a quick definition. This challenge is not only helping me see true positivity, authentic postivity, clearer, it is also helping me know my own positivity. I’m learning not to just throw fakeness out there for the sake of being bright and chipper. Instead, I’m able to identify aspects of situations that I truly do find to be positive and to delight in those real moments.
This is one of those moments. Hatred is certainly spewing all around us, especially in social justice movements, but there is something beautiful that is coming of it all. More and more people are learning how to authentically relate with one another. Real movements are being born of what have become false movements. And more and more people are learning to critically examine people’s motives, rhetoric, presentation, actions, and more. People are learning to challenge toxicity or simply walk away, stop playing the game. And that’s a good thing. It really is. It may be small, and it may be relatively hidden, but there is a movement of people who honestly care about peace and justice. Movements are growing that again focus on the issues, not personal pride, competition, celebrity, attention, and the like.
This is a very beautiful thing. This is positivity.
As I said in my introduction to this month’s challenge, I am hoping to do more than simply “ignore the poo.” In addition, instead, I am hoping to see the sparkle in everything. Well, here it is. For the rest of the month, when I share something positive, it will be something I truly, honestly feel is positive. I know I’m able to talk about the negative for what it is. This month is about the positive. The real positive.
Today, Lydia Guy Ortiz retweeted the following quote on Twitter:
Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, It is about learning to dance in the rain.
I may not be dancing yet, but I’m swaying to the music.