Embracing the negativity

It’s a common thing in supposedly spiritual spaces – advice about how to free yourself from negativity, and how to avoid being affected by the negativity of others. It’s one of those things that at first glance looks like wisdom. Negativity doesn’t sound very spiritual, transcending it does. But let’s break that down a bit.

Who and what is negative?

People who are critical – and sometimes that is worth avoiding, but these can also be people who are trying to help and avoiding negativity because you don’t want to hear you’ve messed up, is not a path to growth, wellbeing or enlightenment.

People who are sad. People who are in pain and grief and depression, who have been wounded by life, who have no hope or confidence or the means to help themselves. These are people who often need help, warmth, companionship and compassion. Vibrating ourselves off to some higher frequency where we do not participate in that pain, is horrible. There’s no spiritual good to be found in protecting ourselves in this way, it is a selfish, privilege  rejection of the suffering in the world. None of us can fix everything, but we can be open, we can bring love and care, patience and gentleness where we can. A spiritual path that has no time for the distress of others, is a route to being inhuman, unkind and self absorbed.

People who are angry. Anger is a hard emotion to deal with, in ourselves and in others. Anger directed towards the self can feel threatening. But if we aren’t prepared to look at why that’s happening, we can’t learn, or improve. If people are angry and we make no effort to understand them, we may miss out important life lessons. If someone is maliciously angry all the time, seeking those higher vibrations to avoid negativity won’t really help, it may even serve to keep us trapped in dangerous situations.

People who don’t care. I admit this is the one I find hardest. It is perhaps the most subtle form of negativity. The people who don’t care, don’t respond, do nothing – they can quietly suck the life out of just about anything. It’s something I want to avoid, because I find it exhausting. But at the same time, these are people who maybe need lifting out of themselves inspiring, cheering and encouraging. It’s good to be able to show up for that at least some of the time.

When positivity is relentless it becomes toxic. It isn’t a force for spiritual good beyond a certain point. We are meant to feel more than just happy all the time, and the rejection of great swathes of what it means to be human does not make us better people. If you are somehow happy all the time, to be closed to those who are unhappy is not a spiritual outcome. It means being less compassionate. Love is a messy, complicated thing, spiritual love included and if we do not deploy our spiritual love to embrace those who are manifesting negativity, then what even is the point?

About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

5 responses to “Embracing the negativity

  • anaelleamaya

    And also psychopaths from the past who don’t want to leave you alone.
    In my previous job (e.g), there were men, who were misogynists. They didn’t get women, and they had to harass women in the workplace. 🤮 Pretty pathetic! I don’t even wonder if a stalker who follows me online would be not so far away as from an ex job. Obsessive men can also be dangerous. Yuck! 😂

  • Meredith

    I have a lot of personal issues with the Positive Thinking arena because I have seen it used to just.. deny reality. As in, think your way out of this terminal illness, think positively out of your depression, think positively out of your leukemia etc etc and it just takes away any agency to actually deal with the problem. And also puts the blame squarely on the person suffering – if you only THOUGHT POSITIVELY enough, you wouldn’t have cancer type of thing. And I am extraordinarily not alright with that.
    Lots to think about – love your post

  • Sheila Murrey

    So many grand observations here! Yes! I believe it all comes down to Balance. And that can be achieved. It is doable. Fix everything—no. But feel better, feel good more of the time—yes. Help yourself. Help others. Love. Smile. No protection required. What is “Protection” about anyway? It acknowledges that there is anything/something out there to fear. And I want to “fear not.” ❤️🦋🌀🙏😉☀️🌱🎼

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