Is it just me?
This week’s 64MillionArtists WeeklyChallenge was this:
Post a photo, drawing or some text which encapsulates POSITIVITY. You might want to capture something specific which has a positive impact on your life - a friend with a million-dollar smile, perhaps, or a joyful pet. Maybe there's a particular place that brings out the best in you or some inspiring words that lift your spirits.
This made me feel quite angry when it arrived. At the point when it dropped into my mailbox I was not feeling happy and for good reasons and I was resentful of the idea that I should try to be positive. It seemed to me that positivity was something we were being told to strive for. If you’re down, do something which makes you feel positive. Why? I have good reasons for feeling down. They are real. My ‘negative’ feelings are real and appropriate.
I have nothing against feeling positive and nothing against things which promote that feeling. It was the word ‘positivity’, a concept that we should be striving for, to which I took exception. I had a piece drafted about these feelings.
Then I spoke to a friend of mine and found that she didn’t really agree with what I was saying. There are people who do need to try to be positive because otherwise they’d just go under. Some people have a lot to be negative about and no real choices so every little bit of positivity helps them carry on. Conversely, I thought of other people I know who perhaps aren’t the most positive people but who don’t seem to have all that much to feel complain about.
So maybe it’s partly a personality thing. I suppose I am generally a fairly positive person but when I look at my life I have many things to be positive about. I seem to have been lucky if you look at it that way, which I suppose I do. If you look at the negative things, I’ve certainly had my fair share of those too, so maybe something happens in me which stresses the good things in life.
However, when I do feel down it’s important to me that those feelings are validated. I have a right to feel miserable, or depressed, or even hopeless. I don’t want someone coming along and saying “Cheer up! Think of …”. And that’s probably why the word Positivity got right up my nose. So, for those of you who are not feeling positive right now - if you’ve got a good reason, then I’m sorry. There’s probably nothing I could say or do which would make you feel better apart from recognition and validation.
If you want to know what things have a positive effect on my life then I can easily list some of them, in alphabetic order:
and there are probably a dozen more I could suggest. However, if you want me to talk about Positivity, then I’m afraid you’ll get a grumpy answer.