I want to discuss a sensitive topic of toxic positivity and lack of authenticity in the spiritual community. This has come up for me recently, as I have been seeking an energy practitioner to help me with my emotional issues in my spiritual practice. During my interactions with these practitioners, I observed toxic positivity, lack of appropriate personal and professional boundaries, and denial and suppression of their own emotional issues and problems. This is particularly troubling as they are teachers/advisors to others, but they are unable to have a healthy emotional life.
I first noticed this problem with an energy practitioner and clairvoyant who advertises providing miracles to her clients. However, in observing her life, she has failed to provide for herself the very miracle she advertises. First, she had a sexual affair with a client/someone to whom she was providing advice. Then her marriage fell apart, and her husband left her which she then claimed to be the victim of abandonment. She preaches love and empowerment, but does not display these virtues in her own life. I do not deny that she may provide good advice to her clients, but shouldn’t she first apply this advice to herself, and give herself this miracle first? This illustrates someone who may not be authentic to herself and others.
The other issue facing the spiritual community is toxic positivity. It is defined as the overgeneralization of a happy, optimist state that results in denial, minimalization and invalidation of the authentic human emotional experience. In the spiritual community as I have observed, there is suppression and denial of any negative emotions. For example, when someone violates your personal boundaries, I have been told by a energy practitioner to send love to those who hurt us. That may be true in forgiveness after the violation, but first you tell that violator to stop violating your boundaries, and stand up for yourself. What I observed is that this practitioner ran away from her violator(s), and live in isolation from the rest of the world so she can avoid setting healthy boundaries, and stand up for herself.
There is another energy practitioner who suffers from mental illness, but outwardly displays a positive disposition to others. However, I observe his behaviors full of anxiety, agitation, irritability, depression, sadness, and isolation. Because he displays this false positivity to others, he can continue to deny his mental illness to himself and others. These examples illustrates toxic positivity and the lack of authenticity to oneself and others. Because of this toxic positivity and lack of authenticity, these energy practitioners can continue to suppress and deny their negative emotions, so no change is necessary allowing further isolation, and complacency. Sadly, this toxic positivity and lack of authenticity are not in the highest good of these individuals.
As a member of the spiritual community, I believe this continued suppression of negative emotions, and denial of the authentic human emotional experience will only keep us trapped, isolated, and stuck in the very negative emotions we are attempting to deny and suppress. To be conscious and aware in our spiritual practice, we must become authentic. Authenticity include both positive and negative. May you find authenticity in your spiritual life. (Copyright 2021 Discovery in Awakening with All Rights Reserved)