My quest with this calling started not in a university’s holy rooms, but in life’s chaotic, tender. I grew up in the white suburbs of apartheid, a nation and culture dedicated to not believing. To refuse. It’s ignorance that enables 50 years of discriminatory laws because citizens. And still, I first heard about the destructive force of personal rejection before I knew what it was.
My dad died Friday. He was 42, and I was 15. My mother whispered before I went to school to say goodbye to my father. So I set my backpack down and crossed the passage to where my father’s heart laid dying of cancer. His eyes closed, but he realized I was there. I still feel shown in his presence. I said I loved him, said farewell, and left for my day. At college, I drove to biology from chemistry to mathematics while my father slipped from. From May to July, September to November, I went with my normal grin. I didn’t lose one grade. When asked how I was doing, I would shrug and reply, “Yes.” I as powerful. I was the okay boss.In South Africa, where I come from, ‘sawubona’ is the Zulu word for ‘hello, being positive.’
Beyond emotional rigidity
But one person didn’t buy into my grief victory tale. My eighth-grade English teacher fixed me with blazing blue eyes as she circulated. She said, “Write your thoughts. Tell the facts. Write like nobody’s reading. “And like that, I to turn up to my sorrow and suffering. It was an easy gesture, but nothing short of a revolution. This movement began 30 years ago in this blank notebook that influenced the work of my life. Myself ‘s private, quiet correspondence. As a gymnast, I began going beyond the rigidity of rejection into what I term mental endurance.
The beauty of creation is inseparable from its fragility: before we are. We stroll sexy through the streets before one day we know we’re unseen. We nag our kids and one day remember that there’s quiet where the kid once was, finding his way through the future. We’re safe before our knees. The only consistency is confusion, but we don’t treat this frailty or . The World Health Organisation reports depression is now the single leading cause. And at a moment of greater uncertainty, unparalleled technical, political, and economic.
On the one side, be brooding our thoughts, trapped in our minds, hooked , or victimized by our news stream. But, we may bottle our emotions, pushing them aside, and having only certain. In a recent survey I conducted of over 70,000 participants, I noticed a third of us — a third — either blame us for. Or brush these emotions back. We do this not for ourselves, but also for those we value, including our kids — we can bully them out of feelings viewed as being positive.
Relentless Positivity Oppression.
Natural feelings are often seen as good or evil. Positivity has become a new form of moral correctness. People with cancer are immediately advised to be hopeful. Men, avoid getting mad. And the collection begins. That’s a dictatorship. It’s positivity tyranny. It’s unfair. Unkind. Unkind. And ineffectual. And we do that to ourselves, and to others.
If there is one general characteristic of brooding, bottling, or false positivity, responses. And if there’s a single thing we should draw from apartheid’s eventual collapse. It’s unsustainable. For communities, households, economies. And when we see the ice caps disappear, it’s unsustainable for our world.
But as we drive out real feelings and accept fake positivity, we neglect our opportunity to build positive.
Data on emotional repression reveals that feelings become deeper when put back. Psychologists call enhancement. Like the irresistible chocolate cake in the oven, the longer you want to forget it, the stronger your keep. You may believe you regulate unwelcome feelings when you neglect them, regulate you. Mental suffering still appears. Still. Still. Who pays the price? We’re doing. Our families, friends, societies.
Now, don’t mistake me. Not anti-happiness. I like to. I’m a happier guy. But as we drive out real feelings and accept fake positivity, we neglect our opportunity to build. I’ve got hundreds asking me what they don’t like to experience. They suggest something like, “I don’t want to continue because I don’t want to be.” Or, “I want it to go down.”
“I understand,” I claim. “Yet you have the ambitions of dead people.” And dead people never get unwanted by their being positive emotions.
Just dead people never get stressed, never get broken hearts, never get upset by the loss. Tough feelings are part of our life contract. You don’t have a fulfilling job, raise a baby, or exit the earth without difficulty and pain. Discomfort is the expense of a meaningful life being positive.
So, how can we dismantle rigidity and accept mental agility? As that young schoolgirl, I began to end the thoughts on what I could be thinking as I leaned into those blank pages. And instead opened my heart to what I felt. Pain. Pain. And sadness. And it’s a failure. And I’m sorry.— Gilbert K. Chesterton”]
Then, there are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds and this is real.
Analysis already demonstrates that progressive recognition of all our emotions — even the chaotic. Yet emotional agility is more than emotional approval, we all recognize that consistency. I considered the words key in my own study. Then, we also use short, simple labels to identify our feelings. “I’m stressed,” I hear more often. But there’s a lot of difference between depression and dissatisfaction or tension. By marking our thoughts, we’re better likely to distinguish the exact source of. And what scientists term our brain’s “readiness capacity” making us take immediate action. But not only some moves, the correct moves. Then, our emotions are info. Our feelings include flickering lights that are positive.
In our environments, we prefer not to experience heavy emotions to objects that rep. If you’re upset reading the news, the anger is an sign you respect justice. When we’re open to challenging feelings, we may produce values-aligned reactions being positive.
Although there’s a major caveat. Emotions are info, not orders. Finally, we should stand up being positive.