Fake Positivity

I only remember getting angry once in about 8 years and back then, in my mid-twenties, I was proud of it.

When I was 18, I threw myself into the world of motivational seminars and big dreams. The first event I attended had hundreds of people, all charged with hopes of success and financial freedom. It felt like I was on another planet. My simple adolescent beliefs were smashed wide open that day and my world instantly expanded.

Thousands of hours of personal development CDs and books later, the message from the gurus was clear - think positively and you will win. Doing my best to follow their advice, I disregarded all negative feelings and looked at the positives in everything, to the extreme. I was basically breathing affirmations at one point. The smiling face I presented was often fake and lacked any real awareness. I'd tell people I was "good" or "fine" regardless of what was going on internally. I was a permanent people pleaser, acting as the nice guy in everywhere from 9-5 jobs to my long-term relationships, whilst being disconnected from my true self.

Years of living this way became exhausting. It took a handful of people to “see” all of me and continually nudge me towards being real in both the feeling and expression of my emotions. It wasn’t about them forcing me to change though. It was about them loving me. They were vital in helping me close the gap between my true self and the self I wanted to project to the world. I'm forever grateful for that.

In recent years, I've realised that life is essentially meaningless. It's all neutral. Only when we perceive what's in our reality is it labelled good or bad, right or wrong. And it's through our perception that we see there are positives and negatives in everything, including ourselves. That's being real. That's being human. The difference is now I want all of it. To feel, explore and embrace both sides because for so long, I was only playing half the game, living half a life. My desire to be fully human is stronger than ever and there's no turning back now.