The human experience is defined by the full range of emotions.
We can BOTH be grateful for what we have and still feel pain and suffering at the SAME time.
Often women and mothers are made to feel guilty and ungrateful when they are open about their struggles and challenges.
There is a misconception that if you are struggling then you are not grateful…
When in reality these two emotions can live side by side.
You can be grateful for your pregnancy and still feel the emotions of being crippled by HG.
You can be grieving over miscarriage and still be grateful for the children you have.
You may have gone through hell and back with IVF to get pregnant, but not be enjoying your pregnancy and in turn be feeling huge amounts of guilt. Like I should be grateful right?!
Yet BOTH of these feelings are valid and one does not cancel out the other.
I have been talking with Katherine @thejoyfulhabitscoach and she explained that this way of thinking has a proper term – it’s called TOXIC POSITIVITY.
Toxic positivity encourages us to always be happy, always be grateful and always look at the bright side regardless of what we are actually experiencing and feeling.
Living a happy and joyful life does not mean denying, avoiding and belittling genuine pain.
Making peace with the fact that in life there is both light and shade and allowing yourself to experience and be guided by both allows for us to find comfort in all emotions. Listening and processing challenging emotions build resilience and perspective.
Katherine also shared some practical things to consider;
🌦When others show pain or share challenges your role is to empathize and validate rather than to “cheer them up”. Throwing phases out like you should be grateful or look at the positives isn’t the reason someone or yourself for that matter may need to share. Remember sometimes it feels good just to be listened too and heard.
🌈Allowing yourself to sit in uncomfortable and challenging feelings leads to growth and resilience. Being joyful and positive does not mean avoiding negative emotions at all costs. Negative emotions play a role in guiding us in life as much as positive emotions
☀️Gratitude is a powerful tool, It brings comfort and perspective however it doesn’t ‘cure’ challenges and pain.
I found Katherine’s tips provide a practical and refreshing approach to having conversations with ourselves and others.
You can find more about Katherine, and her mission to help women to find more joy in day to day life by taking control of the little things and creating space, time and energy for the big things on her website here HERE or following her tips mixed with a little fun and humor on Instagram
Have you experienced this yourself? Let me know your thoughts.