There’s a new church in town…the holy church of positive thinking. The crux of its belief system is that we can control material reality merely by the way we think….a bit like magic. It’s a dogma which has evolved from the all pervasive Cognitive Behaviour Therapy which underpins our mental health services, the cheap skate version of real psychotherapy. It’s a belief system that blames the victim for all her problems. If we get sick, get raped or mugged or burgled or abandoned or our home is flooded, we are somehow to blame because we have ‘too much negative energy’. If we are poor or weak it is our own fault. We should try harder. Apparently, according to nit-wit pundits like Nigel Schofield we could all be rich and famous if we were only more positive.
While I wholeheartedly agree that taking a positive attitude when dealing with the many problems that challenge us through life is always to be encouraged and can make a huge difference in recovery from illness, this ideology has gone to a ridiculous extreme. It’s mind over matter gone mad. All the positive thinking in the world will make no difference when you watch your home burn to the ground or your child die of a terminal illness. Is the child to blame for getting cancer? Did his five year old mind generate too many negative thoughts? Did you invite faulty wiring into your house through the faulty wiring of your mind? Are the desperate victims of wars in the Middle East to blame for their own suffering? Perhaps if they improved their attitude the barrel bombs and drones would vanish in a puff of smoke.
The other nonsense people tend to spout is ‘Everything happens for a reason’ and ‘Everything happens for the best’. Really? Say that to someone watching their loved one disintegrate through Alzheimer’s Disease. They will not welcome your comment.
All this positive thinking crap just puts extra pressure and guilt on people who are already suffering misfortune. It is insinuated that their bad luck is their own fault and they need to try harder. It’s a good excuse to run down our health service even further. Why not just send people away from ER with a button badge telling them to always look on the bright side?
Here are the facts:- 1. We are mortal creatures who begin to die from the moment we are born. 2. There is a very concrete material reality underpinning our lives. It will not shape shift to suit our desires. We are living in a material world and we are made of flesh and blood. 3. We are not to blame for our own problems. Bad things happen to good people. 4. Shit happens for no reason at all. Life is chaos and the most important things are beyond our control.
So all you woolly minded purveyors of positive nonsense need to grow up and have the guts to confront the world the way it really is, warts and all. Life is not perfect. We all suffer and that suffering is unavoidable. What happens is not all down to us but that doesn’t mean life can’t be beautiful. Make the very best of what you’ve got and be grateful for every precious moment.