Toxic positivity and Lack of Authenticity in the Spiritual Community

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 2022 Burrowing Owl Press/Brooke Chang with all rights reserved. This post may not be copied, duplicated, or excerpted without the express permission of this author)

Author: Brooke Chang

Hi, I'm Brooke who will be taking you on a healing journey to a more joyful life. I will serve as your guide on this healing journey sharing my insights, knowledge and experiences. I hope you will join me!

4 thoughts on “Toxic positivity and Lack of Authenticity in the Spiritual Community”

  1. I think it is like anything in our lives, we want to be something and in the beginning don’t have a clue, stumble along and as time goes by we get better at it. Like anything it takes practice and it is during these times, and especially in going through those many hard parts, that we make those discoveries of ourselves and begin to become that what we seek. We can all pass on our ‘bits’ that help ourselves and others who are all at different stages in their lives, but it isn’t until they truly see themselves that it registers in that experience and removes a blindfold or two. And we all like to think of ourselves as this or that and try hard to be that, but until we do experience it we cannot become it. Spirituality is a place in our hearts and until we experience it, it is a place to aspire to, an action to reach and then let go because we finally understand. And in that place is a mountain top with a guru on its peak that we have striven to reach. And on gaining the top of that mountain we ask that question we have so wanted to ask…’what is the meaning of life?’…to which the guru replies by holding a mirror up to our face. We are that meaning in all that we do and the more we stumble, trip and stagger…as well as run, jump and call out in glee…are the very things our hearts need to find that very place. Yes, there will be many who think they are ‘there’, until they see that they are not. And life will show them that in time so that they can ‘see’ by experiencing what is not. Both sides are required or with what do we understand it by.
    Many a puddle I’ve ended up in, many a bouquet I have found. And in finding myself among them…I understand what I am, and am not…even though I think I have reached my mountain top. Even now I have stood upon it and still get knocked on my backside and see things that I haven’t even thought of as relevant or required for my journey. The one thing that always makes me hesitate is that one day I touched a part of my heart and saw a love beyond words…and knew there is a long, long way to go to even try to understand that perfection…but…I am, in all that I do.
    A great post dear lady, we do need a heads up on all of our journey to ask of ourselves and see just where our hearts may be ❤️ 🙏🏽 🦋

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your insights and thoughts. I do agree that as human, we are all flawed. The bigger concern is that ego still drives many in the spiritual community perpetuating this toxic positivity and lack of authenticity. There is even bullying if you don’t go along with the toxic positivity that is preached! The problem is this perpetuates the complacency of remaining stuck in very negative emotions we attempt to avoid, deny, and suppress. How can the spiritual community heal if we perpetuate this falsehood? How can we evolve if we are continue these harmful beliefs? How do we become conscious and aware if we continue to practice toxic positivity? Sending you peace and light.

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      1. Dear lady, your very post is indeed that nudge that is needed, that question to ask ourselves…where am I? And that onboard guidance system that is ego does also require resetting…often. Many a time it has taken us down the rabbit hole, and what a find it is. And those bumps along the way will reflect to us where we are…when…we are prepared to listen. Evolving does require quite a few hits at times until we understand, like anything else we do, that it takes quite a while to perfect it and even then portray only where we are at. And then realise we have never been ‘there’ at that so called ‘peak’ of our journey ever. Our fears want us to believe who we are through a lens darkly, and it takes courage to step beyond them. And the only way we can do that is truly ‘see’ where we are. And in displaying this openly in this post you are asking the question to one and all…’where am I?’.
        And maybe time to step beyond what we feel is holding us back in our current environment, find that belief in who we are in that next step and go further, attract what we feel is where we want to be and become it. Those that fear those steps will be left where they are until they too ‘feel’ it is time to go further.
        Again, your post has portrayed a position that we all take in our journey, regardless of where we are at, meaning to or not, as to step beyond it we are faced with those fears that are our holding pattern in trying to find who we truly are.
        Those ‘patterns’ we hold are indeed a ‘defensive’ posture and like all else in life will reflect that back to us in how we feel when it is reflected back.
        And in this instance I too must ‘see’ just what I am ‘defending’ or ‘portraying’ in these comments. To not do so means my ego is alive and well 😀
        Thank you for sharing a question ❤️ 🙏🏽 🦋

        Liked by 1 person

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