The other day, I was escorting a mild-mannered colleague to the elevator while ranting about certain cretinous individuals I work with. He interrupted me in mid-curse with “You shouldn’t complain Sara. You should stay positive. Do you know how many people in the world are suffering right now?” Needless to say, his family is currently searching for his remains while I am left wondering when this non-negative trend erupted.
I get that it would be lovely to be happy all the time, to exist in a kind of Stepford wife stupor where one is eternally placated and tickled by every drain pipe that spills excrement on them. Yet know this: Life doesn’t work that way. I don’t know where these people were in Kindergarten but I distinctly remember the teachers showing us smiley and sad faces when trying to teach us about emotions and not picking our noses in public (at least I retained part of that lesson).
Even on social media, many are often berated if they dare to share a negative or angry opinion. Since when were only half of our emotions kosher? What’s so taboo, wrong or catastrophic with being angry, sad, or miserable? Of course, this is not to say that if you see someone out on a ledge, you shrug it off as ‘oh he’s just having bad day’. There are levels of depression and rage that warrant immediate action, however mildly wishing a colleague would catch a treatable STD does not fall in that category.
It’s completely unrealistic and inhuman to want to avoid negative vibes or emotions. It’s the same with friendships; friends who never fight are not real friends. You need to overcome the uncomfortable hurdles of hurt before you can relish in rainbow days of bliss ahead. If it weren’t for our negative emotions, we might never overcome negative things or behaviours that plague our lives.
Ultimately, trying to avoid negativity is like trying to avoid going to the bathroom. It’s unpleasant but absolutely necessary; otherwise you truly would be full of shit.
Weeks ago, I made a solemn vow to myself to give up the boxing and commit to Yoga. The incentive? My husband complained that I was getting too tough and all my yoga friends had incredible figures. So I signed up for Vinyasa Yoga and thus began my journey to inner and outer beauty. By the fifth week, although I would thoroughly enjoy each session of breathing and stretching my muscles to the brink of snapping, I began encountering a wierd phenomenon.
After yoga, I would get intense fits of rage, for hours! I would feel like a rabbied cow, on the prowl for blood. Anything would set me off and I responded with slammed doors and phones, while spewing obsenities that would make convicts blush.
Triple-checking the calendar confirmed that I was no where near the dreaded PMS phase and yet I exhibited the classic symptoms of a delirious hormonal bitch. Research revealed that I wasn’t alone (http://www.elephantjournal.com/2013/05/what-nobody-tells-you-about-yoga-laura-stumpf/). Apparently many people end up with negative experiences after Yoga.
What the hell was going on? How come emulating animal poses brought up negative emotions? Was it my evolution as a human that was insulted? Was my brain screaming “why the fuck are you doing downward dog? We walk on two’s now idiot!!!”
Well, as tempting it might be to think that, it turns out (according to the weeping testimonials of people out there crying and chewing their yoga mats), that this ancient practice brings up emotions you may be neglecting. Apparently this is all part of the “healing” process.
I resent this explanation. I’m pretty sure that when my gloves are on and I’m smashing the atomic shit out of someone, that I’m dealing with whatever negative feelings I may have. Same goes for any exercise actually; running literally gives me orgasms, pilates makes me happy, etc…
Alas, the heavy therapeutic price of yoga has forced me to significantly reduce it’s frequency. I still do it, mainly because I love the flexibility I’m gaining and someday I hope to be able to answer the phone with my foot while making pancakes and driving.
However in the meantime, the stinky gloves are back on.