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I Will Never Be Pollyanna Positive

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From time to time I get chastised by so-called social media superstars for the fact that I am, at times, grumpy, moody, direct, and simply “not positive”.

“Turn that frown upside down!” People only want to hear positive encouragement on social media.” “To be a leader, you need to stop with all the negativity.”

I call bullshit.

I will never, ever be Pollyanna Positive and I don’t believe that’s all people are craving. Here’s the story of why.

I spent the first thirty years of my life quelling thoughts and feelings that were considered “inappropriate”. I pursued appearing to be the “right, acceptable” person in hopes that it would make my life go the way I wanted it to go.  I pretended none of the other stuff existed.

And, to be fair, it worked for a little while. I was a successful student, considered a leader, made Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa and Mortar Board. Went on to successful jobs in the business world where I was touted as an Up and Comer most of the time.

But while all this was going on in the public eye, some dark nasty was happening behind closed doors. I battled depression and anxiety, my personal life imploded, and I was truly deeply miserable. It was more awful than I can put into words, so I’m not going to try.

During my desperate attempt to crawl out the deep, dark hole I’d dug for myself , A discovery was laid before in something I can only describe as miraculous. A wise wise person looked me in the eye and said “Human beings were given a complex range of emotions unlike any other creature on earth. And if we don’t use them, exercise them, give them fresh air and sunshine, they start eating at us like cancer.  And creating diseases just as deadly.”

This wise person went on to say that if I did not find a way to express my full range of human-ness, I would very like die. And not metaphorically.

A wake up call if there ever was one.

So I’ve spent the last 16 odd years learning how to live full self-expressed. Does it come with a price? Sure it does. Sometimes I say or do the wrong thing. Sometimes I make a mess I have to clean up. Sometimes I could keep my thoughts a bit more private. Sometimes I over-indulge in my negative emotions and wind up with a hangover. Sometimes people I really really like get angry. Sometimes people I really really like walk away.

But when I weigh this price against squelching who I am to the point of being a shard of a person, I’ll gladly pay whatever is asked.

And here’s the thing: in this obnoxiously loud online world where everyone is basically trying to say “Hey! Look at me and all my awesomeness!!”, I think people crave permission to exhale. To just be. To express whatever it is they need to express – positive, negative, whatever.

This is the gateway to living fully self-expressed. Which is what I want for you with every fiber of my being.

So I wave my magic wand and say “Permission granted! Go be the fully self-expressed human that you are!”

And if you are in search of Pollyanna Positive, she doesn’t live here. 🙂

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