Sad Unicorns OR Is your New-Age Thinking Positively Unhelpful?

Sad Unicorn by theGREENER on flickr

Sad Unicorn by theGREENER on flickr

“Great heroes need great sorrows and burdens, or half their greatness goes unnoticed. It is all part of the fairy tale.” 
~ Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn

“People are afraid of themselves, of their own reality; their feelings most of all. People talk about how great love is, but that’s bullshit. Love hurts. Feelings are disturbing. People are taught that pain is evil and dangerous. How can they deal with love if they’re afraid to feel? Pain is meant to wake us up. People try to hide their pain. But they’re wrong. Pain is something to carry, like a radio. You feel your strength in the experience of pain. It’s all in how you carry it. That’s what matters. Pain is a feeling. Your feelings are a part of you. Your own reality. If you feel ashamed of them, and hide them, you’re letting society destroy your reality. You should stand up for your right to feel your pain.” ~ Jim Morrison, The Doors

*Warning – The following post is not all puppies, rainbows and unicorns…

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If you are a regular reader of my blog you’ll know I’m all for cultivating an optimistic outlook, for practicing gratitude, kindness and counting blessings. I also believe that thoughts are things, and that what we focus on and attach strong emotion to tends to manifest in our lives. Positive thinking and self-love bring many benefits.

So what I’m going to say next might sound like a contradiction, or even come as a shock…

I think that some of this Positive-Thinking Law-of-Attraction stuff is getting dangerously out of hand!

Emotions just are. They are human and useful, and part of the scenery as we journey through life.  No point in being too attached to them – they change all the time, based on how much sleep we’ve had, our current health and relationship status and a myriad of other factors.  Emotions are mostly transient, but haven’t you noticed that there is a big push lately for us to be enlightened enough to somehow stay happy and calm and in a permanent space of unconditional love, which we then beam out from us to others to help them feel happy, calm and loved too?

This same train of thought suggests that all those ‘lesser’ emotions, those ‘negative’ ones, are there merely for us to transcend, and it is a sign of our awareness (and for some, spiritual superiority!) to no longer entertain negative thoughts or emotions in any situation.

'Angel Melodies' by Josephine Wall

‘Angel Melodies’ by Josephine Wall

I disagree! It is NORMAL as a human to experience anger, pain, sadness, depression, guilt, shame, fear and regret at different times.  It is APPROPRIATE to feel these emotions in response to certain situations. I also believe that it is unrealistic in these circumstances to expect ourselves to easily and readily ‘snap out of it’ and be all Love and Light.

There is also a New-Age belief that by feeling negative emotions or thinking negative thoughts we are then creating further negative energy in our lives.

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You’re thinking people, so I’ll ask you to draw your own conclusions about the following scenarios:

A beautiful young woman rang me yesterday, utterly distraught.  She has a four-year-old son, and an eight-month-old daughter, whom she is still breast feeding.  Both children were conceived through IVF, and shortly after she became pregnant with her daughter, this woman’s husband of ten years left her, and began a new relationship.

She and everyone else had thought it was a happy marriage. It was a complete shock. One day he was beside her and the next he was gone. Her husband had tied up most of his assets in protected structures, and there was no money available.  A protracted battle was entered into. The man has told his ex-wife that he wants nothing to do with her or their children (he has never seen his daughter, and has had no contact with his son since he walked out) and he says he will let the courts decide what minimum he has to pay toward their upkeep. The young mum ended up moving back in with her parents as she had no income of her own, her health was poor and she was completely devastated by the unexpected end of her marriage.

Of course this has been a stressful time for this young woman.  Her husband deserted her, she went through a difficult pregnancy entirely without him, and she was anxious about the future of her little family. On top of that she had ongoing problems with a hot, sore breast during pregnancy and, later, severe mastitis.  No matter what she tried it just didn’t get any better, and she consulted several nurses and doctors.  Finally one of them sent her for some tests.  She was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer, so advanced that there are no treatment options available.  All they can do is provide palliative care. She has weeks left.

And here’s the saddest part.  In a desperate attempt to prolong her life this woman went to a respected doctor who is also an alternative medicine practitioner. One of the first things the doctor said, upon taking this woman’s recent medical and life history, was that the young woman’s anger and negative emotions towards her husband had most probably caused her cancer.

Really?

Can it be as simplistic as that? And if so, why isn’t everyone else going through great life upheaval and trauma suddenly manifesting life-terminating cancer for themselves?

So here I have this traumatised young mum sobbing into the phone, wracked with guilt that her recent pain, anger and depression have manifested a cancer that will now deprive her children of their mother.  Over and over she said to me, “I’m so sorry. I just don’t know how to fix it. I truly didn’t mean to do this.”

She wanted me to help her have a sparkly-clean mind, filled with love and rainbows and unicorns and hope.

Somehow, if she could get a mind like that, miraculously she would heal…

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Another friend has long suffered with serious depression.  It was brought about after an incident that would change anyone’s life; the death of her younger sister and brother in a car accident (not her fault! – they were slammed by a drunk driver at nine o’clock in the morning just outside their school) when she was a newly licensed driver. It left her with a legacy of physical pain and disfigurement too.  She has battled to get out of the hole, and truly it has been less than helpful when well-meaning friends and even health practitioners kept telling her to ‘get over it’, and that her happiness is a choice.

Their words implied that she was to blame for the place she was in, and she was left even more guilt-ridden and shamed over her inability to get unstuck. Truly, she was trying, but at that time she didn’t have the tools she needed to start turning things around. Every time she posted positive affirmations around the house, or repeated them endlessly, she felt more and more of a failure, as she measured the disparity between her current situation and where the affirmations told her she could be. Positive thinking made her feel even less worthy and deserving of help, change and even life itself.

This beautifully illustrated journey through depression from one of my favourite blogs, Hyperbole and a Half, explains this place so well:

Adventures in Depression

Eventually my friend found her way back to a place of balance. She is a counsellor, working with others, and her life has meaning again for her. There’s even laughter and happiness.  Sure, she still has hard days but we all do.  That’s life.

Life is a crucible that forges us through fire, and it is our trials and troubles which often truly enable us to grow and transform, more meaningfully and more lastingly, than any amount of positive thinking.

It belittles us, and it cheapens the human journey, to use trite phrases about positive thinking in the face of real struggle.  Life is wonderful, and at times heartbreakingly sad, hard and just plain awful. Sometimes we are helpless and powerless in the face of our own pain, or the suffering of another.

The magnificence is in finding something within us that enables us to keep going, even if we bumble and fumble and drag ourselves along, until we get from that place of darkness back into the light, forever changed.

Every decent book I ever read had a hero or heroine who faced disaster, betrayal and every other form of hardship. The way they travelled that difficult road is why we stuck around – so that we could be inspired, cheer them along, learn from them and eventually watch them grow into the sorts of people we desire to become ourselves.

There is a place for positive thinking, and for wanting to manifest our future by aligning ourselves with a vision of abundance that makes us feel good, and excited about what’s yet to unfold.

But there is also a place for experiencing the fullness of emotions created by being in the now. And sometimes that now will be paved with pain rather than rainbows.

The rainbows come later, after the rain. After you’ve ridden out the storm.

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73 thoughts on “Sad Unicorns OR Is your New-Age Thinking Positively Unhelpful?

  1. Nicole, I wish this post could be posted in every newspaper, magazine, etc. in the US. I’ve seen so many people hurt by this thinking. I am a breast cancer survivor and I will never forget a medical practictioner telling me that anger had probably made me have cancer (I was in a high stress job at the time). I also have suffered from depression until a very good therapist helped me to find a medication that helped me get out of the deep hole I was living in. I am watching a dear friend whose whole life was devasted by a terrible accident struggle to regain her life – knowing that her new “normal” will never be what it was before that accident and the trite things people say to her only makes its worse. Do people not realize that “if we could think positive thoughts 24/7 we would?” Thank you for this post. It needs to be repeated on every continent.

    • Hi Eileen! Thanks for leaving such a thoughtful comment. I think it is so unrealistic to pretend that life after a major trauma can go back to being ‘how it was’. Not that I don’t think healing is possible, or finding joy in life again. But sometimes things that are broken can’t be fixed, things can’t be undone, and we have to learn to live with those wounds the best we can. To me, the most beautiful people in the world are those who have found a way to smile again even WITH the scars and the ugliness and the pain they carry with them always. Much love to you. Bless xx

  2. Your words are so true Nicole. I love reading your blogs, it makes you stop and think about things in a whole different light. With much love xx

  3. I agree wholeheartedly with you both. It’s irresponsible, trite and cruel to be dismissive of others’ pain. Pain is relative to each of us – our history, experience and situation. It’s so easy for people to offer judgment and then five minutes later move on with their own lives with nary a backward glance. Why can’t people just learn that most often people just want to be heard and that they will generally ask if they want advice. Nic, again we hope that some of your wisdom will lighten the load others carry. And I hope they know too that they are not alone as others of us send them the good feelings they do not have the strength to find themselves. Bless!

    • Aaaah, Kimmie!!!! If I had a dollar for every time someone has asked ‘how are you?’ without wanting or caring to actually know, or giving the time to truly hear the answer, I’d be retired to some tropical island, drinking beverages out of coconuts with natty cocktail umbrellas and swizzle sticks. Don’t we all just want to be heard? Well said, my friend. Well said. xx

      • Brings a smile to face this. I’ve been known (pending my mood) to reply to the “how are you?” with a “do you really want to know or do you want me to say fine, fine?” Obviously the mood is devilish.

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  5. Here here!!! Completely agree. We live in a world fixated with youth and beauty most of which is false. Most want to bury or hide the negative or “the ugly” side of life failing to recognise their own truth and beauty which you describe so beautifully. As soon as we accept the duality of living then perhaps we shall become more tolerant. As a health practitioner reading what that doctor said well I can’t even begin to understand that or comment politely on that!!!

  6. Oh my gosh… I love this post…..

    I have been thinking along these lines all week.

    Honestly, the hyperbole that is being put out there about positivity and attraction can actually be disempowering to many. It can make people inert, not make choices or make any choice at all.

    Worse still is that they have done something wrong or didn’t say the magic word. That they are not positive and fluffy fairy enough to make something happen. I have clients that call me and ask me what did they not say right in order for the angels to have given them the job/man/car they wanted.

    Let’s be honest, a lot of teachers and healers out there always keep it positive, nomatter if they are falling apart privately. All you see is positive affirmations and quotes. So it reinforces that false misconception your talking about here. I love teachers,healers, leaders who speak authentically about real passions & challenges.Getting real with real people. Not just posting shiny unicorns only…to make a sale.

    • I agree, Eileen. As teachers, healers and leaders, as well as students at this University of Life, we do ourselves and everyone else a disservice by not keeping it real. Life is wonderful, and challenging, and there is shit as well as sunshine. Shit makes great fertilizer, and from it wonderful things can grow, but it’s still shit. And when you’re in it, it’s no fun. Thanks for your comment. Bless xx

  7. Thank You!!! SHAME OF PAIN is the single most dis-service the new age movement and modern medicene has given mankind…..please keep writing and talking about this subject!!!!

  8. What a fantastic post! I recently read ‘The Antidote: Happiness for people who can’t stand positive thinking” by Oliver Burkeman and it was such a refreshing read.

    There were heaps of quotes that stood out, but one in particular that made a lot of sense was when he compared the mind to the sky. It went something like this: “The sky doesn’t pick the good weather and push away the bad weather. It just is’, which makes the focus these days on forcing positive thoughts and banishing all negative thoughts from our minds seem really strange and unnatural.

    He also referenced Barbara Ehrenreich who wrote ‘Smile or Die’. She was diagnosed with cancer and was told repeatedly to think positively and to “see the glass as half full even as it lay shattered on the floor”.

    And it’s so true what you said about the positive affirmations and your friend. In the book, Burkeman mentions a study that was done on affirmations, which found that the people in the study became more unhappy if they were made to say a positive affirmation each day. And it was for exactly the reason you mentioned – there was too big a discrepancy between their self-image/situation and the affirmations.

    Having experienced dark thoughts myself during a period of PTSD and grief following the death of a family member, I look back at those times and realise how important (and healthy) it was to experience those emotions, and any advice to ‘think positively’ during those times would have been completely unhelpful (and upsetting).

    Great post – Thank you

    • I love that Burkeman quote, Kay. Thanks for sharing. It IS healthy to own where you’re at, and to not suppress your emotions, even when they are painful. We have a duty to be truthful about our own pain, so that when others find themselves in a similar position, they know it is okay to be feeling what they feel.

      Much love to you, and thank you for supporting my blog 🙂 xx

  9. Such truth in your words Nicole.

    Although it does bring up something that I really struggle with – the unfairness of life. Such as the young lady you mentioned who has been through so much, and now has terminal cancer :-(.

    I am struggling with a dark time at the moment, as my life is just one struggle after another. And I look at those around me who are blessed with seemingly perfect and trouble free lives. It feels hard to keep going and remain positive and optimistic, when you’ve faced 35 years of constant pain and hardship.

    xo

    • Hi Meg. Life is so hard to understand from down here, isn’t it?

      There are two things I can offer you right now. One is a buddhist truth – that all things shall pass, including your current state of pain and hardship. Secondly, it is never fair to look at another’s life and judge it. Those people with seemingly perfect and trouble-free lives might well be masking something ugly, painful or empty within them.

      I have learned from experience that life can sometimes be just one thing after the other, and in those times the way I have coped best was to focus on the small things, to count the blessings however humble, and to trust that no matter how hard, I would find the strength to keep going or to ask for help, which is sometimes harder than trying to cope alone.

      I’m sending you so much love, Meg. Hang in there xx

  10. Thank you Nicole. Just to have someone who is there for you with no questions asked means the whole world. Sending lots of love and light.

  11. Amen! Thank you for your wise words and continued guidance. Being human means being ‘whole’ and that means good and bad, light and heavy, sad and happy, balanced and chaotic etc.. It’s all part of the deal. All our ‘spaces’ serve a purpose if just to FEEL our way through to the other side. Some changes can be chosen, others are forced, and some are out of our hands. Life is a journey of highs, lows and lots of in between moments in which to stabilize and harmonise the ride in some way. I’m still seeking to understand it all…

  12. Oh my word. I loved every single word in this post – it felt like a breath of fresh air to read this. And I really agree with it ALL – I don’t even know where to start! I could type for hours about the whole ’emotions make you ill’ kind of mindset. It does my nut. It very much has a lot of truth behind it, but it does not stop the fact that something physical happens too and the emotions run deeper than just simply saying ‘your suppressed anger is making your knee hurt’…you can’t just ‘let go’ of the anger overnight and let your body heal. It is more complex than that. And it is a balance – something which I feel often gets overlooked with extreme holistic professionals. Some are amazing though and get that balance just right. I just feel as though, like you say, the pressure this kind of information and way of thinking adds on you (and in times of extreme stress), is just so unhelpful. But you can see how it easily can happen, when professionals you respect and go to for help tell you these things.
    Positive thinking and the whole manifesting your future thing, is a tricky one. Again, it is a balance I believe. Because naturally, if we think too much this way then our care for our future and love for life, becomes pressure pressure pressure on ourselves and deep in worry about any thoughts and what we might be manifesting for ourself.
    The truth is, the most healing thing we can do is to FEEL what we’re feeling. Trying to get away from the anger or the pain or the grief is when, in my opinion, illness comes. And as for manifesting negative things in our life, hell – I just believe that any hardships that come our way are there to teach us what we need to learn in that moment. They are not because of a week of worrying back when we were 20, or a lifetime of fear about something. I do believe you can positively manifest, in the sense that we can visualise certain energy and things to come our way in life, and I really do believe that works, but I don’t believe in focusing on how we negatively manifest things. Again, that positive manifestation is more that I believe positive things come from FEELING the faith, hope, joy, and happiness we feel. This is just as important and just as effective as feeling the negative emotions.
    Holy cow, I could type forever. I hope that made a little sense 😉 thanks for this refreshing post! Big love X

    • That made BIG sense 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to type all that. It heartens me to know that there are others out there who are thinking deeply about all of this too! It is a balancing act, and we’re all prone to wobbles, which is why we need to care for and support each other. Big love right back to you xoxo

  13. Telling that cancer patient that her anger caused her cancer is wicked.

    And- it depends what you mean by “positive thinking”. If it means denying anger or sadness, which are normal reactions to events, it is silly and possibly dangerous. And ever since I started my spiritual growth journey I have hoped to have emotions I could be happy with, and it is still difficult to accept them.

    And- if it means noticing all the positives in every situation, then it is good. Not denying the negatives, but giving them their proper place, not fixating on them.

    I don’t know about “vibrating”, but I do know that one can choose where to focus attention, and how- up to a point.

  14. this post is very pertinent to my journey through many challenging life experiences, going into the feelings, experiencing them fully and riding the flow as it unfolds, not judging the journey has been invaluable for me – for me the lightness comes from travelling through the darkness

    my heart breaks for the young mother with the two children, i feel deeply moved by this story and i wish there was something i could do to help, it is so sad… i wish for her and her children the highest good is served and the father opens his heart to his children

    blessings to you all, especially on those hard days, i know them well!
    hugs nc
    sx

  15. so, so, soooooooo GOOD. such a good post, my dear. truly. i can not stand those people that blame cancer on others as if ppl cause their own cancer. it absolutely drives me crazy. some things we just can NOT control. and i loved this line, i know it was in a quote, but still…”feelings are mean to be carried, like a radio…” anyway, i couldn’t agree with you more – health is going through, moving through the entire spectrum of feelings and emotions. that is the human thing. so well done, my friend. so well done. xo, sm

  16. Thank you again Nicole for being such a sensible and sensitive voice of reason and reality in amongst the maelstrom of airy-fairy perfectionist crap that so many feel the need to aspire to (then lecture the rest of us on…)
    My heart goes out to and I think we all are sending much love to the young lass and her family. I’m sure talking to you was the greatest comfort for her on her arduous journey.

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  18. Thanks Nicole for a very interesting blog.
    In my work as an energy healer I often hear stories about what other practicioners have told people that I find quite amazing – talk about disempowering people! Although I sometimes come to conclusion about what has caused the problem I always do my best to lead the person to come to thier own awareness of what may have caused the issue by asking questions without trying to judge the situation.
    My heart goes out to the young mother with cancer. Over the last 12 months or so I have had the priviledge of working with a lady who had been told she had terminal breast cancer but she was determined to survive. In fact the cancer had spread to her lungs, her liver, her lymph nodes as well as both breasts so the future did not look bright. However she was willing to change the way she was looking at life and has worked through many issues with me over the period and now thanks to her willingness to take control of her own life she is virtually cancer free. I must say though that she also had chemo, radiation & took chinese herbs as well as having the energy sessions with me so I think in her case the combination of all the things she did worked well for her.
    I believe that it is possible for all issues to be healed but not necessarily every person can be healed as some people are not ready or willing on some level to be healed. Sorry if I have raved on a bit too much here.
    Thanks again for your insights Nicole.

    • How wonderful to hear of this woman being able to heal. I’m all for embracing possibility when it feels like that right path for you.

      I’m not seeing any last minute miracles for the woman I wrote about, but I believe she can still find a place of peace, healing the spirit although the body may remain broken.
      Much love to you, Fred xx

  19. I’m second cjm’s Thank you.

    I’ve many thoughts on this subject that regularly get tangled up. I sometimes think that some of the more zealous proponents of the “happy, happy, joy ,joy” way of life can come from an almost evangelistic way of perception, forgetting that they (may) have had to overcome their own version of pain (in any form or level) and their way is The Way. Where, the reality is each person has their own path to navigate with their own rollercoaster of experiences (good, bad, ugly & eeek).

    I love the zen saying “before enlightment, chopping wood. after enlightenment, chopping wood”, though I love that weather in the sky quote up above in the comments.

    • I agree, Nicky. I have known people to get on the ‘happy wagon’ and be positively furious with frustration (don’t you love the contradiction there!) at others who can not. We all need to walk our own path, and be respectful of the path others walk, although it may be different to our own. {{{HUGS}}} xoxo

  20. Great post Nicole. Are there really any “good” or “bad” emotions when all emotions are useful? They all provide a purpose. The key seems to be balance, and remembering that when we are weighed down through those heavier emotions and times, that we will break through, at some point. With that breakthrough, there is inevitably learning.
    While positive affirmations are mostly very helpful, at times that gap from where we are at that time to where that affirmation is, is far too wide a chasm to cross. At these times, if you wish to continue saying affirmations, it can help to edit the affirmation to bridge the gap eg. an affirmation such as “I am feeling calm & peaceful” when you are feeling anything but, can be changed to “I am getting better at feeling calm & peaceful”, or “I am moving towards feeling calm & peaceful”. Somehow this is more giving, more flexible more human. It lets us experience the emotions authentically, to be okay with sinking lower into the heavier emotions when called, while gently reminding us of where we have intention to head towards.
    Blessings x

  21. When I first began to open up to more possibilities in life, I always found that part hard with spirituality. How can one person, on earth, with all this polarity, stay in a constant state of happiness? Especially since the creative mind can be in so many states at once. I recently felt so upset and down – like I hit rock bottom – but it was absolutely the best thing to experience at that time because it gave me the strength to keep going. Once the pressure of it all was released that I had bottled up inside because I’m supposed to stay “centred” and “happy” I felt like I could get on with things.
    Everything has it’s place. Well said 🙂

  22. Thank you for writing and sharing this, Nicole! This is a message more people need to read. Positive thinking is NOT possible 24/7 365 days a year. It’s unrealistic to expect people to filter all negative thoughts and emotions out of their mind when faced with a difficult situation. I know we are able to respond to things differently once we understand certain things-but few of us ever make it to that level. It’s nice to be reminded it’s okay to feel ALL emotions and not have to pretend they don’t exist.

  23. I feel honored and respected by what you’ve written here. Thank you. Some of my inner wiggly-dark-critters, in other words the more disturbing feelings, decided it was time to crawl out and identify with the feelings I just read about. And I feel comfortable with it, grateful to see them as they are. 🙂

    “Life is a crucible that forges us through fire, and it is our trials and troubles which often truly enable us to grow and transform, more meaningfully and more lastingly, than any amount of positive thinking.”

    I’ve battled long and hard with being naturally more serious, withdrawn, in tune with sadness and grief, and a longing to be happy ‘like everybody else’… and have heard well-meant words from others about how I could just do so like it’s not a learned-thing. Feeling joy is SO so so a learned thing. With practice and by listening to others’ pain, I’ve come to understand I -am- like everybody else… we all have pain and secret feelings we think no one understands. We all fear and grieve and rejoice, and wonder why we do these things.

    I do these things because they’re in me. I’ve endured lots of pain that could seem silly and surmountable now because I’m looking back from much further down the path. I know what I went through was insurmountable then, and accepting that fact means loving myself now and using the gifts I acquired while going ‘through the fire’. I went through pain to acquire a capacity for compassion. I endured sadness to achieve a deep and overwhelming desire for joy that lasts. And I endured paralyzing silence so that I could practice relentlessly to own and express my thoughts in my own voice.
    Big Love 🙂
    ~Mia

  24. Yipee, how refreshing to read this article. I have said for years “feelings are there to be felt, otherwise why would we have them”. Had many a discussion with friends over this subject, and at times really questioned my own thoughts and feelings. Glad that I stuck to my gut feeling. Reading this article and so many wonderful replies, confirms that I’m on the right path. Now back to laying on the lounge and watching tv, as I’m feeling a tiredness that I can’t seem to shift today, and that is ok. hehehehe!

  25. From the bottom of my heart I thank you for this raw, honest and heart breakingly real post.

    May the lovely young mum find some peace before she leaves her children and may she leave them with a legacy knowing how deeply loved and wanted they both are.

    I am a firm believer in a very old adage that my gran mother said quite often when I was young and that is ” If you don’t have a bad day, how can you ever know you are having a good day”.

    I truly loved this post Nicole. Thank you.

  26. I am a recovering addict. In recovery I have learnt that addiction is a recognised disease, a disease I will always have. Unless I take my “medicine” everyday (working a 12 step program) I run the risk of relapse. I will never be able to consider myself a “recovered” addict. There is no cure to this disease.

    I had mentioned to a family member that addiction is a disease that I have. She then proceeded to insist that I should rather state that I HAD the disease of addiction. This is an extremely dangerous thing for me to say. Saying I HAD the disease of addition implies that I can drink and use successfully now, just like saying I HAD diabetes implies that I no longer need to watch my sugar levels and take my insulin. No amount of positive thinking will guide me to take responsibility for my actions, my behaviour and ultimately my recovery. I need to accept reality as it is, warts and all, before I can take positive action and start the healing process. Healing requires complete honesty. It was necessary for me to feel completely defeated before I could see that the effort I need to put into recovery is well worth it.

    I am also pro-positive thinking, but as you say it does have its place. I was having this discussion with my mom just a couple days ago.

    Thank-you for your amazing blogs, I really appreciate your willingness to touch people’s lives.

  27. That’s a truly dreadful story about the young woman, medical practitioners have a big responsibility to their patients and need to be aware of the power their words have.
    I do believe that pain is what allows us to appreciate happiness. It’s the contrast between the two that enables us to comprehend the value of good experiences. It’s good to be reminded that emotions are transient and we don’t need to hold on to them. As you say, we’re constantly changing and our emotions are dependent on many different factors. Accepting ourselves as we are and not feeling we have to be something we’re not is a difficult but invaluable life lesson.

  28. Once again you’ve nailed it! You have expressed what I have been feeling but could not articulate. I love that more people are embracing their spirituality, but sometimes feel that diversity is being hidden if it doesn’t display the latest mass Facebook circulated Positive Thinking affirmation of the day.
    It is disheartening that someone in a position of authority would tell another person that a terminal illness is their fault. We all have a full range of emotions, and I think suppressing emotions considered negative may cause more harm than good. I hope I’m not hypocritical in posting a much quoted passage :P…. As Rumi says-

    “Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralyzed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds’ wings.”

    I will send prayers and healing energy to the young mother and hope that she finds peace in her remaining time.

  29. Great post. Nicole! And a very important thing to be said. I also feel that the climate has grown increasingly negative towards having negative feelings! It’s okay to feel whatever you feel, good or bad. Personally, I have had experiences where I have been judged by others for going through rough times. I think they think I’m wallowing, but so what if I am? As long as I aware, what should it matter to them?

    And that practitioner! Good gosh, I would have been so hurt and angry. What an insensitive thing to say!

    Also, I like that you included daisies with your puppies and unicorns. Off topic, but I had to say something 🙂

  30. Nicole, this post should be published in a magazine…thanks for posting it! As a cancer survivor, I’ve heard it all ~ and you said it beautifully…cheers to riding out the storm for without the clouds, we’d never experience the rainbows!

  31. I couldn’t agree more with everything you’ve said here. Thank you for a very honest accessment of life in our worlds.How can we love ourselves if we are constantly beating ourselves up because we aren’t skipping through life every day? Such an important post you’ve written.

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  35. Spot on, Nicole. I feel you standing up for and wrapping your wings around a lot of people who have been confused and messed-up and tortured with this kind of thinking, often from people who have NEVER experienced anything like what they are going through. xxx

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