Why Positively Affirming Away Pain and Discomfort Doesn't Work

Above is a beautiful quote by the Sufi Poet, Hafiz. His poetry often moves me to tears because he seems to get right to the heart of things. This one especially spoke to me today.

Just this afternoon I was texting with my friend Meagan about feeling lonely and she reminded me of his wise words. Thank you dear friend. 

I am blessed with people that love me. I have the best husband a girl could ask for, great friends, the sweetest baby and a community of like-minded people I connect with on a regular basis. So why the loneliness? 

Yoga and Yoga's Spiritual Psychology is constantly prompting us to recognize that what we are seeking is seeking us, and what we need and long for we already have.  

At first these concepts seem elusive and even esoteric. However they are proposals which invite us to do the necessary inner work to thrive. The work that many of us want to avoid. 

Last week I wrote about "why spirituality is not simply positivity".  If in these moments of loneliness I were to simply brush them off or say a "positive affirmation" I might miss the deeper message and opportunity to really find something more meaningful and lasting   

What Yoga teaches is that deep inside between each breath and every changing thought and emotion is a constant and steady source of love, strength and connection.

My loneliness can be a gateway or entry point to remembering or reconnecting to that eternal place inside.  There is a steady quiet voice nudging us from deep within, to look within. For the love and peace we are seeking is right there, all the time.

Hafiz writes, "Something missing in my heart tonight has made my eyes so soft and my voice so tender..." Today loneliness placed me in a position to experience my deepest truth. And yet, how many times do we take our emotions as shortcomings or weaknesses. When in fact, willingness to face them with compassion is one of the greatest spiritual strengths we can endeavor.  

Lets not "positively affirm" away these opportunities. I write this as a Yoga Teacher and Positive Psychology Coach. Wellbeing and happiness are ultimately internal shifts that allow us to move through the ever changing emotions, thoughts and circumstances we all face in this life. 

But we must look, seek and act courageously. "Your grief lifts a mirror up to where you are bravely working..." Below is a profound poem by another of my favorite Mystic Poets, Rumi: