COVID-19 has taken over the world. It has taken away from us the world we lived in. So, most of us want the old lives that we took for granted back. We long to go back to how things were in the past and even though we still had problems then, now our present and future seem more uncertain and scary.
COVID-19 has destroyed everything. Our lives might never be the same as they used to be. As the expert of grief, David Kessler said: “We are all dealing with the collective loss of the world we knew. … I don’t know how this is going to change, but it will. We’re going to find meaning; we’re going to come out the other side of this … but this world that we’ve all been accustomed to is now gone.”
Every one of us is facing some kind of loss. Some have lost their jobs, some are missing their child’s graduation, some are losing their dream wedding ceremonies, some are struggling to make ends meet, and some are saying goodbye to a loved one forever.
Let’s all stop for a moment with the toxic positivity and feel all these losses. Let’s allow ourselves to grieve. Because it’s okay not to be okay.
Telling someone to think positively, be happy, and get over it is like you are saying to them that their feelings are not real and that they are faking it. Dismissing other people’s feelings as well as your own is detrimental to your emotional health. You may think that by being positive you are helping them with their pain, but it usually has the opposite effect.
Suppressing the negative emotions inside of you doesn’t make you feel better. It doesn’t make them go away. What it does is it gives them even more power over you.
Vulnerability researcher, Brene Brown said: “…without thinking, we start to rank our suffering and use it to deny or give ourselves permission to feel …
But this is not how emotion or affect works. Emotions do not go away because we send them a message that these feelings are inappropriate and do not score high enough on the suffering board. … The entire myth of comparison suffering is the belief that empathy is finite…False. When we practice empathy with ourselves and others, we create more empathy.”
We each grieve in a different way. But we must grieve if we want to let go of all the pain and negativity.
In the wake of this horrible pandemic, the collective loss we are experiencing needs collective healing. Let’s grieve together. Stop with toxic positivity. The only way out is through battling this together.