toxic positivity is not self care

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it’s ok to not feel ok right now.

no matter how well-stocked your house. no matter how (relatively) stable your financial situation. no matter how extensive your support network. no matter how good your health.

even those of us who are well-resourced are struggling during this pandemic. many of us have nervous systems that hold rich histories of trauma & fear, and despite the reconnective & reparenting work that many of us have done, in the face of this degree of stress it can feel like we’re shifting into a previous version of ourselves.

i promise that that backsliding feeling is not forever. i promise that the work you’ve done, the strides you’ve made, the tools you’ve developed to heal you, are still there.

gratitude is important. seeing the opportunity in the tragedy is beneficial. but ultimately, the kindest thing we can do for ourselves is to hold space without judging, minimizing, or pushing away feelings of overwhelm & fear.

for many of us, trying to tell ourselves it’ll be ok when we’re in a moment of crisis or overwhelm feels like gaslighting; even if we cognitively know that things will be alright our nervous systems may believe otherwise. so i’d like to share with you the language i’ve been using for a while to guide & support my nervous system during times of panic & helplessness. (you may want to write your own script.)

“you spent your life receiving information that indicated you weren’t safe. first it was from your family, and from your environment growing up. then it was from the beliefs about yourself that formed from the original cues.

you didn’t have knowledge or resources to move away from danger & toward safety, to learn to regulate & thrive. and while you still have these old neural pathways that make you feel in the present like you’re in the danger of the past, they are the original messages refracted through the ways in which your body has learned to hold your fear.

the danger is no longer real. it is ok to still feel like it is, because it’s what you know, but it’s also ok to move toward new beliefs that you will be ok.

ps healing isn’t linear, so some days will be worse than others; try not to let that pull you into the vortex.”

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