There is something that needs to be said out loud and I’ve been holding back thinking that sooner or later I’d get over it. That hasn’t worked, so here goes.
A few weeks ago I did a really crazy thing. I turned on my television. Now I say it was crazy not only because I’m not big on television but also because I heard some really strange things on Larry King Live. It was the night he had several prominent self-help experts talking about positive thinking. At the very end of the segment, Larry asked his panel if they ever had a bad day. That’s when crazy happened. Each person, in their own fashion, said, “No” they don’t have bad days.
Now the way I figure it, these folks are either delusional or in denial. Either way, it’s not a good thing. Never have a bad day??? In a word: Impossible! In two words: Crazy Making!
Okay, so technically, in the land of the ‘very aware’ and the ‘super conscious,’ there are no ‘bad’ days as long as we are growing and evolving from every experience we have. But that’s technically—that’s not what actually happens in the lives of real humans, self-help experts or not.
In real life, we humans seek contrast for the richness and depth it brings to our lives. After all, without up there would be no down; without scarcity there would be no abundance; without indifference there would be no passion. Without bad days there would be no good (days included). Contrast is great for the human spirit: It gets us closer to our goals, helps us clarify our desires and gives us something to bounce back to.
Those of us in the human potential field are not exempt from hard times, challenges, temper tantrums, frustrations or even bad days. In fact, it’s likely that we’re quite experienced in some of these areas or we would not inclined to help others with them. What do they say about “teaching the things we most need to learn?”
Pretending that we don’t have bad days, regardless of how emotionally and spiritually intelligent we are, is just plain irresponsible bunk. These kinds of claims set the teachers of the self-help movement on a pedestal which causes our ‘students’ to feel twice as bad because they think to themselves, “I can never be like them, so why even try.”
We are sought out to normalize behavior: To educate and inform people that, yes, it is normal to feel sad when someone dies and yes, it is normal to get depressed when a lover leaves and yes, it is normal for everyone to have a bad day.
There, I said it.