There is a disturbing trend amongst some spiritual teachers that I do not like and I DO NOT support. That trend is to tell people that positive thinking is worthless, that the challenges they are going through are only illusions, and they have to accept it all whether they like it or not; so deal with it. These opinions are trumpeted from the comfort of a meditation cushion, high-dollar venue or from behind their keyboards.
I live in the physical world, and I share the planet with people who are hungry, disenfranchised, disheartened and abused. The woman who has just lost her son in a drive-by shooting doesn’t need spiritual wisdom – she needs to know how she is going to take her next breath. The man who has just lost his job doesn’t care about “emptiness,” he needs his self-confidence re-informed that he will be able to feed his family. The parent who is summoned to the jail to bail out her son doesn’t need to know about ascension, she needs a place to vent and connect with resources.
By all means – teach “master-level” spirituality, whatever the hell that means; the spiritually experienced amongst us already intuitively understand concepts of non-duality, multidimensionality and present moment awareness, and some may even consider themselves masters. By all means, insightfully stimulate experienced seekers, but DO NOT disabuse others of the benefits of positive thinking, affirmations, and gratitude practices. Because dear teacher, that may very well be exactly how you started on your path.
So yes, my friends – when all hell is breaking loose, you go find that positive thing – name it, claim it, and frame it; chant it, write it, share it, recite it; and in so doing you will have given yourself enough room to take that next breath, to find that lost confidence, and to create just enough space in your head to figure out your next steps. Whatever it is you’re dealing with right now, you GOT this… you CAN do it, you WILL do it, and it will get easier with each step you take.
RJ Starr is a writer, poet and inspirational speaker based in South Florida.