Negative Spirituality vs. Positive Spirituality: Which Side Are You On?
Spirituality is a BIG idea, but not all spirituality is cut from the same cloth. By my observation, spirituality can largely be split into two separate camps: “positive spirituality” and “negative spirituality.”
Maybe you’ve noticed this too.
The longer I’ve worked in the field of the Law of Attraction, the more evident this has become to me. People of the spiritual community are often similarly drawn to ideas like energy, creation and the age old question of “what the hell does all of this mean?” However, we often focus on different aspects of these issues.
Further, as a student and teacher of the Law of Attraction, I notice that positive definitions of spirituality lead to positive emotions and life experiences. A negative definition of spirituality typically leads to less desirable emotions and life experiences.
So, with that being said, here are my definitions for positive and negative spirituality.
Please note: Below I state two polarities, but many people will lie somewhere in the middle of the spectrum (at least some of the time).
“Negative Spirituality” often focuses on:
- Spreading conspiracy theories in an attempt to educate others of injustice.
- Saving the world (or the idea that the world is in trouble and needs to be saved).
- Either isolating the self from toxic people & environments, or fighting against them.
- Politics and government/idea of being controlled by people and systems.
- Holding on to rigid ideas about proper diet, behavior and lifestyle.
“Positive Spirituality” often focuses on:
- Spreading love and kindness to uplift the self and others.
- Focusing on what’s right in the world.
- Engaging with all kinds of people and environments without feeling the need to protect oneself.
- Feeling unlimited and unrestrained by government/politics/big business.
- Letting go of limitations/flexibility in definitions about the “correct way to live.”
Now, I know that as I often write to a spiritual audience, not everyone will probably like the definitions I’ve set in place here, but that’s ok.
There’s nothing that says you have to follow the viewpoints and actions of those in the camp of what I call “positive spirituality.” You are more than welcome to focus your spirituality wherever you like.
My point here is just to note my observation: those who tend to hover in the “negative spirituality” camp often appear to suffer more from emotional distress. By contrast, those who tend to hover in the “positive spirituality” camp seem to be more at ease and happy with life.
At least, this has been my experience as a Law of Attraction coach.
It makes sense if you think about it.
If you believe you live in a world that needs to be saved, you will likely feel helpless. Feeling helpless leads to suffering.
From a state of suffering, you tap into a world that reflects your suffering in greater and greater measure (thanks to the Law of Attraction). You see all the aspects of reality that reflect negativity and limitation.
If you believe you live in a world that is inherently good and capable of creating its own solutions and possibilities, you will likely let yourself off the hook. You’ll allow yourself to enjoy your corner of the universe without feeling helpless to do a job that feels too big to accomplish.
From a state of acceptance and joy, you tap into a world that reflects your acceptance and joy. You see all the aspects of reality that reflect positivity and possibility.
Switching from negative to positive
Now, there was a time when I myself was lured by ideas of negative spirituality. I spent a lot of time thinking about things like the Occupy movement, Anonymous, GMOs, corruption, and toxic people. I felt overwhelmed by how bad the world was, and felt the need to rage against the problems.
Today, however, I don’t think the world is broken and it certainly doesn’t need me to fix it. As a result, my reality has supported this belief more and more. I see more positive than negative, and not only that, I see the positive in the negative now.
In other words, I’ve seen both sides. I just happen to like the positive camp much better.
At the end of the day, you are welcome to hang out on whatever side of spirituality you prefer. I just write this to say it’s bright and sunny over here on this side of things. Anyone who cares to come over is always embraced, and you’ll be amazed by what great things you’ll find.
Law of Attraction Educator
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Image Source: This image was reproduced with permission from the artist, Cameron Gray. All rights reserved.
Great article!!! Really really great; as I many times often can find myself overwhelmed by the negative in the world or become engaged by conspiracy theories they really do nothing to help my cause. I am going to try to be even more mindful of that … although I am a rebel at heart so it’s hard haha but where do you suggest balance in that?? Like if you want to help out but not focus too much on the negative??
Hi Bobby-such a good question!
My feeling is that we help people the most by believing in their ability to transcend their situation. For example, if you hear about someone who is suffering, instead of focusing on their suffering, try to envision them finding their way. Remind yourself of their strong qualities, their power.
In fact, this is the big paradox of LOA coaching. A lot of times people come to me because they believe they have “problems” I need to fix. What works for me, though, is not viewing a person’s current situation as a “problem” but rather as a sign of their own growth. In other words, they are reaching for something better (which is why their current situation feels like a problem), but the simple fact that they are reaching means they are growing.
I have the best success with clients when I focus entirely on my belief that they are big dreamers who are finding their way, rather than poor people who have “lost” their way. It’s a subtle distinction in my focus, but it makes a world of difference in my ability to assist in their growth <3
Thank you for this article. I am glad that this information/ perspective is now out in the world for anyone to see. I believe that when spirituality is encouraged or acknowledged, at all, in society it is often of the negative sort.
We can become obsessed with suffering and tales of the depth of suffering. Maybe it is almost like an addiction. And thus like an addiction can be stymied with faith that there is in fact a whole other way to live.
Hi Sofi, that is an interesting perspective, thank you for sharing! I think you definitely have a point…by focusing on being “more spiritual” it’s as if we negate the perfection of where we are in the present moment. Lovely. XO, Andrea
Thank you for sharing this, because I’ve been doing negative spirituality.How do I train myself to see the positive too?