Stop Pretending You're OK When You're Not

It’s irresponsible to teach positivity without explaining how to deal with what’s already there.

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By Caroline Dooner

I get annoyed when people talk about energy and the universe and God and manifesting and synchronicity all googly-eyed and sappy.

This is hypocritical of me because I teach intuition and I am constantly talking about the very things that can bother me: energy and the universe and God and manifesting and synchronicity.

But here is the difference: I get turned off when I perceive superficial positivity — positivity that’s masking deep inner misery, pain, and anger. And I think it’s irresponsible to teach positivity without explaining how to deal with what’s already there: the pain, the dark stuff, the unhelpful beliefs that are underneath it all.


I don’t believe you can mantra your pain away. I don’t believe you should smile when your heart is breaking (though it makes for a nice dramatic song). I don’t like the bandaid thatfaux positivity can become.

I don’t believe you should pretend you’re OK when you’re not.

Because pretending you’re OK when you're not is lying — lying to yourself. And it will keep you not OK.

In any sort of healing or transformation, we have to face our demons head on. And that doesn’t mean putting a Band-Aid on their heads and telling them to be quiet while mommy goes shopping.

And sticking our head in the sand, or our fingers in our ears and saying “lalalalalalala” isn’t the answer either. That’s avoidance. That’s running away.


If you’re miserable, something is out of alignment. You aren’t listening to yourself, you aren’t honoring something that you feel, or you have shoved down your real feelings without dealing with them. Or perhaps you are holding onto a painful belief that isn’t true…or maybe a combination of all of the above.

But putting the Band-Aid of positivity on top of it without doing the deep dive isn’t going to change much. Until you ask, “What I am actually doing or believing or allowing that is making me feel this way?” You’re going to stay stuck.

You have to feel and experience even the painful things that are happening now. That’s life. We are supposed to be learning from these experiences because without pain we would be shallow, vapid, and wouldn’t understand much about other people at all.

Feeling pain is both extremely human, and totally transcendent.


Facing your fears means taking action and disproving them, or surrendering and allowing the worst to happen, and realize that you are still OK. Life goes on. Life is still beautiful.

Everything is going to be all right. Every pain has a lesson, but you have to lean into that pain to learn the lesson. You can’t wish it away.

Trying to make everything shiny and perfect without honoring the truth that is sitting right under the surface of our skin is a recipe for disaster.

And as Robert Frost said, “The best way out is always through.”