|  Blog Post   |  Rainbows, butterflies, and puppies

Rainbows, butterflies, and puppies

What if when we demand positivity, we’re denying our resilience?

The demand on others and ourselves to be positive no matter what often only means we aren’t creating the space to allow the tough, the dark, and the struggle to exist right alongside the triumphs, the light, and our resilience.

When we don’t create that brave space to allow the dark and the light, too often, it only means the tough, the dark, and the struggle own everything.

It also means people can feel invisible, not valued and seen, let alone cared for, and frustrated, if not resentful.

Because things are tough. 

And the demand to deny that, spewing empty positivity (or pooping rainbows, butterflies, and puppies* everywhere as I like to call it) steals more from us than it will ever help or deliver.

When we do the work to lean into the dark and the light, we will have more opportunity to grow true connection with others through empathy, authentic support, engaged teamwork, actual change and growth, and of course, courageous resilience.

So perhaps, the next time, instead of saying “we just have to be positive!!!” and demanding through denying, we can say something like, “I know this is hard, and it sucks. What can we do to help the hard while also making sure we don’t stay stuck in it?”

*If you’ve been here a while, you know I LOVE me some rainbows, butterflies, and puppies…literally…just not the spewed empty toxic positivity version of them.?


Justine is a Licensed Professional Counselor with more than 25 years of experience in traditional mental health and personal and professional development. Justine has been certified in the work of Dr. Brené Brown for ten years. Justine is the author of eleven books, including five Amazon bestsellers covering subjects such as infertility, faith, and grief. She has been honored to do two TEDx Talks, The Permission of the And and The Donut Effect. She travels nationally and presents virtually to global audiences delivering keynotes, workshops, retreats, and trainings on topics such as leadership, courage, resilience, mental health, preventing and coping with burnout, and courageous and curious conversation, especially in creating cultures of belonging and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Justine lives in St. Louis with her husband Chad, their three dogs, and for four months of the year hundreds of monarch and swallowtail butterflies.

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