Shadow Work for Fighting "Toxic Positivity"

I stumbled upon this image on Instagram. This is from psychotherapist Whitney Goodman

This can totally be used for shadow work!

I sometimes fall in the trap of “good vibes only” so I really liked this image. It gives me an alternative way to look at the negative without erasing or ignoring it.

On the other hand, I still think some of the phrases on the left are still missing some depth… But it’s a start! I feel the best part of shadow work is that looking at our shadow and helping it come to the surface is always better than covering it behind “love and light”.

What do you think?


I’ve heard the term “toxic positivty” before, and I think this image does a good job putting it into light with examples!

I’m also guilty of sometimes grabbing phrases on the right when I want to comfort someone- I heard all of these lines so many times throughout my life, they are burned into my memory! :sweat_smile:

I think this is a great movement calling attention to the fact that good intentions can sometimes hurt. You may want to cheer someone up, but everyone is in a different place mentally :brain: . @SilverBear started a very powerful and important conversation My Reasons for Practicing Witchcraft on the topic of mental health and how everyone comes to the practice with a different frame of mind.

This picture calling “Toxic Positivity” to attention is a good reminder that words have a lot of power, and in order to prevent doing more damage, we should take time to choose our words carefully and show empathy to the person we want to help! :raised_hands:

Thank you for sharing, @Francisco! :pray::two_hearts:


I like this a lot, thanks for sharing @Francisco!

I think it’s important to acknowledge that not everything is perfect or positive all the time; sometimes things are hard and you feel negative emotions, and that’s ok. I think realizing that makes for much more constructive solutions :blush:


Yes, the image above reminded me of that post! And also a post by @christina4 Shadow Working💪 was very inspiring as a technique to forgive and heal.


Oh, I have heard most of those quite regularly since my diagnoses last fall when I fell into a depression and my anxiety really got kicked up since December. I know that my close friends mean no ill will and probably couldn’t find the words. I love having an alternative to some of those phrases for when I am guilty of using those same terms when I am speaking with someone that is having a hard time. I have used the, “See the good in everything” a couple of times in the last few months. I really like the alternative.


That is beautiful! Thanks so much! Unfortunately, my mother has said all those to me before. I also have mental illness. I refuse to be medicated. I’ve learned to sit with my feelings and let me tell you that I’ve been through a lot in my 35 years! But, I too see the good in everyone. I can’t judge bc I know what its like to be judged. The biggest thing in the beginning is to set boundaries. Also meds take from my clairaudience and my intuition is off.


I think you are both very strong, @Susurrus and @christina4! :heart: It takes a lot of endurance and self-resolve to keep your head held high while you live with mental illness. You are both inspirational :pray:

Meditation is a great practice to help bring calmness, clarity, and serenity when we feel down! :woman_in_lotus_position::two_hearts: But sometimes meditation alone isn’t enough- I know several very strong and brave people who use medication for their mental illness and it has helped them keep going through their darkest times :dove:.

For anyone struggling with mental health, I think it’s important to try many different ways of treating it- and whether you find that medication, meditation, another healthy coping mechanism, or a mix of several methods works for you, all the power to you! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

Sending lots of love and support! :sparkling_heart:


HI @christina4 & @BryWisteria! I take a minimal amount of medication now. I have been diagnosed with mental illness since my early 20s, and there was a time that I was over medicated, and I wouldn’t say I liked it. Now it’s necessary, and I’m focusing on techniques to get through my feelings, and meditation is something that has been brought up to me in my various appointments! My father uses those phrases more than my mother does; she also has a mental illness, so she tends to listen more than speak when I am going through my perils with her.


Recently I tried to stop taking my very mild med but I realize that I should probably start again. I noticed I am not able to control my aggravation towards others and I get anxious more easily. Meditation was helping for a bit, but with all the stress and negativity I have to deal with right now I have decided to start them again until the negative is removed from my life and I can really concentrate on me.


I have done the same thing at times and once I could focus on myself it got easier to ease off of mild and not so mild medications. You will make it through. It takes time and a little bit of patience. I am still a work in progress too! :heart:


Positivity is the practice of being or tendency to be positive or optimistic in attitude.
Toxic is poisonous or very bad, unpleasant and harmful.

Two words that are complete opposite of each other…I am probably the unpopular opinion on this but I hate that term “toxic positivity”

While I agree we can’t all be positive ALL the time…I think when most people say, “Never give up!” They mean, just that, “don’t give up! You got this!” I truly believe when people say this it’s meant in a non-harmful way. A way of being uplifting. Not a way of being dismissive.

Never once did I think I was being toxic by giving advice like this to friends or family. Yes, it’s ok to not be OK, but yeah, don’t give up either!

Ha, not sure if I am explaining myself right, since it’s hard to ‘read’ tone.

Sometimes “toxic positivity” phrases may over simplify emotions, but never once did I think I was being cruel, mean or uncaring or ignoring the fact that someone was going through some crap by just saying “hang in there, friend. This too shall pass.”

Although I TRY to live life with the whole good vibes thing, and I always try to find the silver lining, I am in no way blind to the crappiness that can be. I choose to look at that crappiness, deal with it, get over it and move on. Sometimes people get stuck in the crappiness and need to hear the blunt version of “Get over it and stop being so negative!”

I have to mention, I am typically not into all the PC terms either, but I am not an uncaring individual. I just think people are stuck in a cycle of always looking for “bad mojo” were there isn’t any.

Yes, people’s feelings are valid, it doesn’t mean they need to set up camp and live there. :slight_smile:


Meditation is a beautiful thing! If I could I’d meditate a lil day long! :woman_in_lotus_position: And by all means take your meds if you need. I’m just explaining my experience with meds. I was taking meds for decades. I learned how to control my emotions better.


@christina4 Yes! I have been working really hard in counseling and have finally come to a place where I don’t want to be dependent on them and I have lessened what I take a great deal by changing my daily practices and how I deal with things. The meditation works to reset my mind and filter in more patience. I’ve noticed it with the last few times I have worked on it. I am up to at least 3 times a day and I have gone from 3 minutes to 5 minutes at a time. I started with the Breathly app and the other day I downloaded Headspace and it has worked out really well for me!


I was recommended by a friend this app called #self care. It’s about a person who represents you. She lays in bed all day. There’s all kinds of activities you have to do that make her feel better. When you make her sun shine bright, you get a gift for your virtual altar. You even get a cat! You can change little details in the game like a bed quilt, different styles for certain activities, etc. There’s a good sound (singing bowls!) When you do the massage mini game. I find the app to be quite helpful!!!


@christina4 oh that’s awesome that you found such an app! I’m so happy that it works for you too. :heavy_heart_exclamation:


You are all very strong witches @christina4, @Katt, @Susurrus! :heart: And you know yourselves and your needs best- so whatever works for you to help keep your head held high, stick with it! :raised_hands: These days there’s an extra weight we have to carry with everything going on in the world- stay strong! :two_hearts: Sending oodles of love and support to you all :sparkling_heart:

Ohhhh @christina4, this sounds so nice! :heart_eyes: Sometimes caring for someone else is an act of caring for yourself too- it sounds like this app is a really great and modern approach to self care! :dove: Thank you for sharing :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


Thank you very much for all of your support and love over the last couple of days. I feel like I am coming into my own little practice. I started reading a book that was recommended in one of the courses last night. I’m kind of a little witchy sponge right now & I am enjoying taking it all in! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: :heart_eyes:


Toxic positivity seems a publicity slogan and this is very superficial. In internet is common to find an online motivational coach! Honestly, I don’t like them because they are not healing our emotional pains. I once hired a coach and I didn’t like the experience!


My wife to a psychiatrist after an accident (she fell off a ladder at work) and the fist thing he asked was do you want meds or help. She said help of course. He refered her to a local church for help.

She never went and continued learning more about self help and meditation. Obviously it helped more than any therapist would have.

Many practioners have said the same about therapist and meds. It’s the first thing they want to do so it’s less work for them to have to deal with.

The same with medical doctors I feel the first thing they do is try to give you a pill so that you just leave them alone. I am thankful that our doctors respect our beliefs and only give meds when it is medically needed.


That seems to be such a big industry, it sickens me. I am from a city (Buenos Aires) that is considered to have the highest rate of psychoanalysts per capita in the world. But they will never prescribe you any drugs (like psychiatrists do), just help you talk your way out of your neurosis. And it’s extremely popular!

Of course, there are those who claim that “it’s just a paid friend” :laughing: and in part it’s true! But it helps a lot of people and it’s always the “in-between” step before you get any medications.