Bif Naked: Positivity is a religion. And it's mine.

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      Here’s a question: Why are you squandering your life? 

      Why are you not, at the very least, fumbling toward your “higher purpose?”

      And more importantly, why are you not doing something to uplift others in 2023?

      Now don’t get all defensive or upset, because in fairness, I’m saying this to myself, too. The truth is, every single one of us, with few very rare examples, are squandering the one opportunity we have in this life, miring ourselves in the stressful drama we call our lives.

      Squandering what, exactly, you ask? Well…to live like god. 

      Now let’s be clear. I don’t mean the god of any church or religion. I’m not talking about some prescribed morality devised by some egomaniac with a 1,000-year-old understanding of the human condition.

      I mean, you. The purest, unadulterated, loving you.

      Call me idealistic, but we are all, with few, very rare examples, naturally good and decent, because we were all born pure and innocent. You were born god: true of heart, pure of love.

      And in the doldrums of spiritual emptiness that we find all around us in this year of our demented lord, 2023, the god we’d been promised is nowhere to be found. So we gotta look inside. Pull our own god socks up and be our own little gods. A return to form. The way we were. You feel me?

      I certainly am aware that I am saying this housed in a thin, neurotypical, non-disabled, white, cisgender body. I get it. I’m what’s known as a “lucky punk” and I try to live gratitude to this astonishing privilege. I was born to a loving Canadian teenage mom in India, and adopted by a young, loving, well-educated American couple working and living in Bareilly. My family was middle class. There were three girls—two white kids (my little sister and myself) and a brown kid (my older sister). The Pas, Lexington, Dauphin, and Winnipeg. My pop was a professor of dentistry and my mom, despite having degrees in education and nursing, looked after us three orangutan brats. As primary male and female role models, they were basically exemplary.

      But the thing was, my parents  were super into God. The one we keep hearing about. Maybe that helped, too. Or maybe it didn’t. I’m still figuring it out. My God-lovin’ dad went to his grave convinced I was not living my “true life” (his words), certain I was actually gay, not bisexual as I claimed. He didn’t get it. My God-lovin’ mom was—and remains—the epitome of soft-spoken politeness and shy purity, who was always—and remains—my biggest fan. I was the only kid in my family to fly the coop as a teen, and left my hometown and moved to Vancouver with my beloved first band, GorillaGorilla. 

      Some shit happened along the way. I survived. I forgave. Stayed positive, because positivity is a religion. And I believe it when I say it: we are all this religion’s gods. 

      Perhaps this has been a coping technique all along, and is enshrouded in what is popularly known as “toxic positivity,” but obviously I beg to differ.

      I’ve considered this many times over the years, that perhaps I’m defensive and in denial about my own hyper positive talk and leanings, and my endeavor to encourage and spread loving kindness and harmoniousness both on and off the stage. Aligning with the straight edge kids and leaving alcohol and smack behind, diving head-first into veganism when I was in my 20s, and falling into and in love with yoga, certainly fueled my thinking.

      All of these choices enabled me to stay alive and keep going, keep learning and working and, hopefully, evolving.

      I was not smarter or empowered by wizardry or magic, and in fact was just a regular kinda damaged kid who survived misadventures and as a result people-pleased, fawned, and over-compensated my way through adult life.

      I am a rape survivor, a welfare survivor, a violence survivor, an overdose survivor, a cancer survivor, a stroke survivor. I’m a still-breathing performing artist, with the peaks and valleys that that shit entails. I’m a 100-per-cent-optimistic knucklehead, obsessed positivity, and helpful no matter what the heck is going on in my own life.

      So when I say that you can pull your god socks up, I think you can do it. It matters. This year that we’re heading into? The rest of this decade? You see what’s going on? You need it. I need it. Fuck the drama. Stay positive. Stay empowered. Stay god.

      We all fucking need it.

      IDEAS is for writers and other creatives to explore ideas in essay form that exist outside the news cycle. It can be anything – microcosmic, intergalactic, funny, esoteric, whatever. As long it has heart, has something to say, and is you being you.