Join us in the month of May to take a look at ourselves and the habit of complaining. What would it be like to let that habit go…?
I complain about the aches and pains in my body, my dog, my old house that needs repair, my hair, my clothes. I complain about money, the weather, politics. I complain out loud, I complain in my head, I am guilty as charged. But this month I am on a “fast” from complaining. I am going to be extra aware of all the ways I like to complain and how it serves me both positive and negative.
How does complaining serve?
Let’s start with the negative…that’s easy, complaining doesn’t really change anything. It is negative self-talk that can bring you down and make you and others around you depressed. If your thoughts create your experience, which I do believe, then complaining is like asking for what you don’t want.
How can complaining serve me in a positive way? It gets attention. Someone has to listen to it. It is a way that people connect with others. My friends and relatives call to complain but at least they are calling and I am happy to listen and help them sort things out. It can start a healthy conversation because pretending everything is perfect doesn’t allow people to let their guard down and be authentic.
So what to look out for and how can we become more aware?
1. Watch your thoughts. When you are using words like “always” and “never” a complaint usually follows. “He always forgets to take out the trash or she never helps around here.” When you are blaming others it’s a way to shift the burden and make it someone else’s fault. These are words that make it sound as if change is not possible.
2. Search for the meaning behind your negative thoughts and feelings. For me, “My hips hurt” is a common complaint. It’s a negative affirmation that brings me more of the same…hips that hurt. For this month, I will acknowledge certain things, like pain in the body but in a way that it brings the subject to the light. What is the message that my body is trying to get me to pay attention to?
3. Analyze a situation, if something isn’t working, then think of ways to change it. “I will find the right plumber to fix this broken faucet at a price I can afford”. Then get going and find a plumber. For those things we cannot change. Substitute positive thoughts to help you accept the situation. “We really need this rain”.
I love this quote by Eckhart Tolle.
“To complain is always non-acceptance of what is. It invariably carries an unconscious negative charge. When you complain, you make yourself into a victim. When you speak out, you are in your power. So change the situation by taking action or by speaking out if necessary or possible; leave the situation or accept it. All else is madness.”
Let’s make May a month of no complaints!