What happens when you stop complaining?
Sometimes, a complaint dissolves, stopping in your throat or behind your teeth.
Sometimes, it escapes and you start the practice all over again….and that is why it is called a practice.
With each complaint that bubbles up, you get the opportunity to consider its source. You notice these sources of malcontent.
Perhaps your complaint is a manifestation of anger. There is an anger that can spark a positive movement. You can see something in your life and say, “I don’t like this, will not stand for this!” You have decided to stop complaining, so you will act.
Other complaints may feel like anger. Look closer and see how deeply entwined anger is with grief. Grief over life’s shoulds, coulds and woulds. Grief over the things you think you have lost. Grief over things and circumstances, real or imagined, that you think you want. You have decided to stop complaining, so you will begin to make peace with your grief.
You will notice how often you try to control things that cannot be controlled. You will see elaborate arguments with reality distracting you from a life of gratitude and purpose.
You will soften. You will let go.
Conversations will become simple, more fulfilling. You will feel cleaner, more grounded and present. Unrepentant, you will feel more connected to living as your best self.
Why am I trying to stop complaining?
I decided a long time ago that I do not want to live a life seeing the world as lacking or made up of dumbasses, dirtbags and stupid people. I do not want to look at the world as a construction of circumstances contributing to my discomfort or failure. I want to live in a beautiful world, full of possibility. Even in the dark times – even in situations of unspeakable violence and destruction – I want to see an opportunity for change and healing rather than blame and name-calling.
The stakes are now even higher. I am raising two girls, two humans, two little adults in training. Do I want to be a family that meets up at the dinner table to complain about the day? No. Do I have an opportunity to pass on positive values and useful tools to bring good people into this world? Absolutely.
I have the opportunity to do my best every day.
No more complaining. It’s a practice I am willing to take on. I am willing to stumble, fall and get back up, bigger and brighter each time.
This is my action.
(And, seriously – how fortunate to live in a stable home, not in a war zone or a garbage dump? How fortunate to have running water and the opportunity to wonder “Oh, I don’t know, should I buy the organic ones?” at the grocery store. What the EFF do I really have to complain about?)