Hello and welcome to Friday, December 3, 2021. Do your best to engage in this day. You will not get another chance.
I realize it’s not wise to use absolutes, but I’m confident that complaining has never solved a single problem. It does, however, make things worse.
It’s bad enough that we have negative opinions and inner dialogues about the things we find displeasing. We unfortunately make things even worse when we feel the need to share our problems with others. It doesn’t matter if it’s something as trivial as the Monday blues or if it’s a legitimate difficulty, we seem to need to justify our woes.
To be clear, we do have genuine struggles and difficulties. It’s therefore important that we recognize that there is a difference between problem solving and complaining. One focuses on the solution and the other gathers strength and fortifies the perceived crisis.
A significant issue that reinforces complaining is that we tend to think that we shouldn’t encounter difficulties. For instance, when we get stuck in a long line at the store, a thought may arise suggesting that there shouldn’t be long lines. We believe this thought and explain to others in the line that this is a stupid situation. They of course agree and the consensus is that the business needs to hire more cashiers. Though both parties believe they have the solution, this is not problem solving. This is complaining and makes things worse. Don’t make things worse.
The fact is, we will always encounter situations that trouble us. We can of course take the path of trying to accept the problems we encounter and use them as an opportunity to grow. And while this is a highly effective practice, most of us will eventually face a situation that is frankly unacceptable. At this point, we don’t want to hear from anyone that what we’re up against is an opportunity.
In an instance such as this, when we are emotionally triggered and have strong opinions about what’s happening, the most effective thing we can do is introspectively be aware of our discontent and do our best to keep our mouth shut until we can calm down and get into solution mode. We don’t want to make things worse. If the situation happens to be completely out of our control, well, then we get to use it as an opportunity to practice acceptance. I know, we don’t want to hear that it's an opportunity. But it is.
If Mindful during troubling times, we can choose to make things worse by complaining about our situation, or from a place of wisdom and with a peaceful heart, we can choose to accept the uncontrollable situation and/or get into solution mode. If not Mindful, well, whatever you usually do is what will likely happen. We are creatures of habit.
Life can be a struggle at times. I get it. But if we’re truly honest, most of us will see that our troubles are few. Through ongoing and habitual complaining, we tend to keep our problems alive and well in everything we do. As we drive, we entertain complaints about the boss. As we walk to get the mail, we share our negative feelings about Mondays with the neighbor. While eating, we complain about long lines to our family.
We don’t have to feed our difficulties with complaints. Through a comprehensive Mindfulness practice, we can learn to recognize a complaint when it arises in our mind, and quickly let it go. The good news is that most problems will die of neglect.
I’m here to help.
You are Loved by me, Unconditionally!
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