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Complaining II

If you have a value around gratitude and appreciation, you may find yourself feeling annoyed hearing yourself complain.

"I shouldn't complain," is one of the most common ways I hear people disconnect with feelings and needs.  I am guessing that, like me, your complaints have often met with education or corrections like; "Do you know there are people starving all over the world??", "Don't you realize how lucky you are?!", "I worked hard for this. You should appreciate it!"

Hearing yourself complain with giraffe ears (with empathy), you can stay connected to yourself and still be in alignment with your value around appreciation and gratitude.

Complaints are like a yellow alert.  They let you know something is amiss, but they rarely provide specifics.  Often I find that the complaint has little to do with what's really happening.  It's easier to say your soup doesn't taste good than to express worry about job security.

When you notice yourself complaining, turn towards that voice with a bigger you and get curious.  The bigger you might say something like:

         "Oh, I'm complaining.  Something must be up for me of which I am not quite aware.  Let me take a breath and sit still a moment to notice my thoughts, feelings, and needs."

Complaining often arises because some small part of you has you convinced that it is not okay to have or express particular needs.

I just returned from a long backpacking trip.  Somewhere in the middle I started to complain silently and aloud.  I was getting tired, but another part of me didn't think I should get tired.  For a while some small part of me had me convinced that there wasn't space for my need for rest.  When I finally did accept my need for rest, I slept a good part of 24 hours.  Magically the complaining voice was gone the next day.

This week use your complaining voice as a cue to get mindful about your internal experience.  Check for limiting beliefs that have you in a trance about what's possible for you.  Connect with feelings and needs alive for you and the truth about meeting them.

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2 Responses

  1. Jun 24, 2011

    I really love this line "Check for limiting beliefs that have you in a trance about what's possible for you. Connect with feelings and needs alive for you and the truth about meeting them."

    Often times I find when I am in a trance I don't even know it. In fact that is the most salient charactertisic of being in a trance. I need to find a trance wake up alarm clock. Got one?

    any way love the love and care for the world you send every week.

  2. Jun 25, 2011

    Thanks for sharing this. Many of your comments I feel like, "I kind of knew that, but it's a good reminder." This one feels like new information.

    I have caught myself complaining and then criticized myself as if it's a character defect. (When I was a kid, I got reprimanded for complaining.) Lately I've even said, "I'm tired of hearing myself whine about this."

    I guess I really need to be more compassionate with myself and listen beneath the surface, attending as I would to one of my own clients. I think my hesitancy to do this is that I'm not trusting that there really is a better solution to my situation at present.

    I really appreciate your work and will check out your book.

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