Wow, are there a lot of things for people to complain about right now.
Spend any time on social media and you will immediately see what I mean. People are complaining about stay-at-home orders intended to protect them. There are many complaints about Biden as the presumptive candidate of the Democratic party. Don’t even get me started with complaints about Trump and his awful cronies.
Complaining does not feel good. When you complain about something it will elevate, put focus on it, and frankly will make you feel worse.
That’s the long and short of it. When you complain, all you are doing is giving energy and attention to that which you do not want.
Consciousness creates reality. If you are consciously giving your thoughts and feelings to complaints, guess what you are creating more of? More things to complain about.
COVID-19 has forced the world into a position nobody has ever expected. A global pandemic like this has not occurred in over 100 years. While there have been other near-pandemics, the exception, this time, is that its spread was not arrested before it reached the full global pandemic level.
I can complain a whole lot about the people responsible for that. You can complain about not being able to be with the people you care about.
Or maybe it’s time to change our focus and stop complaining.
Complaining serves no purpose at all
“If you complain nothing happens so you might as well not bother.”
That comes from a Monty Python sketch of all things. It’s only funny in that it’s all too true.
I could spend all day complaining about things. It’s easy, there is any number of things that are displeasing to me, so I could rant, rave, and complain endlessly. But do you know how that will make me feel? Will I feel better? Relieved? Unburdened.
Truth is, complaining just makes you feel worse.
Ever notice how the protests and demonstrations that are most empowering are not lodging a complaint — but instead seeking a solution? When Trump was elected, the March for Science on Washington, DC, was not based on complaint but it’s opposite: approval for science. The same thing applied to the March for Women — approval, and praise for women.
In the English language, the antonyms for complaint include praise, compliment, approval, and pleasure. I don’t know about you, but all of these are things that make ME feel good.
Complaining expresses discontent but offers no means of release for it. It just gives that which you are complaining about emphasis. Emphasizing something you are complaining about will make it bigger and more empowered.
Misery loves company
People who feel bad want to be validated. They desire to have others also feel bad because then they feel justified. For example, look at those complaining about the perceived impingement of their freedoms with the Michigan governor’s stay-at-home-order. They are aggrieved and have been led to believe their civil liberties are being violated.
Nevermind the fact that the stay-at-home order is meant to protect them. Gathering together in large groups spreads the virus. These measures being employed only reach the level of a violation of your civil liberties when you are shot on sight on the streets for not staying at home.
However, continuing down this line is complaining, and that will solve nothing. Let’s focus instead on the good of following the order. You are protecting yourself and those you love. What’s more, you are helping to flatten the curve, which will allow such orders to be lifted sooner rather than later.
When you join the misery with complaining you expand it. Do we need more negativity in the world? Does finding things to feel bad, angry, frustrated, and otherwise negative about do anyone any good at all?
Perhaps a shift in focus is needed.
Be the change you wish to see in the world
It may be cliché and overused, but it’s still a true statement. You have more power within yourself to be a positive force. Every individual point of light that comes together lessens the darkness.
Too optimistic? Too pie-in-the-sky and Pollyanna for you? So what? Why resist efforts to find, create, and be positive?
Because other people are suffering. How can you be so callous as to be positive in the face of so much awfulness? To clarify — this is part of the well-worn selfishness argument.
Overall, we misunderstand what selfishness is. True, actual, factual selfishness is taking for yourself and leaving nothing for anyone else OR intentionally denying, harming, and hurting others with your selfish actions.
For example — selfishness is a Senator, on the one hand, talking down the seriousness of a pandemic while, on the other hand, simultaneously selling off stock to turn a profit because they know a crash is coming. Or, on a more personal level, selfishness is hoarding toilet paper — and when your neighbor askes for just a couple of rolls saying no.
Complaining is a self-perpetuating action. Complain about one thing and you will surely find more to complain about.
Consider how you want to feel. Hey, if you enjoy wallowing in sorrow and misery, then, by all means, keep complaining.
But if you prefer to find solace, to improve your day, and not feel awful — seek out things to compliment, praise, and take pleasure in.
Consciousness creates reality
Like attracts like. What you give your mindfulness to you will get more of. So be aware of your thoughts, feelings, and actions — especially when you find yourself complaining — and take control over them. Change them to something that will make you feel better, not worse.
You are more powerful than you know. Stop letting your subconscious absorb all the complaints and cause you to consciously add to them. Empower yourself with your mindfulness and instead commend, applaud, and recognize things to approve of rather than complain about.
In conclusion, I offer you this challenge: Be mindful and pay attention to your thoughts, feelings, and actions for just one day. When you hear yourself begin to complain — or start thinking thoughts of complaint — change them.
Shift them instead to gratitude.
Gratitude is a device of pure positivity. Being grateful is an excellent tool to counter complaining and negativity.
So, my challenge to you, for just one day, is to exchange complaint for gratitude.
If that doesn’t make you feel better, then feel free to ignore it. But if it does — and I expect that it will — consider making it a more regular practice than complaining.
You are worthy and deserving of using mindfulness to find and/or create the reality in which you desire to live. When all is said and done you and I matter and complaining unnecessarily lessens us and our power.