Complaining is misdirected focus
Day 292/366 days Towards Self-Mastery.
"Today if you must complain, at least be creative about it!" Oh I love Sarah' inspiration for today!
Complaining. It's definitely about the cup half empty.
Until recently, or maybe even still, I was a person who took things very literally. So when someone complained I imagined that their life was a mess and I needed to somehow help them so that they would have something to feel joy about.
But then I began to look more closely at the complainers. I noticed that they complained about things that they then didn't do anything to change. I noticed that they would complain to me but tell someone else a different story.
Was I giving them attention with my attentiveness, and encouraging them to complain? Did they somehow feel heard and attended to by my willingness to be present to their gripes?
This curiosity lead me to respond differently. There are people in my life who complain so bitterly that you wonder if the sky has fallen. Nowadays I've become very skilled at asking them, "and did anything go right at all?" The response is often surprisingly full and exuberant. Simply changing their focus reminds them that life is not all bad!
As I reflect I realise that it was a lesson hard learned. I too was an ardent complainer. My story was one of tragedy and I told it to willing and listening ears, until my dearest friend asked, "so life wasn't always a tragedy Josie." It was at that time that I realised what I was doing. Focussing on the failings and not on the joy, the things that went well, the things I had accomplished.
Sometimes all it takes is one good friend being courageous enough to put you straight.
Sarah suggests today that if you are going to complain, at least do it creatively. Let your audience know that you are about to download a tragic story and that you need to get it off your chest. You might suggest that they don't take it personally and that it won't take long and you'll be all okay again.
Or you could look more closely at your life and make the commitment to redirect your focus to what's going right.
Life is living through you. It wants you to let go of resistance and allow it to flow. You do that by embracing life and loving it, talking about it, sharing your wins, sharing your learnings even, and maybe just consider reframing the what's wrong with life and discover the wisdom there.
366 days Towards Self-Mastery
When I considered my New Year's intentions for 2020 I had just one: To allow my heart to love what it loved...and let it lead me. (If not now, then when?)
I've spent months working on integrating my life. To live life more fully with my home life, my interests, my work, my responsibilities, all coming together, all connected. I want to give each the attention that they desire and need, and still have time and energy for the others. That means living and working from the heart.
As I was clearing out my bookshelf over the Christmas break I discovered Simple Abundance. I set it aside to explore it on New Year's Day as I lazed through another delicious day of nothingness. Sarah, the author, says this book is about living in grace. Living in grace I realised, is about Self-Mastery.
My thirst for understanding the human condition has driven me all my life, and hand-in-hand with self-mastery it has been a life-long goal. And seeing as I love to write, that living in grace is about self-mastery, and I love a bit of a challenge, then if I am truly going to let my heart lead, I really don't have any other choice. So scary as it feels, I'm starting out on a daily mission of leaning into the suggestions of this daybook and making a daily post to keep me accountable. If not now, then when?
I'm Josie. You can find out a little more about me here.
Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy: by Sarah Ban Breathnach.
This book is written for the Australian and NZ market because it refers to seasonal changes. It's available on Amazon here if you'd like to follow along.