To Be Cleansed from Complaints

I’ve got a little problem: I’ve been complaining. A lot.

It’s so easy to do. As soon as I get in the car and I’m ready to roll, I’m irritated because someone is driving super slowly. Then someone going straight blocks the right lane so I can’t turn. When I finally get to the convenience store to buy a magazine and orange juice, someone’s buying lottery tickets. Ugh. As if he’s going to win, anyway! And don’t even get me started on the holiday shoppers. ‘Tis the season to curse folks out.

As someone who believes in the power of positive thinking, I am uncomfortable with my behavior. Yes, we all have moments when we’re impatient, annoyed, or frustrated, but dwelling on everything we think is wrong with our lives is an invitation to unhappiness. You have more power to change your mood than you give yourself credit for, and at some point you have to step back and realize that some people have it much, much worse. Some people aren’t so privileged that they can gripe about their Wifi conking out.

So, to counteract the wave of negativity that has seeped into my life, I’d like to start a complaint cleanse. No eye-rolling. No huffing and puffing. Yes, it’s difficult to find a parking spot at the crowded mall, but I get to celebrate the holidays with my friends and family. I have gained a little weight, but I can walk, run, jump, kick, and squat, and I’m generally healthy. My thighs are worth a personal Armageddon.

When I feel I’m about to strangle someone, I will breathe deeply, count to ten, and smile, even for a moment. I will be grateful. I will not let silly little annoyances like kids running around a store make me bitter, even if it would behoove their parents to chastise them.

And if I must kick myself (gently, with purpose and love) from time to time for a rogue squawk, I will be a much more joyful person. My happiness, after all, is worth it in the end.

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4 thoughts on “To Be Cleansed from Complaints

  1. I support your effort at complaint cleanse.

    Sometimes all the positivity training and ideas we have are in deep conflict with our complaints because by not acknowledging them, for fear of being negative, we are actually holding on to them, and thus the conflict.

    I found a satisfying way of cleansing I’ll share with you. Woke up one day, grabbed my journal and wrote down in prose and list all the things I was hating and resenting, but struggling to not verbalize. Got it off my chest. Wrote even in “colorful” wording I don’t often use. Sometimes the pen on paper was light, sometimes easily read three pages deep. Several pages later, I got to the point I had run out of complaints and hates and resentments.

    Not that they vanished into the ether, but, they were no longer weighing on me. The Positive wasn’t just the other side of the negative coin. I felt an honest release that let me focus without conflict on the good, with no longer giving subtle but equal weight to the bad…

    Hope it helps.

    1. Your idea sounds great. I’ve found that writing my feelings down is a great way to release them, as it makes them more tactile–and thereby more controllable. I’m going to make a list of everything that annoys me, ball it up, and throw it away. Thank you for reading! 🙂

  2. It seems we are both in the same headspace these days. I am also making efforts to be grateful in life. But it does take conscious effort as it’s always easier to slide toward the negative rather than the positive. As the Indigo Girls very succinctly put it, “Darkness has a hunger that’s insatiable, and lightness has a call that’s hard to hear”. So true!

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