“When you complain, you make yourself a victim.
Leave the situation, change the situation, or accept it.
All else is madness.”
– Eckhart Tolle
Complaining, griping, kvetching – we all do it, right?
Complaining can be a habit and, for most of us, it’s pretty easy to get others to commiserate with us. It can even feel anti-social not to join in someone else’s bitch session. But is complaining really a habit worth continuing?
Facebook Memories reminded me I had engaged in a complaint-free week in 2011. It was an interesting and revealing week. Here’s a recap:
Day #1. For the next seven days, I’m committed to living a Complaint-Free life. Zero tolerance for complaining or blaming.
[I got the idea from Will Bowen, the founder of an organization called A Complaint Free World. I posted my commitment and invited Facebook friends to join in.]
Day #2. It’s natural to notice things we don’t like. That’s the contrast that inspires desire. The contrast also sets up a crossroads. We can complain and attract more of what we don’t like OR we can make peace with what-is, focus on what we prefer and attract more of the good stuff.
[I get to choose how I respond and it matters very much what I choose. As A Course in Miracles proclaims, “I could choose love instead!” Or fun . . . or joy . . . or . . . ]
Day #3. I notice my tendency to complain when I have to wait – at the chiropractor’s office, checking out at the grocery store, etc. I’m wondering – Is complaining a response to feeling powerless?
[It may feel like I’m taking my power back when I complain, but complaining actually lowers my vibration and exacerbates my feeling of powerlessness.]
Day #4. The weather forecast calls for a high of 108 here in Austin. Rather than complaining about the heat, I intend to appreciate the air conditioning and imagine cool crisp fall weather coming.
[My neighbor was bemoaning the heat wave that day and I responded that I’d love to join in but I had committed to a complaint-free week. We both laughed.]
Day #5. I bet if we REALLY got it that we create our own reality, instead of complaining about a reality we don’t like, we’d get busy creating a reality we prefer.
[Complaining only brings us more to complain about.]
“Instead of cursing the darkness, light a candle.”
– Benjamin Franklin
Day #6. If I say it’s too damn hot or this traffic sucks or why did she cut my hair so short, I’m complaining. If I say it’s really hot, there’s a lot of traffic today, she sure cut my hair short this time, I’m noticing. One is a complaint and one is an observation. And the vibrational difference is huge.
[This was a fun realization. I can notice what-is without complaining about it.]
Day #7. Calls to customer service departments have often been less than a cakewalk for me so I set a strong intention before calling AT&T today. It worked! I sailed through the entire call without complaint and proved that – with the right attitude – I can enjoy every moment of this physical life experience.
[How empowering to know that it’s possible to enjoy any situation. Well, if not enjoy, at least accept.]
Revisiting my Complaint-Free Week reminded me:
how much easier it is to maintain a high vibration when I refuse to give in to blaming and complaining.
I can always choose a better feeling response.
instead of complaining about a reality I don’t like, I can focus on the reality I prefer and, thus, create a better feeling experience.
Today I’m beginning another complaint-free week. I’m super determined to find something positive about every situation. Why? Because it feels better to light a candle than to curse the darkness!
Will you join me?