Actor Robert Pattison dealt with an obsessed fan who had been camping outside his apartment, by taking her out on a dinner date. He said “I just complained about everything in my life and she never came back.”
We can laugh at that (and I did), but there really is an unseen contradiction in us relative to complaining. Here is the contradiction. We don’t like to hear others complain, but yet, we take liberty any chance we can, to torment others with our complaints about people and about life.
What are some complaints that arise in you every day? Are they weather related? Are they complaints about why people do what they do, or why they don’t do what you believe they should do? Are they about politics, religion, the economy? There may be a complaint in you right now about not wanting to investigate complaining!
I can look back at the time I was raising my own children and see how the art of complaining was cultivated in them by me. Obviously, it’s not something I consciously chose to do. It was something that was unconsciously learned and was done without question.
I would come home from work and as we sat at the dinner table for our meal, I would complain about a certain co-worker. This took place almost every evening for years. This co-worker became a household name. Every night I wasn’t just feeding my kid’s dinner, I was feeding them negativity about people and about life. My kids not only learned the art of complaining, but they learned to dislike the co-worker I spoke about, yet they didn’t even know this person. There’s so much harm done when we don’t question things.
When we complain about people and about life, we unknowingly feed the world with negativity, and the more we complain, the more Life sends us people and events to complain about. It’s law, an unwritten, unseen law that governs this world. Wouldn’t that be something good and helpful to know? Well you know it now...
If you really want to see how deep complaining is embedded in this consciousness of ours, work to be aware of any complaint about another person or event that comes up in you and agree instead to bear it and not share it. You may just find that for the first time in your life, you have nothing to say. We are walking complaint machines when we aren’t aware of ourselves.
The other amazing thing you will find if you agree to bear that complaining part of yourself, is that the complaint itself is and always has been there as a cover up. By “cover up” I mean, the complaint comes up in us for the purpose of inserting itself into the present moment in order to keep us blind to what the present moment is offering us (something new), and so it steals the possibility of bringing something new into this world when we agree to do it’s bidding.
That’s why things don’t change and the old just continues to perpetuate itself. That’s what happens when these things go unquestioned. Children “automatically” become the product of their parents and society when there isn’t an understanding of how those old unquestioned beliefs are passed along.
Machines just churn out what they are programmed to churn out. It is the exact same thing here. You might say “Human beings aren’t machines”, but they are when they live from an old preprogrammed life and not from a new moment-to-moment one.
This blog is about bringing something new into this world for ourselves and our children. Complaining feeds on itself and is an old cyclic pattern. No pattern can change itself. Something has to be inserted into the pattern in order for something new to be born. That is where you, the warrior, come into play.
A warrior can, in the moment when everything in them wants to complain, insert their wish for something new and different to be brought into this world by seeing and suffering the part of them that is pushing them to complain. When one suffers themselves that way, the old pattern has been changed not only for themselves but for all of humanity. As truth teacher Guy Finley so eloquently put it “For Love to thrive, all pain-driven patterns must be shattered.”
And believe me, that part of you won’t go down easy. It will try to fight for its life by giving you all the reasons in the world why you can’t not complain. Remember your wish instead to be the warrior that brings something new into this world that so badly needs it.
Exercise for the Week: See and bear the part of you that wants to complain about anyone or anything. Share this information with your children at the dinner table. They can learn to help others when they are around friends that are complaining about others or their lives.
Image Courtesy of: Maria Krisanova