Let’s talk about what constitutes a complaint. In the broadest sense – anything that prevents you from fully accepting a situation or a person as-is, is a complaint. Yes, that includes ranting about traffic, pollution, taxation, airplane delays, weather and everything else under the Sun. On a personal level it also includes feeling disgruntled with a spousal habit, a child’s trait, a co-worker’s attitude, a joint family setting or a friend’s personality. On an even more personal level, it includes not liking something about your own self; in fact it starts with not liking something about yourself but more on that at another time. And yet, all the above are just the tip of the iceberg; these are the complaints that we are aware of, that are floating in the conscious layers of our mind, that we can catch hold of and somehow stop from ruining our joy.
The real villains are the ones lurking in the depths of our subconscious; those that have transformed themselves into assumptions and stories that we tell ourselves and everyone else. The best way to identify these kinds of complaints is to see that they are tinged with a “diminishing” feeling – the kind of feeling that reduces your joy and your participation in your family life, work, society or anywhere. Such as feelings that have a sense of resignation in them, E.g. “My situation cannot improve; my life will always be like this” or “I will never get another job outside”.
Other times complaints disguise themselves as compromises that we “HAVE” to make for the sake of someone or something. E.g. “We have to stay together for the sake of our kids” or “I would like to live somewhere else but I have to live here for my career” or the classic mom compromise “I would like to take a break from work but it would derail my career”.
Very simply put, all complaints boil down to only two things – not wanting to be where you are right now and not wanting to do what you are doing right now OR wishing to somewhere else or doing something other than what you are doing right now. If you find yourself facing these kinds of feelings and thoughts very often, acknowledge to yourself that you are complaining.
In the next post we will discuss what to do when you spot a complaint.
Author: Shibani Thakur, Founder, Y2L Meditation & Relaxation Studio & Co-Founder, Travel Light
Travel Light is a self awareness program that uses a combination of pragmatic learning, mind therapy and meditation practices to enable identification of limiting patterns from the past and help you break those patterns for good.
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