Saturday, June 09, 2012

No Complaints

Just yesterday I noticed that I have been complaining a lot. Grumbling. Whining. Just kind of fussy. It got my attention was when I greeted someone who said, “What’s up?” by starting to list the people who I was not happy with. Yikes! I heard myself.

I started to pay attention. (That’s the thing in Buddhism and in Recovery—paying attention). What I heard coming out of me was a lot more about what wasn’t right than what was, and what bothered me more than what pleased me. And all of this at a time when there are many wonderful, good and great things going on in my life. Now, there has been some stuff that has not gone so well too, but on balance…

So what’s this crankiness about? And what to do about it?

I like challenges and I’m a believer in taking baby steps toward new behaviors so today I am starting “A Week Without Complaints.” Bear with me for these next seven days as I see what’s under this habit—I think complaining is a kind of habitual thing—and what happens if I can make this change.

So I’m putting myself out here where I can watch myself. No complaints. No gossip. (Gossip is a kind of complaining, I think). That includes gossip-by-concern, you know the kind that begins, “I’m so concerned about so-and-so because she is just so…”. Yeah, that’s a complaint.

What I’m most curious to discover is what my patterns are: When do I complain most? And about whom? And what do I do or feel instead when I catch myself complaining? I have no illusions of perfectionism here, so what’s most interesting is what happens when.

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