INGRAINED BEHAVIOR SEEMS TO BE CHANGED ONE BRAIN CELL AT A TIME
Several years ago Will Bowen [link here] wrote a book about the addiction of complaining. In the book he outlines his process to consciously refrain from and relinquish the behavior. The name of the book is A Complaint Free World [link here]. I bought this book and came up with many reasons why I would not, or as I said back then, could not stop complaining. How could I express my feelings! This book is some religious control freaks idea of creating zombies who just do as they are told. Another plot by the religious right, etcetera.
I don’t like to be told what to do, but in my gut I knew complaining was a drain. A very common way to connect with other people. I did not want to let go of this addiction. Another thing to complain about!
WHAT IS COMPLAINING?
Incessantly looking, thinking and talking about what is wrong without seeking resolution is one definition. I am in the beginning stages of reassessing my own complaining, judging and criticizing. It is a very cloudy subject for me because I grew up with a great deal of complaining. It got masked as something I am not able to clearly define. There is a feeling attached to my complaining. It leaves me with a nagging kind of low grade anxiety. I know it colors how I see everything. It is a sad way of experiencing the world. It is similar to a low grade virus. It is easy to identify in others, and easier to be blind to in ourselves.
MEDIA OF ALL KINDS THRIVE ON COMPLAINING
I am beginning to realize that most discourse is based on some kind of complaining. One example is the huge boon of ratings for reality TV. TMZ, E Channel, Extra, the tabloids, Perez Hilton, twitter. It is f’ing endless. Most of us are tuned into all of this which fuzzes up our brains and reinforces this very negative behavior. Hence. the clownish Presidential Debates and the pundits that analyze and condone what my father would call “belly aching” [aka complaining]. The evening news, Meet The Press, cable tv are perfect examples of the glorification of complaining. We are swimming in it. Printed word, radio and internet are as guilty.
EXPLAINING MY COMPLAINING
Both sides of my family complained and criticized each other to the point of elevating to an art form. They each had different techniques. One was less verbal than the other. Crazy. Anyway, I am coming to recognize that even though my life has taken a different path than my relatives, I was always able to connect with them by talking about what was wrong with things. Stopping complaining, observing my complaining, laughing at my complaining is causing me to connect with people from my heart and not from my complaining mind. Wow, this is a real opportunity to change something so deep and old. I am not sure when I am even doing it. Yikes!
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COMPLAINING AND HAVING A DISCUSSION?
Aside from the blatantly obvious, I am not really sure. One thing I can say, is that it is easy to justify anything with the mind. It may take a long while, but I am sure this journey of observing my complaining will be one that I will be on for a very, very long time. Laughter is the only friend I’ve got to get me through it all, especially since I don’t drink or smoke weed. If I don’t stop the complaining I may need to take up both.
HUMOR , COMPLAINING AND MEDITATION?
I definitely think that comic humor should be the one place where complaining remains untouched. More proof of what we take seriously should be laughed at and about. What we think about needs to be observed. I think some call that meditation. : )