Many Things Suck — Days 11, 12 &13
So This Is What Happened When I Quit Complaining for 30 Days
When you feel comfortable, you’re less apt to complain.
It hasn’t even been two weeks yet, but I feel like I have been refraining from complaining for months. Years, even. Probably because it has taken repeated, consistent effort. Some days I’ve thought about complaining, or not complaining, a dozen or more times. 20 times! Because I’m paying so much attention.
Silently in my head, I hear Ooh, I almost complained but I didn’t… Or Geez, that’s the fifth complaint I’ve heard standing in this line… Or I don’t know why I ever bothered to complain about that, it’s silly.
It reminds me of when I was pregnant, and everywhere I looked all I saw was pregnant people. Or when I got a new car, and suddenly every parking lot I drove though was filled with the same car as mine.
In the last three days, refraining from complaining has become enjoyable, and it seems to me like it’s a worthwhile challenge. Day by day I’m feeling more benefits from the whole experiment — like I’ve elevated my view. And I’m building inner skills. It’s so Zen. 😊
There is discipline here, but it’s the opposite of harsh. I’m more chill, which makes sense because I’m putting less negative energy out there for me to live in, or to have circle back to me. I’m making peace, and living in it.
Permission to Have Needs
A couple of years ago I began a year-long journey of personal development which I shared on my blog, 52 Permission Slips. I did that because of what I learned when I experienced my mom’s death from cancer: we waste a lot of time in life on thoughts and feelings that won’t matter in the end. And we let ourselves stress over a lot of unimportant things.
Life is short — we deserve to take better care of ourselves, and we’re allowed to pursue our happiness and do what we want.
So I’ve just realized, many of the permissions I’ve granted myself are being challenged in the last couple of weeks. There’s Permission to Get Your Way (can I do that without complaining?). Permission to Be Imperfect (instead of so criticial). Permission to Ask for Help (a fine alternative to complaining).
I also created Permission to Say That Stinks. Which is literally about how we’re allowed to complain. Wait — of course we are! Things can be hard, and when they are, we can speak our truth. We’re allowed to have needs.
But the more I practice acceptance and patience, the more comfortable I am with whatever I’m facing, and the less I feel like complaining. I guess that’s what happens when you quit something that wasn’t doing you much good.
I know I can hold to my own standards. Or cut us all some slack. Or talk about what goes wrong. Permission to express myself, yet my reactions don’t have to be a negative influence on this day.
To be continued on Day 14, when I slip back into the dark side.
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