I’ve done lots of bitching and complaining about situations in my life over the years – both out loud and in my thoughts – and none of it ever created a positive outcome. Facing facts is empowering; complaining creates negativity and unhappiness for yourself and those around you! Does anything ever change because you complained about it? Situations occur in our lives and we can’t expect to like them all but, it’s important to understand that the situations themselves don’t make us unhappy; it is our thoughts and, ultimately, how we choose to react that cause unhappiness.
I still haven’t completely eliminated complaining and sometimes I get caught up in it when someone else is doing it but, since reading Eckhart Tolle’s books “The Power of Now” and “A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose”, I am much more aware of my thoughts and I make a conscious effort not to voice a complaint or, better yet, to change the negative thought in my mind. My main reason for this is I know that when I get on a complaining rant I feel unhappy and my primary goal is to live a happy life. This is especially important when confronted with illness because complaining can actually weaken you – as can any negative thought pattern. Complaining not only has no power to change a situation, it actually puts you in the role of playing “victim” and allows the things people do and say to have control over you. I accept that there are many things in this life that I don’t understand and many things over which I have no control so I try to focus my effort on the one thing I at least have a chance of controlling – ME – my thoughts and my actions. To quote Tolle “Watch out for thoughts that appear to justify or explain unhappiness but in reality cause it.”
Don’t explain – what I mean by that is just be at peace with yourself and stop trying to define that to others. The true purpose of your life can’t be found externally – it’s not about what you do; it’s about what you are and that is something you can’t explain. I think people who explain themselves all the time are basically insecure and are seeking external validation. I used to be like that – I wanted to be sure that no one misunderstood me or my intentions and that everyone thought I was a good person but, of course, that is impossible. I also used to say “I’m sorry” too much, even when I hadn’t actually done anything wrong. I’m not suggesting that we crash about, recklessly doing whatever we please at the expense of anyone in our path. Think deeply about the concept of not explaining yourself and you will realize it is just another way of loving and honoring yourself and hurting other people will never be part of that. Gradually you will understand that acting from self-love and honoring your highest interest is the best thing you can do, not only for yourself but for everyone in your life, and rarely requires explanation.
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