In the past few days of giving up complaining and making requests, I’ve had many chances to grumble and complain. Because of my commitment, though, every time I got that sinking feeling in my stomach, I have stopped myself and asked, “what do I need to request?” The frustration lurking at the edges of mind would flare up and, just as easily, would dissolve, as I stuck to my guns and just asked for what I needed.
I was on a roll until my bestie pointed out that I really don’t complain that much and I needed a deeper challenge. Oh dear. She knows me well. I have long since given up the right to whine my days away and blame other people for my misery, so complaining is not the usual theme song of my life. When I start complaining and won’t stop, my bestie knows “there’s something fishy here”. She knows something’s up and it needs to be worked through. I make my bestie’s job of supporting me pretty easy with all this transparency.
I’d been making great strides asking for things, then the bestie says “Show me something I haven’t seen you already do.” Trust her to challenge my challenges. She is a blessing.
Then we hit on something: My complaining may be inconsistent but my anxiety is a constant. Is he going to call? Why doesn’t he love me? What did I do? What if I like him? What if he doesn’t like fill in the blank? Will it ever be better? What do I do? I have to fix this, you, me us.
While I’m not always vocal about it, concern is often in the background. It doesn’t stop me from doing what I commit to doing. I’m well-trained in doing things I’d rather not do but know make the difference between an ordinary life and one worth living (for me). That often involves being afraid and taking action anyway. I’m an emotional, conversational bungee-jumper that way.
The opportunity for me now is take on giving up the concerns moment by moment. They will come up and I give them the same credence as burps: here one moment and then gone.
Today’s challenge: Be peaceful. Give up the interpretation of “there’s something wrong here”.
Peacefulness is a natural place to examine after giving up complaining, so here I am. It takes “no complaining and asking for what I want” and ups the ante. What would life be like if I let things pass over me and through me? So, today I’m adding “being peaceful” to the challenge pot and I’ll let it take me where it takes me.
Please note that my challenges aren’t ruled by abstinence. “No complaining” really isn’t “being complaint-free” per se. It’s more like letting the complaint knock on your door and not opening your mind to it. Being peaceful is a constant opening for me to bring peace to things no matter what. That involves faith which is quite inconsistent in my life. I’ll keep you posted!
Today’s victory: Had a difficult conversation with someone where I had to keep pulling back from the complaint and ask her for what I needed and tell her why. She kept hitting me with “what are you doing?” to which I responded even though I normally would have told her off. I had to keep going to the request and what it would provide instead of the reaction. “Yes or no? Can you do this so that it can do this for me?” asked kindly, respectfully and persistently. This person, who I see as intractable, after rebuffing me, agreed. It continues to work!
Gratitude: I am grateful for the incredible insights and actions that are shaping me into the person that I am today.
On the horizon: A beginner’s mind