The Importance of the Whine
The lack is always hard to sense, I always feel cognoscente of it for the first day, and then now, while I write it, but after that a lack just feels like a lack. Perhaps I settle to easily into myself after that. I have such difficulty paying attention to myself. Always busy thinking about not thinking about the right things that get me where I think I might like to go.
Complaining has been an essential step in unlearning my loop of good intention plus inaction on and on until I have no time. If I realize that I don’t want to do something, and rather than telling myself I’ll do it later, complain aloud, my immediate following instinct is to get it over. (“I don’t want to” is apparently not as compelling to the reasonable parts of me as “Tomorrow” is). As such, I was initially worried that removing complaining would have an effect on my productivity. (Don’t know why, I’m on a downswing productively anyway, but hey, it can always get worse). As per usual, my expectation and reality were separate creatures.
I had a problem with a dear one of mine on a recent visit of theirs. I discovered myself complaining about the person for their consistent negative attitude over a particular day whereupon I got very overwhelmed and unhappy. My initial instinct was to complain about this to my more nearby friends before catching myself. I was complaining out of irritation. I stopped, sat with myself and re-framed it for myself and discovered that I had felt sad, helpless, and blamed. Simply being aware of where my emotions were coming for made it a lot easier for me to deal with the aftermath and move past it (mostly) than when I had been merely complaining. I’ve noticed that acknowledging pain in its plainest form rather than the emotions it hides in—anger, jealousy, irritation—can make it much more manageable. I didn’t realize this was true of complaining as well.
Though just as one can withstand more pain when one swears, and sometimes that shoot of anger is necessary, sometimes complaining is constructive as well. In some medical professions I understand that any symptom a patient reports on is referred to as a complaint.
In this week I kept more of my problems to myself, and worked on them more constructively. I can sometimes feel heavy when I suppress things I want to say, but this was all right. It forced me to speak more honestly, which is something I am glad to continue to work on.