Last week I was on vacation and I started thinking about how often I complain about things. It’s a weird vacation thought, but I couldn’t help noticing in the airport and restaurants how often I was hearing others complain and I just started wondering if I complain a lot.
It turns out I do complain – a lot. Even though I have a wonderful life, I still find a lot to complain about. Somehow, I notice all the things going wrong before I notice what’s going right.
I got out my library app and checked out all the books about complaining and settled myself by the pool at my hotel and started reading about complaining. What I learned is that complaining is not only noticing all the things that are going wrong but expressing dissatisfaction or annoyance about those things or finding fault.
I spent the next day of my vacation being mindful about the things I said. I didn’t voice all of the complaints that I thought about, but I discovered that I complain more than I want to:
- There weren’t enough towels in the hotel room.
- It was too windy and then too hot in San Antonio.
- We had to wait for the elevator.
The list went on and on – I learned that I am a mindless chronic complainer. That means that my mind defaults to complaining.
Have you ever noticed how often you complain? Is it a default setting for you?
I decided to fast from complaining for one day and see how it felt.
It was amazing – I saw everything with different eyes. Even when a complaint came immediately to mind I was able to turn it around and find a small part that I could approve of. It was a great exercise.
I am going to try it again and I would love to invite you to give it a try. Just go one day without voicing any complaints, see how it feels.
If you like it, try to go two days and then a week. See if your life feels better.
Your mind is a garden,
Your thoughts are the seeds,
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds
Try fasting from complaining, this is the season to pull out the weeds and plant flowers.