Forget About Gratitude, Stop Complaining!
About 4 minutes to read
Something happened this weekend and that got me thinking that we should forget about gratitude and stop complaining.
Have you noticed how often we speak about how we must be in a state of gratitude, that we must be giving thanks for the things we have, that we must be giving thanks for our lives etc. We speak about keeping gratitude diaries or calendars or lists, and writing letters of gratitude as daily practices. Many commercial products are available that we can consume and gratitude in itself is wonderful, however I’ve noticed that often people practice gratitude perhaps in the evening when they go to bed or in the mornings when they awake. However, in-between, during the day in all their waking hours, they are not in a state of gratitude; they are in a state of something else, namely complaining.
I’ve been listening to the way that people talk and sometimes it really gets on my nerves. I had a conversation with my partner this weekend and asked if I spend a lot of time complaining. The feedback I received was, “No not generally but you do complain about people that complain.” So what does that say about me?
The Christmas Market
On Saturday, I went to a Christmas market that was held in an ancient castle. All the stalls and general entertainment were in the courtyard of the castle and the main building housed other crafts for sale including the toilets. My friends and I needed the toilet and when we arrived at the main building we discovered they were already closed for the evening, but there was another toilet in the courtyard. A queue consisting of five men and women were already waiting for the toilet.
The conversation started with people really complaining that there was only one toilet. When the door opened and we glimpsed the size of the large room with the urinal on the right and the toilet on the left, the complaining increased in volume and velocity. The women started complaining that the men were taking too long. One mentioned that the toilet should be divided in two parts, one for men, and one for women and so the conversation went.
I stood there thinking, “What is wrong with these people? Why are you all friggin complaining? At least we have a toilet and don’t have to go dig a hole in the snow to relieve ourselves!” When I mentioned this to the group one woman told me she has the right to complain! I thought to myself, “I’m living in a parallel universe here!” What none of these people seemed to realise was that it was a toilet for handicapped people, so it was perfect just the way it was.
The Perpetual State Of Comparison
This whole situation made me realise again how often, through our speech patterns that we seem to be in a perpetual state of comparison. That’s what complaining is. We are comparing, we are judging, we are saying inadvertently that something is not good enough, that it’s not perfect. The energy behind this speech is an energy of lack; it’s not an energy of abundance. This is exactly the opposite of what gratitude is.
The Energy of Gratitude
When you are practicing the attitude of gratitude, you are quite literally attracting more abundance to yourself. The sky might be falling on your head, you might be diseased, or on deaths door but by practicing gratitude instead of complaining you are saying that regardless of the circumstances; you are grateful for everything that you have. You could choose to be in complain mode with, “Oh good God the sky is falling on my head!” or, “Oh woe is me I’m dying!” or, “Why must there always be so much traffic on the way to work!” There is a very different attitude at work here; the energy you are attracting to yourself is very different to that generated by gratitude.
Guard Your Heart, Guard Your Mind
Therefore, if you want to practice gratitude I don’t encourage you to write a gratitude journal, use a gratitude calendar, or make a gratitude list, don’t do any of those things. Simply start by not complaining. This is probably the hardest thing to do because we have to take care of what’s in our head. What comes out of our mouths are often an overflow of the abundance of our heads and hearts. So you have to guard your heart, you have to guard your head. It’s the thoughts that you have about being in a state of lack, about thinking that things are not good enough, that manifests as complaining, regardless of how inadvertent it may seem.
You know here’s a secret; things are never good enough! There is always somebody better to compare yourself to and there’s always somebody worse off with whom to compare yourself. Nevertheless, let’s start with acceptance, because I think acceptance is really a key to being happy and towards practicing gratitude.
Using Acceptance as a Key
So accept the way things are. They are not permanent, everything is changing, and we know this. To unlock your personal happiness start with acceptance, forget about gratitude, stop complaining, and see how more abundance starts flowing into your life.