Monday, April 22, 2019

“Cry for Me. Would You, Please?”

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness


Let’s cut to the chase.

Okay, well, maybe not. Because to chase something means to go after it. So in this case, the chase is actually complaining itself.

What we need to do is cut to the catch: an understanding that will put the mentality that drives complaining in its proper place.

The Brutal Truth

When a person complains, they are basically saying:

“Pity me. Save me. I am (perceiving myself to be) a helpless, worthless victim.”

If this sounds exaggerated, you can rest assured it’s not. As I’ve said elsewhere, I used to complain around 100% of the time I had my mouth open. Quite the opposite is now true, and a lot has been revealed to me in hindsight.

Our negative behaviors always have a brutal truth (or ten) hiding behind them.

Your Life Sucks, I Know

Suppose at work your boss told you that you have to do overtime for the next two weeks in order to satisfy a certain customer’s needs.

You find this frustrating as is, but worse is that not only did your boss not ask if you’re willing—he demanded it—you also know that your boss is pushing you because he’s trying to make up for a past mistake that he, not you, is responsible for. But victim that you perceive yourself to be, you smiled and replied to your boss, “Yeah. Okay. That’ll be fine.”

Inside you’re burning. Your work has become more difficult because you can’t stop thinking about what an ass your boss is. At lunch you complain with coworkers who’d also been pulled in. After work you hit the bar and complain with a few of the regulars. At home you complain to your spouse and make some less-than-positive social media posts about your lousy life. In between all else you complain in your own head, and when you go to bed you dream that you’re being whipped by your boss.

The next day you wake up, still annoyed, make a few “choice” comments about your job to your spouse, and then go off to work. Five minutes into your twenty-minute drive, someone cuts you off and forces you into another lane. Your inner-burning intensifies, now about something else.

At work, you complain to those in nearby cubicles about the dickweed that nearly killed you just minutes earlier. They naturally take your side and complain with you about lousy drivers in their lives and the multitude of other injustices life serves out to them undeservedly.

Birds of a feather flock together, so there are always plenty of people for you to complain to and who will complain right back. And so it goes.

The Victim Conspiracy

Did that make you tired just by reading it? Because it made me feel tired just by writing it. And indeed, it’s exhausting stuff, but this is what complaining is like.

Complaining stems from a victim mentality. This is a very intoxicating form of self-identity (and self-absorption) that causes the carrier to constantly perceive the things of life, often even the harmless things, as hazardous, as though all of life is conspiring to hurt the complainer.

Since the outer world mirrors the inner, this conspiracy theory does actually hold some water to the extent that life gives us all what we fear and believe: Victims must necessarily perceive perpetrators.

A complainer must be linked to this perception, a complainer must see life as on the offensive, because without offenders the victim mentality, and thus the “who I am” self-identity, could not be upheld.

Victimization must at least appear to happen in order to support the (illusory) perception, in order to uphold (false) beliefs and fears, in order to maintain the Law of Free Will.

Where Are They Now?

Complaining doesn’t happen in the moment of an unpleasing incident. Rather, it happens seconds, days, and decades or more later. (“Men would be just fine without women. Eve bit the apple first.”)

Of any given person, place, thing, or situation for which you complain about…

…where is that person right now?
  • Another room?
  • A different country?
  • Six feet under?
…where is that place right now?
  • Up the street?
  • The next town over?
  • The other side of the world?
…where is that thing right now?
  • In the garage?
  • At work?
  • In a landfill?
…where is that situation right now?
  • In a history book?
  • Potentially somewhere in the future?
  • Back when you were a teenager?

Chances are extremely high that whatever it is you’re complaining about is not currently in your life experience. It’s therefore directly affecting you in no way whatsoever, right now.

This means that your greatest enemy is your own thinking. You have a given experience (or hear of someone else's), your thoughts and perceptions make you a victim to it, and then, by way of complaining, you get off (if subconsciously) to perpetuating that victimhood.

It’s no mistake that you are at the center of all of your life’s problems. For the form of victimhood in which complaining is concerned is happening is in your mind only.

The real problem is you.

And how’s this for irony? …You go to work, unpleasant things happen so you become miserable, and then you go home and complain. In other words, you’re still at work! You’d been so annoyed because you had to work overtime, and now you’re working double-overtime! And that schlep who’d cut you off in the morning—he’s long gone. But you, you’re still dragging him around, cutting off your own life!

Wasting Hate

“Okay. So, maybe I complain a lot; maybe I’m being negative. But my boss is a jackass! And do you realize how many shitty drivers are out there?”

Stop blaming others. Yes, people can be jackasses and people can be shitty drivers (and sometimes both). But they’re in your life primarily because you draw them to you. You want a reason to complain, but because the causal reason is unconscious to you and because it's not true to who you really are, Life manifests an effectual situation into your experience in an effort to make the causal reason visible for the sake of healing.

Until you accept that your blaming and complaining is hurting you far more than it’s helping and then you do something to change, your life is going to keep on sucking.

If blaming and complaining were actually helping, don’t you think circumstances would have resolved by now? Don’t you think you’d feel better? Don’t you think you’d have less and less to stress and blame and complain about if your “venting” truly vented your pent-up agitation?

Hence, why you can complain to fifty people and could complain just as passionately to fifty more: because whatever you’re looking to get—pity, sympathy, release, satisfaction, justification, a savior—it doesn’t exist, it doesn’t help, or it’s positive but your negativity is pushing it further away.


Make no mistake: It is perfectly fine to vent sometimes. But when people make a living of bitching, pissing, and moaning about countless things in life, especially repeatedly and over the long haul, they prove that they have no conceptualization for or ability to actually accept, release, and move on.

That is venting: Taking a moment to unload in a non-destructive way and then being done with it. In clarity, a person can accept their circumstances as is and choose empowerment to deal with things as they are or to make them better.

You Are the Puzzle, So You Must Be All of the Pieces

The other thing about complaining is this: No one gets you the way you do.

If people complain with you, although they may seem sympathetic, they are involving themselves because they see you as an opportunity to vent their own frustrations.

If they show pity, it’s because they don’t understand that a victim makes his- or herself a victim—it’s not imposed by any external force. If they could actually see this, they’d never fall prey to your false, poor-me identity or offer pity because it’s uncalled for.

Otherwise, the one to whom you complain may get you to the extent that, say, you and a coworker have both been “forced” to work overtime and both of you hate it, but the fact that you are two, separate individuals (even if the best of friends and lovers) means that there is necessarily a disconnect.

You complain because you’re looking for inner-peace; you’re looking to be heard and validated. Trouble is, no one external carries the uniquely-shaped pieces of fulfillment that interlock specifically with your emptiness. Unless you wish to go on complaining forever, you as the complainer must therefore find what you seek within.

Make It Real

If you’re a complainer and are reading this, do you get it now? Do you see where you stand with this? Is it now clear to you why complaining is useless (unless you want to remain a victim)? How it’s only serving to hurt you? How it’s you hurting yourself?

No one can do for you what you have to do for you: become your own source of fulfillment, of empowerment, of peace, of happiness.

And you can do this, you do have what you need within you.

Life is one; life is whole. Whatever you’re carrying that’s negative, there’s necessarily a positive polarity to match. It’s just that if you want this positive then you have to learn to give it your attention like you currently give your attention to the negative.

The quote, “Be the change you want to see in the world,” isn’t offered lightly. What appears to us as real is only as real as each of us make it.

If you want your reality to be positive, then you have to make it that way.

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