“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”
Your mind is such a powerful tool and the thoughts you put into it are what fuel your emotions so please, handle with care.
I like to think of myself as an optimist. I don’t like to complain and if you find me complaining then do understand that my mind is not in the right place and I need a quick tune up. I actually can’t stand when people complain. Just to clarify venting and complaining are two totally different things.
When a person vents they are usually clear of their situation and either looking for advice or just an empathetic ear to assure them that things will work out.
When a person complains, that’s it, they are just complaining. There is no optimism, no plan of resolve, no seeking of advice. For some reason in the moment for some people complaining just seems to come natural. Even as I am writing this I can feel my heart start to race a little bit faster because I hate complaining that much. I hate it because I know the kind of thoughts that feed a person’s need to complain.
During my anxiety I did a lot of complaining and for me with complaining came……are you ready for this??? Blaming. I did a lot of blaming. I complained about everything (usually to my poor hubby). I complained about the way that I felt, that my job was too difficult, that I hit too many red lights on my way to work, that I was too tired, that the gas pump I chose to use was too slow, that is was too hot or too cold out, too sunny or too gloomy and the list goes on. I complained a lot.
My complaints were almost always followed by blaming. I hit too many lights driving to work because my husband asked me to throw in a load of laundry, a guy cut me off pulling into the gas station causing me to go around to another pump, I felt awful because I wasn’t a good person and God was punishing me.
Now that last one is a little out there, but at the time it was my truth and just a glimpse of it.
My mind was in a negative downward spiral and all I wanted was for someone to pull me out of it and save me. When that didn’t happen I blamed other people or things in my life for the way I felt. My husband has taken the brunt of most of my blaming. I put so much on him, as if my emotional state rested solely on his behavior and actions. If he helped me more around the house I would be happy, if he complimented me more I would be happy. If I went on with this list I would be here all night, so you get the point.
The truth is that my mind was focusing on all the wrong things. I was focusing on all the negative things around me. What was really frustrating to me was that I am not a negative person. I am the glass if half full kind of person. I look for the good in people, the good in life. I am passionately empathetic and I am a lover, not a fighter. When I spend time with someone I want to laugh and enjoy myself. I don’t want to waste time complaining. When Nicole died it was as if I picked up someone else’s pair of glasses and put them on; and the glasses were dirty.
Through these glasses all I saw was the bad in the world and the bad in people. It frightened me to the core and it was all I could think about. The truth is that there is a lot of bad in the world. There is war, disease, hate and disasters, but with all of that there is good. There is a lot of good and an abundance of beauty. What are you choosing to see?
For so long I allowed myself to see the darkness in the world and it consumed my heart. It made me sad and depressed. It took my anxiety to a level so high that I didn’t think it was possible to come back from it. That was until I decided to retrain my brain.
Through a lot of my work with Carol I started to realize something. My brain had learned to think negatively so I wanted to train it to think positive again. I began focusing on the good things around me. I did this in baby steps. I would appreciate the wind across my face. I would revel in the moment as my daughter told me she loved me. I would be “present,” and allow myself to see the joy in things. I started to think about what I really liked and what made me happy and then I would make the effort to do those things. I did little things for myself that I enjoyed each day and with each little step that I took a huge feeling of satisfaction eventually began to follow.
Practice makes perfect and at times it was really hard to be positive, but I would push myself to take off those dirty glasses and see the beauty that surrounds me.
Let me tell you something, when you really look, the beauty and the good that surrounds you is overwhelming. And just think, if I never took those glasses off I would be missing it all. These days there is very little that gets me worked up or upset. If something in my life goes wrong my thoughts are on how to fix it and move on. There is no sense in letting anything drag me down. I don’t have time for that because there is too much in this world to enjoy.