Thursday, 6 April 2017

In support of complaining

“Be grateful for what you have and stop complaining - it bores everybody else, does you no good, and doesn’t solve any problems.” - Zig Ziglar

I disagree. 

Recently, while experiencing a challenging period in my life, I discovered that ‘complaining’, if approached from a place of self-care can in fact be a really constructive tool.

Here’s what happened...

Seeing my struggle one morning, M suggested I revisit journaling. I’d abandoned the practice a while ago, as last I’d journalled, it consisted of me asking the same self-pitying questions verbatim. Feeling this didn’t serve its purpose, I’d stopped.

Taking M’s advice to heart (as is often best), over lunch I decided to try unpacking my feelings onto the page. I opened a blank document and started typing. What followed was a list of everything that upset me.

In my effort to remain ‘positive’, to be the kind of person who doesn’t complain I had denied acknowledging what was feeling off in my life. The truth was now visible to me in words, neatly stacked on top of each other in a tight column. Some were trite, others serious, all needed to be addressed. I listed anything, from schedule concerns, to health ones, to fears and petty annoyances. Tears streamed down my overheated face and I felt weak, little, wide open.

Once done, I pulled myself together, thanked M for the idea and got back to work.

I didn’t open it again until just before my husband came home. I looked over the list with fresh(er) eyes and noticed something. There were a few small things I could change for myself right away. I didn’t hesitate, I just set about doing them. I had allowed myself to list anything, so things like, ‘I hate the mess on the wall’ were on there, which was something that:

  1. I hadn’t realized was bugging me enough to make the list 
  2. I could so something about immediately.  

I cleaned the wall and felt a bit better. Not every problem could be so easily solved but I could see a start, which was what I needed.

When my husband got home I shared the list with him. He’d had no idea so much was going on for me. He shared his own ‘list’ and we got to work on what we could do together as a team to support one another.

It has been a week since I wrote that list. Today I re-opened it to see what has changed in this short amount of time. I found it impressive. I’ve added possible solutions in red beneath points yet to be addressed. Things I had forgotten were bothering me but on a subconscious level still (no doubt) impact my day. Voicing those inner complaints and seeing them on paper, turned out to be key in addressing and solving many pressing problems.

I strive for self-improvement but sometimes misinterpret that to mean that I can never show weakness, self-doubt, or allow myself to complain. I know better now.

Thank you M, for encouraging me to journal. Thank you Husband for helping me tackle our lists and thank you Me, for being brave enough to state my grievances and do something about them.

Sometimes it’s good to complain.

- J

*J, I feel like there are different types of complaining that can occur, seems to me that you are doing it in a healthy pro-active way. Good on ya!!  - M

No comments

Post a Comment

© M&J
Maira Gall