Ever use the saying "no complaints?" Sure you have. We all have. Ever really mean it? As in REALLY mean it? I can't be too sure I have. I mean who can't find something, anything to complain about?! Heck, that's what blogs started as. Open and social venting. Twitter limits you to 140 characters and Facebook lets you hide those "my life sucks" posts from your friends but how do you stop complaining?
The other day I was reading a friends post on FB. It was long and vengeful and quite uncomfortable to read. But like an accident on the shoulder of the 10 going west, I couldn't look away. And the whole time I kept thinking, "she really needs to talk to someone." Then I thought, how many times have my friends thought that about me? I have spent the better part of my 30s not in a good spiritual place. That's not to say I was mean or deceitful or unhappy. It's just I wasn't fully comfortable and happy with who I was. I complained about my posture, my boyfriend at the time, my weight, my salary (or lack there of), my friends, my enemies, and so on. Pretty much I was consumed with things that weren't quite right. And I got validation when friends agreed with me (as friends do, because we support each other). It was like hating loves company. And it felt AWESOME. How many times have you sat with a friend, complained about another and both feed off of that conversation? Don't answer (you don't have to, I'm not trying to make you feel guilty). Just read on.
Recently I started "prizing" myself. I've also started Metta Meditation. I've mentioned prizing before but I wanted to bring it up again as I think I am finally seeing and feeling the results. Prizing is when you compliment yourself 5 times (or 2 or 20, your call) a day for little things you like about yourself. Could be an outfit you put together or the way you let that a$$hole cut in front of you (see, I'm still me :) ) or how you got up early to spend more time outside. Whatever it is, recognize it, compliment yourself on it and love it. It really does help. And as hokey as it sounds, it helps a lot when you look in a mirror and do it. Sure, you'll look crazy to someone else, but who cares? If that hasn't stopped me now, it sure as hell shouldn't stop you.
But you are not alone in this world. While loving yourself is the most important, wanting the same for others is equally so. That's where Metta comes in. At night, before I go to bed, I pick 3 random (strange even, but not complete strangers) people, myself and one loved one to focus on. I wish them health, an easy journey through life, happiness and safety. It's small but it also works. I didn't believe it at first but after about 2 months of doing this I really do feel a little bit more compassionate towards others. I'm not enlightened by any means but it definitely changes my POV. (Look, I'm still gonna judge, I just hope to do it with a lighter stick. But, if I see you wearing a dress that's really a shirt, I'm gonna make fun of you...then I'll prolly be slightly jealous you're comfortable going out looking like that.)
And here's something else that will happen—and I speak from experience. You're going to feel awfully uncomfortable when others around you start venting or complaining about their life, random things, or other people. You're going to notice who needs to spend a little more time loving things rather than hating. You're also going to recognize in yourself when you fall in that trap. It's crazy but it happens. And every time it does, I prize myself as such because just 6 months ago, before I started this whole wonderful and strange journey, I was the biggest hater of them all and now I see how I am slowly but surely leaving that part of my life behind me.
I wore the Hater Crown for so long there's a ring mark around my head. However, it's time I've stepped down and leave the hating for someone else. And hopefully they will read this and pass over the throne. And maybe, just maybe, the Kingdom of Haters will not have their Queen and we all will live happily ever after—you know, like they all do in "Shrek."