Our mind and focus dictate a lot of what we see, feel, and experience in life. If my mind dwells on negative things, I tend to see, feel, and experience more negative things.
Working as an attorney, I get called by a fair amount of people that feel that they have been wronged or had their ‘rights’ violated. In today’s world, it is surprising to see how many people feel that a ‘right’ is violated simply when things don’t go their way. Many people that call for a consultation carry a negative spirit or feeling with them.
We often find ourselves complaining about a situation when it is hard, unpleasant, uncomfortable, or when we don’t get our way and we have to yield to someone else. Often, the complaining mindset is a ‘why me?’ or ‘life just isn’t fair’ type mindset. As I have watched myself and others complain about situations in the world, I have come to learn that there is a certain negative spirit or feeling that accompanies complaints.
I saw this recently when I was asked to help give a person in my neighborhood a Priesthood blessing. In my religion, such a blessing is given by the power of God’s Priesthood, and is to help a person in time of need. To be able to give such a blessing, it is necessary to be in tune with God’s Spirit to receive direction of what to say.
When I arrived at the person’s house with the other member from my church who was assisting with the blessing, we engaged in small talk prior to administering the blessing. The conversation turned to politics, and the other two individuals shared a few thoughts on current politics. However, the other person I was with quickly said “we need to stop discussing politics because it puts me in the wrong spirit to administer a blessing.”
I was very interested in his statement. Why would politics bring the wrong spirit or feeling to a room or person? As I thought about this, I realized a few things:
1. ‘Political’ discussions are often one side complaining about what a certain leader or party is doing.
2. ‘Political’ discussions often come from the perspective that we know what is right and best and the others are just stupid, corrupt, or ignorant if they don’t agree (in other words, they are often approached from a pride-based perspective).
3. We have been trained to focus on what is wrong instead of honestly discussing what is also right or going well.
When we approach things with a complaining heart or mind, we are missing something. When we miss something, we aren’t seeing truth, and when we don’t see truth, we lose light and it devolves to negativity quickly.
As I thought about political discussions, I realized that society is training us to discuss things in a similar negative or pride-based way. We are no longer open to discussion and learning about ideas, and we aren’t seeking to progress or learn, we are instead trying to lift ourselves up by putting others down, and one way we do that is to complain.
Is life always fair? No, I would suggest that it is rarely, if ever, fair. The laws of nature did not really have a mechanism in them to ensure fairness. So, if we complain about something not being fair, we may be complaining about the basis of life itself.
Life is an experience, a journey, a joy. Even if things are hard, or bad things happen, or someone else gets to finish the ice cream when we wanted to finish it, the foundational aspect of life on this earth is experience and progression. When we complain, we stop walking the path of experience and sit there waiting for someone to feel pity for us or for someone else to change the circumstance. In other words, complaining removes from our mind the belief and power that we can act and still progress and puts it in the hands of another or in the hands of nature in general.
Instead of complaining, we can approach life from the perspective and belief that all things can work together for our good, or we can use our bad situations to help another person. Yes, there are some extremely bad and unfair things that happen to people, but complaining doesn’t make those situations better. It just keeps people stuck in them for longer.
Complaining also strikes at the core of the fact that we are loved and have the divine within us. Love does not mean no pain or suffering, and never has, but it means that we are valued, that we are unique and irreplaceable, and that others, including our long chain of ancestors that went before us, were willing to sacrifice and do something for us.
Complaining isolates us. Humans are social beings. We thrive on positive and healthy interactions, and the ability to interact necessarily means that we won’t always get our way, that we have to let go of some of our hopes or desires for the benefit of others, and sometimes, even, that people abuse those interactions and take advantage of us or hurt us.
It is hard to go through pain, suffering, broken trust, and the like. Even with such experiences though, we can’t lose sight of the good that remains, and the fact that we are still alive to experience, progress, and grow. There are good people around us, nature continues to produce immense beauty, and we are beings of incredible potential who can work on finding healing and hope again.
If you find yourself complaining, remember that it doesn’t help you, those around you, or America. Instead of complaining, try to develop faith that all things can work together for your good, that life is worth the journey and experiences, and that there are still very meaningful and good interactions and relationships with others ahead, including people whose lives we can touch or affect for good.
When we stop complaining, we open our hearts to more understanding and truth, we gain light, and we can see that we still have the agency to act, to do, to be, and to become. In other words, our attitudes and beliefs can give us the power and strength necessary to progress, overcome, and find true joy.
At Believe, we are working to build a community of people who are working to change the world, for good. We focus on the light and good that exists and work to expand its influence and effect in the world. Since you are a being of light filled with good, we would love to have you join us. The world may never be the same.