Here’s another way to think about something you’ve probably heard a thousand times: To get what you want, you must think about, and give attention to what you actually do want, not what you don’t want.
After doing a little informal research among my clients and friends, I’ve concluded that although there will be a rare individual or two who absolutely can’t relate to the first question of this article, most of you, if you keep reading, will get it by (if not before) I conclude.
That said, let’s begin with the first question.
Have you ever been in a relationship--any kind of relationship: love, work, family, friendship--with someone who constantly complained that you did not do enough to serve him or her or contribute to the relationship? Or perhaps this person complained that you did not appreciate all that she did for you?
Most people can probably answer yes to this, though, as I mentioned, a few will not have had this experience, simply because you have always been the one to do for others, in fact, some clients I’ve spoken to have even built their identities around doing for others. But most of you will have little trouble imagining that this dynamic exists.
Second question: When you were in that relationship and the other person complained that you weren’t “pulling your weight” in some way, did that person’s complaining make you want to change your ways?
In other words, were you inspired by the complaining to do more for that person?
Or did you feel yourself shrink under the pressure of the criticism and--whether voluntarily or involuntarily--actually begin to do less of what that person wanted you to do (and likely more of what he didn’t want you to do)?
Some of you are getting it already.
Third question: What if that person you were in relationship with was you?
Or to put it another way: What if you were that person (the complaining one) and your partner was the Eternal Presence with the Power to Grant Your Wishes (i.e.: God, The Universe, Santa Claus, or anything else you can think of to call your Higher Consciousness)?
This final question is one that has been coming up a lot over the last few weeks as I’ve talked to clients. And, as always, when something comes up repeatedly for me to tell a client, there’s usually always a message in it for me.
Since I have lately been making a point not to complain about things (i.e.: speak negatively for the purpose of having someone recognize my dissatisfaction), I decided to look deeper at what it can mean to complain. I found that sometimes, I don’t even have to open my mouth to register a complaint. Sometimes I can complain with my thoughts, and even more so with my feelings.
And as I dwell in complaining thoughts and complaining feelings, my partner (the other person or the Universe) mirrors back that complaint, showing me more of what I’m giving my attention to--and giving me more things to complain about.
Yet, if I show gratitude, for blessings received and those as yet to be received, or if I choose to focus on something that brings me joy and recognize the small joys that come to me (seemingly) unbidden, I can begin to turn around the feeling of complaint, the thought of complaint, the word or action of complaint.
And that one changed thought leads to another changed thought. And another, which then leads to a changed feeling. Granted, this requires presence and vigilance.
But, if I’m willing to give these things, I can begin to allow myself to receive what I truly want. In an instant, I can begin to be a better partner, whether to myself, another person or the Divine.
And, yes, for those of you who are wondering, this is exactly the way to proceed if you do happen to be in a relationship with someone who complains too much.
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