"Breakdowns can create breakthroughs. Things fall apart so things can fall together.”~Unknown
A few months ago, things were really bad for me. I lost one of my best friends, co-workers came back to work with bad attitudes, and my new 6th graders were irritatingly bad. Not to mention, the work load for this school year quadrupled.
To say it was raining turds and urine is simply an understatement.
Crap was flying at me out of left field and I was left with pain, bewilderment, and that feeling you get when you've just been run over by an eighteen wheeler. What's that feeling?
I was dead. The walking emotionally slaughtered.
I didn't know how to deal at first. I was shellshocked. It's said that people who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder feel emotionally numb, especially around people that they care about.
I've mimicked these behaviors for the last few months because I couldn't get a grasp on what was happening in my life. I snapped at people who I'm usually kind to. I was short and impatient with family members. I was just a total bitch.
Inside the same thoughts trail blazed through my mind. How can people who say they love you hurt you to the core of your being? How can someone talk to you one day and then act like you don't exist the next? How can there be no laws prohibiting procreation for people who do not know how to raise their children?
These thoughts ran rampant in my head for many days as I zombied through each hour. (In addition to "why me", and "I'm a good person I deserve better than this!")
And then...I did something unthinkable. Something so utterly drastic, I had to pinch myself to believe that, I, Shay Banks, was going to do this.
I followed my mom's example. I stopped complaining.
My mom was diagnosed with A.L.S. 3 years ago at the tender age of 48. She is completely disabled now and requires total care.
She doesn't complain.
She makes sure she laughs everyday. She's usually in a good mood (unless the Dallas Cowboys lose). And, boy, she can talk you ear off! Every person that encounters my mom, falls in love with her. I have to admit, she is a character. And the strength that she has shown me in the last 3 years is literally beyond admirable.
“Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength.” ~Unknown
I figure if an active woman who becomes disabled at her peak doesn't complain, then dammit, neither should I. So I detoxed.
Yea, you read right.
I did a complaint-detox. The results have been incredible.
Complaining makes me feel small. It makes me feel powerless. I feel like a victim.
You are the creator of your own reality, is the First Universal Truth.
If that's true, then betcha by golly wow, I'm no victim! Somehow, someway, my wires got crossed and a lot of crap started entering in my life. I stayed quiet about behaviors that unnerved me when instead I should have something. I ended up paying the price. I complained about it because I didn't know what else to do.
The buck stops here.
I'm done. No complaining or blaming. No victim speeches. No "this is what's been happening to me." No "I can't believe this has happened to me."
Nope. I'm done.
The results have allowed awesome opportunities to open up (or maybe it's my eyes are now open to what was already there). My next move is clearer now. I'm no longer wasting time looking at the shut door and wondering why it was closed on me. I'm going into arenas that bring me joy and love. To top it off, my irritatingly bad 6th graders, haven't seemed as unbearable lately. In fact...dare I say...I like the kiddos now, which is a HUGE jump considering where I started.
So how can you enjoy the same mental and emotional freedom?
For the next 7 days, try doing this:
Wipe your slate clean. You get to start over today. Today is your New Year or your birthday. You are renewed from this day forth. Everything bad that's happened, just dump it in the trash. Erase those "why me" thoughts.
This may be extreme, but it frickin' worked for me. Every time I thought a complaint or complained out loud, I pinched my neck or acted like I was cutting my wrists. It was my reminder that complaining steals time from me and causes stress, which shortens my life. After "play" slitting my wrists, I'd stop and focus on what's in front of me.
Look at every situation and see how you created it. This was a reality check for me! Once you take responsibility for what's going on around you, you're back in the driver seat. You see other ways to act, think, and be and you transform. The transformation seems to happen overnight...and everyone begins to notice.
WARNING: You will back slide. You will still have complaining moments, but you won't have complaining hours or days. You'll catch yourself mid-complaint and stop and do something else.
Will you join me on this Complaint-Free Journey? It's simple, follow the 3 principles I've outlined up above. (tweak them as needed) Add some of your own to the mix and begin living every day with the intention of NOT complaining. No complaints. At all.
Daunting, I know. But try it, even if just for 7 days. It worked for me, it works for my mom, and I know from the bottom of my heart, it'll work for you too.