“Complaints are prayers for more of that which we say we don’t want…read that twice! What you focus on expands. #thoughtscreate #louisehay #affirmations”
Oh Hayyyy no.
Yes, there is the irritating bemoaning-our-plight-as-entertainment while doing nothing about it. And yes, some of us do that some of the time.
And yes, it’s important to be forward looking, to take care of ourselves, to be frank about what hurts and clear about what helps.
But the bigger problem here is the cultural urge to suppress “complaint,” or even view it as complaining, in the first place.
Instead of getting rid of our hurt around hard times by silencing ourselves and hoping for “good vibes only,” which sounds good but can be suppressing, or self-aggression—in Buddhism, we practice relaxing our hurt, befriending our broken heart, dissolving the drama around our troubles, daring to feel our heart, and…to let it go, and give compassion and kindness and gentleness to those around us instead of pushing out our negative or neurotic emotions. <3
More importantly, more healthfully, we should be encouraging folks to open up, to be honest, to say, as I just did,
“Anh, things haven’t been great. Really hard year. Some good things, though, too,”
…with lots of smiles and shrugging and a kind of helpless, humble openness.
Why? Because opening up is always good.
Opening up is always good. Doesn’t mean it feels good. Doesn’t mean it’s always easy to hear. But as we process, we get more-over it (I discuss this teaching in “It’s Never too Late to Fall in Love with your Life“). As we process, our brain and heart figure out how to aerate and view our struggles. And we heal, and we learn, and we change, and we grow up.
And that—that is a prayer for good things to come to us, for when we are grounded and open, we create peace, not drama, not cyclical suffering.