In a last week’s post I shared with you about how shame magically dissipated with compassionate curiosity. I was working with a new fellow who inadvertently triggered my shame by telling me that a choice I made was wrong. (When in fact it was neither right or wrong. Just different from his.) That curiosity lead me to the realization that he probably spoke out of compulsion. He couldn’t stop himself from telling me that he was right… and I was wrong. But why? Why the compulsion?
I have learned that when I engage in the “I’m right, and you’re wrong” dance, I feel powerful. That’s right, I’m the smarty pants, I know stuff. You should listen to me. And if I can find someone to blame? Well hell, Party on! Now I feel a sense of control, feeding my superiority even more. Who doesn’t’ want to feel powerful, in control and superior?
When I start explaining, I’m caught up in a trap of false bravado. I’m trying to make myself look better and/or feel better.
But what about complaining? Don’t people need to know that I am displeased by current set of circumstances? No. No one really cares what anyone else thinks unless they have come to to that person specifically for their opinion. Complaining says that I know better than the great Creator. When I complain about a person, situation or thing, I’m saying that I know more than God. Complaining feeds my sense of power. It’s a straw man, placing my Higher Power below almighty me in the org chart of my life. When I complain I feed the self righteous beast that thinks it knows best and everyone else is wrong.
Here’s the great fact: None of us have any power over anything other than ourselves. There is only one Power. And that Guy is so secure in Himself that He doesn’t even sweat it when we try to get into His business.
Just For Today
When I am tempted to complain about something, I’m going to try and keep my mouth shut. I will also try to quiet my mind, because complaining, whining thoughts are just unvoiced complaints. When I feel the need to explain my position I will ask, is this really necessary? And if it is I will choose to be kind and truthful.
Thank you God for the awareness of how destructive my complaining and explaining can be to both me and your other kids. Thanks for being the one with all the power. Help me to remember that you’re in control and on my side. You want the best for me and you can be trusted. Help me to internalize these principles constantly. And trust you more and more with each day.