I'm a strong woman. This title implies that I am the hero of my own story. But here's my confession: I'm a big complainer. I don't know about you, but I complain about the cold weather, the hot weather, the price of jeans, waking up on Monday morning and Taylor Swift. I also complain about bigger things. My life isn't how I pictured it would be. I'm poor. I don't have enough friends. And I don't think I'm alone in this. Most of us seem to go on and on, most of the time without even realizing we are complaining. Our grouchy grumblings just tumble out of our mouths before w even know it.
But the problem is, all this complaining is just playing the victim card. The writer and teacher Eckhart Tolle wrote, "When you complain, you make yourself into a victim. When you speak out, you are in your power. So change the situation by taking action or by speaking out if necessary or possible; leave the situation or accept it. All else is madness."
Complaining leaves us nowhere, no better than before the complaint left our mouths. It's "madness" and it makes us the victims in our own life stories. Instead of complaining in vain, we have three options we should use instead:
1. Change the problem.
Do something about your problem. If there is something in your life that is no good, speak up. Use your words and use your mind. Feeling bored? Pick up a new hobby. Feeling lonely? Go to a class, mingle, introduce yourself. Feeling uninspired? Shake it up and do something out of the box. Feeling silenced? Speak.
2. Leave the problem.
Sometimes we need to walk away from the people and the things that do not serve us anymore. If you hate your job, start taking the necessary steps to find a new job so you can quit. If you have an unhealthy relationship, walk away. It's hard, but staying in a bad relationship is much harder.
3. Accept the problem.
At the end of the day, sometimes we can't change the bad things and we can't leave the hard times. We just have to plant our feet where they are and try to find a silver lining. It is what it is and it doesn't have to suck.
Now, I'm not saying we can't have a good venting session now and then with a friend. Sometimes we just need to spew out all the junk. But when we habitually whine about this or that, and do nothing about it -- we are victimizing ourselves and honestly just being plain annoying. We are more powerful than we realize. Most of the time we can change or leave all the uncomfortable, undesirable things. When we can't, we still have the power to alter our minds and accept what is -- all while changing our perspectives to find the good.
Taylor DuVall writes for Unwritten. You can follow her on Twitter @taylynneduvall.