I can’t complain
A lot of people are sharing with me that they’re not feeling great, but they shouldn’t complain because lots of people have it worse than them. I’ve even done this myself and maybe you can relate too. When someone asks you how you’re doing and you’re not feeling that good but you say, “oh I can’t complain because …”. It might be, other people have lost their job, other people are having financial problems, other people have health issues, other people live in a flat without a garden, other people have young children or more children, other people have to go into the office etc etc.
Whilst I’m a big fan of gratitude and recognising what we do have to be grateful in our life, this ‘can’t complain’ response can actually be harmful at times. Because what we’re saying is, my discomfort/upset/pain/suffering is not worthy enough of recognition. It’s saying that somehow we are measuring pain on a scale of worthy pain versus not worthy pain. Why that can be unhelpful is that it’s denying our emotions. And what we resist persists. Denying those emotions won’t make us feel better, and they could even make us feel worse. Only acknowledging how we feel and meeting all emotions with kindness and compassion does.
Its been a year since the pandemic impacted on each of us through going into lockdown. We’ve each had our different experiences through that time and we’ve all experienced change of some kind. It’s natural for us to have feelings about that, or at any time for that matter. So this week I invite you to acknowledge those emotions and find kindness and compassion. I’m going to remind you of the Guest House by Rumi.
The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.
Does this resonate with you? What thoughts and feelings is it bringing up? Let me know what you think!