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We Are Addicted To Complaining

As a species we are addicted to complaining. Have you noticed this? Unlike animals, complaining seems so natural to human beings that we continually engage in it without much thought.

We learned to complain when we were young children and haven’t stopped since. We picked up the habit from our parents who in turn picked it up from their parents. And we are passing it on to our children who will then pass it on to their children. Society is built on complaining… practically everyone does it pretty much nonstop.

This doesn’t mean you can’t ask the cashier at Ralph’s to remove the extra item he inadvertently charged you for. It just means you have no interest in complaining about it to him or yourself. You simply ask for what what you want, sans complaining.

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For many, they don’t know how to ask for what they want without complaining, as if you can’t do the one without the other. Complaining is so ingrained in us, so part of the apparent human condition, that to not be able to complain almost feels wrong. Complaining has become our identity. Who would I be without my complaints?

And yet it’s this compulsive need to complain that keeps us stuck in a perpetually unfulfilled life. How can we love life if we are constantly complaining about it? The answer is we can’t. We can’t be truly free until we are free from complaining… about anything.


1. It’s the ego that complains, not your true nature

The addiction to complaining is a lot easier to give up when you understand that you are actually never the one that’s complaining, but rather it’s your ego. And yet just about everyone mistakes themselves for their ego, which is why we get defensive whenever we feel attacked or threatened psychologically. To the ego, every disagreement feels like life and death. As a result, it’s constantly on guard to prevent being taking advantage of and reacts to the slightest perceived threat, real or imagined. It feels threatened by anyone who holds a view in opposition to its own and gravitates towards like minded egos so as to make itself feel better about its position.

To be clear, you are not your ego. You have an ego, but it is not you just like you have a car, but you are not your car.

2. Ego’s maintain the illusion of being separate by believing that they are special

Realize that the Beingness in another person is actually the exact same Beingness in you for the simple reason that there is only One Beingness. It’s what gives life to every creature on Earth as well as what that creature is made out of, since there is only Beinginess. Thus, no Beingness is any more or less special than any other Beingness. But don’t try telling this to your ego, as the ego is built on specialness, i.e., “I am more special than him, but less special than her.” The compulsion to feel greater or lesser than is what keeps us stuck in the illusion of separation.

3. What’s behind every ego is your true nature: unbounded, formless awareness

You are what is aware of everything, of which your ego is simply one aspect. You are aware of your body. You are aware of thoughts. You are aware of feelings. You are aware of moods. You are aware of sounds. You are aware of  images, both interior and exterior. I.e., you are aware of every experience you have.  

Awakening is deeply realizing, to the core of your being, that your true nature is Awareness and NOT the objects you’re aware of. Having realized this directly for yourself, you then simply practice resting as this  formless/boundless Awareness every moment, rather than as a time bound ego, which was born and will one day die.

Note that, at first, you will find yourself getting caught up in the ego time and time again. This is normal. The key is to not give up. Once you realize that you’re not your ego, and never were, you keep letting go of your old conditioned patterns allowing them to dissolve. Over time, they begin to thin out, and peace and happiness that isn’t dependent upon anything or anyone will become more and more your direct experience.

As your energy shifts to loving Awareness, you’ll find your interactions with other people becoming more harmonious. This is something I saw in my own life. The clearer I became, the smoother my interactions with others became because I was no longer attached to the results. Rather, I was more interested in what works for all parties. While the ego is ME focused, Awareness is WE focused. How can we make this a win-win?

When you come from this energy, you will find that others will tend to reflect it back. And if someone is sharp with you, your compassion for their suffering will compel you not to add to it. Remember, complaining is for the ego and that is not what you inherently are.

What would it be like to go one day, one hour or one minute without complaining inwardly or outwardly about anything? What would it be like to live a complaint free life? Heaven on Earth.

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Michael Jeffreys
Michael Jeffreys
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