Paragons of pessimism – we all know at least one who is established in an unofficially existing career of Complainer; one who will never fail to complain about the dreadful thorns no matter how beautiful the rose is. I had an elderly relative who appeared to exemplify this vocation. In fact, I often used to wonder how she would have survived had she somehow been denied the capacity to complain and berate others.

Unless we remain consciously impervious to the deluge of negativity, we can find the company of these crabby crows insidiously successful at sucking every ounce of energy out of us along with the will to live.

Most of us have had lapses of dwelling in the complaining zone, where the ‘pain body’, as Echhart Tolle refers to it, derails us – where the misery from our suffering becomes our identity.

Energy follows attention and if we become accustomed to honing in on faults, then sadly our ability to see and enjoy the positives, diminishes. The way to reverse this process is to make a conscious effort to increase awareness and appreciation of the positives. There are endless reasons to be appreciative. Do your hands (or any other part of your body) function? You’re reading this, so you can see, you can read, you have access to the Internet …

As your appreciation grows, your perception of life brightens.

You can help complainers move from the negative zone, by asking them how you can help them, (rather than what’s wrong with them), or, how they think they could help themselves. This shifts the focus of attention from all that’s wrong, to possible solutions and a feeling of empowerment.

“He cannot complain of a hard sentence, who is made master of his own fate.” Friedrich Schiller

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