Do you ever get in one of those moods?
where nothing seems right,
where your mind is fidgety,
where you can’t figure out what to do,
where you don’t want to do anything,
where you have no energy for no reason,
where your mind seems in a turmoil or a muddle,
where you want to avoid life,
where life seems hard or unfair,
or where there is no answer to the question “so what”?
Most all of us pass through this type of mood sooner or later, for shorter or for longer periods of time.
Here's a way to make those times shorter.
I call it your “Whine List”
Whining, complaining, groaning and moaning, bitching.
We grant no space to ourselves or to others for these behaviors. It’s okay to be optimistic, to be cheerful, to be happy. But don’t whine. Or, if you do, keep it to yourself!
We resist whining as we resist fear
Whining is like fear in this way. Fear doesn’t have good PR, and we all pretend to ourselves and others that we don’t have much of it. Whining may even have worse PR than fear. Who wants to be around a whiner and complainer?
I often hear people complain about complainers. Now that's a double standard!
Permission and instructions to whine
Consider what might happen if we gave ourselves full permission to whine, moan, groan, complain, and bitch.
Let me suggest that you enlist some special friends in your life to be on your Whine List. I would recommend a minimum of five. For most of us making this request will be a choice of courage! These special friends will make themselves available to you to be on call, if they happen to be available, as needed or wanted for whining sessions. You could offer to do the same for them.
Your job is to whine, bitch, moan, and complain...all the way
During these whining sessions, your listener will be there for you, either on the telephone or face to face, to deeply listen to how things occur for you in your world. Your listener will desire to see, and even feel, your world as you see it and feel it, to understand what your automatic thoughts and feelings are about yourself, about others and about the circumstances of your life. Your listener will give you the non-judgmental space for you to speak about how bad it is for you in your world, without any need for sugar-coating and without any need to look good.
No advice and no coaching
Your listener will not try to cheer you up, will not try to fix things, will not try to coach you, will not give you any advice. They will only listen, inviting you to tell them more so that you can express it all and they can fully understand how things occur for you in your world.
Only empathy and "agreement"
Your listener may say things with empathy like,
“Please tell me more,”
“I’m so sorry,”
“It’s hard to keep going, isn’t it?”
“Life is really tough,”
“Thank you for telling me how you feel,”
“It’s not fair,”
“It really seems hopeless, doesn’t it?”
Choose courage to spill it all out, with no sugar coating
Whereas, you, as the speaker, will choose the courage to give yourself full permission to whine, moan, groan, complain, and bitch with nothing held back and no sugar-coating. You could even give yourself permission to exaggerate in expressing how bad it is: "My life has always been in the shit can."
Witness the power of bitching
It’s actually quite amazing what happens out of this process. When we choose the courage to whine, in the above context, and we have a great listener who is encouraging us to whine, and who is not resisting our whining in any way. then a new clearing miraculously appears for something fresh to show up. When we keep our whining inside and suppress it, which includes thinking we shouldn’t feel this way, we keep ourselves stuck.
Thirty minutes or less until a shift will occur
I have never experienced a whining session yet, where I was either the speaker or the listener, that lasted longer than 30 minutes before a shift occurred. One time, I started whining with a person who was on my Whine List, after feeling stuck for two days, and I was out of my mood within two minutes!
Get five whining partners
See if you can get at least five friends on your Whine List. The importance of having at least five friends on your list is so that you’ll be able to easily reach someone when you need to whine.
To really get the value out of this new practice, you’ll have to overdo it, since all your life you’ve blamed yourself and others for whining. Enjoy!
The courage to whine
It will probably be a choice of courage to invite each friend to be on your Whine List. It will also be another choice of courage to call one of your listeners when you’re not in the mood to ask them if they are available for a whining session.
Honor yourself for this courage.