It’s time to stop complaining now, because this is just a way of finding excuses. It’s a way to avoid taking responsibility.
A wise man once said, “If you complain about something, change it. If you cannot change it, then stop complaining.”
In a nutshell, just take responsibility. By complaining, or rather finding excuses, you ensure that you will return to the same routine and situation that you are dissatisfied with, no matter how unpleasant this may be.
Sure, I know that change can be scary, and taking responsibility is frightening.
It’s a huge responsibility to say, “I’m fine,” but you actually should be fine. You should be able to honestly say, “I’m fine.”
My mind is working well…
I can walk down the street unaided…
I do not step back when I come across certain events that instill fear. Of course, it hurts, because some pain is inevitable, but to struggle and fall into despair is a choice.
Now, because I declare that I’m fine, and because I refused to shelter behind excuses, I will need to be awake from now on.
So, what can I no longer do, because I’m fine?
I cannot blame the world anymore. The world is what it is. It always has been, and it always will be. There are no guarantees that those things I like about my life will continue indefinitely, and it would be unreasonable to expect this. Not everything is in my control, so I can only do my best. I am not a special case, so everything that befalls the other billions of people around the globe could happen to me. I’m limited in what I can do about it as well. It’s just the way of this world.
The nature of life is wavering, ambiguous, undefinable, and woven from complicated interacting networks. There’s no permanence here, so it changes uncontrollably. At any minute, I can find myself subjected to an act of terrorism, war, a natural disaster, meaningless violence, a brutal dictatorship, a simple accident, the emotional traumas of my family, financial problems, poor health, and so on. There is no guarantee that the next moment will be like the last, and this has always been the case for everyone. It always has been, and it always will be. The same applies to you too, but this doesm’t stop you from taking responsibility. On the contrary, it offers you even more responsibility. Take responsibility for yourself, your inner situation, and your awareness. Be fine no matter what happens!
So, I can no longer blame others, but what can do I about the problems I used to blame on others? Do I take responsibility? Do I work on resolving those problems? Do I allow something to change? How responsive have I been toward other people’s sorrows, feelings, pain, needs, and values? Do I have any right to mutter complaints or find excuses?
What can I expect if opposite me stands an ego comprised of anger, misunderstanding, greed, and illusions, yet the thing I call myself is the very same thing, too. How far away am I from my own ego, desires, delusions, and anger? How can I expect anything different from others? If I still act with fear, I cannot really expect anything better to happen.
But I cannot blame myself—I just can’t do it. I’m too lazy and nervous. I’m greedy and angry, as well as misunderstanding. If you know all this as well, what are you doing about it? What efforts are you making? Do you say, “I worked that much and it is what it is,” or do you say, “I’m still working on it. I look at the results I get, but I still see these strong tendencies, so I try to spread kindness over them.”
You cannot complain anymore! Nor can you back away from fear. You cannot let fear dominate you anymore. You know where that path leads to, because you’ve walked it many times before. It’s now time to let your mind be your trainer, to manage things and move forward with courage…
I cannot trust in thoughts and emotions or emotional situations. Every thought and emotion changes. And no emotional situation, whether created by yourself or someone else, is ever permanent. It all changes, passes away, and transforms into something else. This is the nature of truth. That’s why there’s pain, angst, and existential pain. Even if you try to create good emotions, they begin to change and go bad before long.
I also do not trust in the reality of thoughts. They manifest according to how your environment makes you feel and how much it satisfies your desires, needs, and expectations. This is why thoughts tell you lies. Their only purpose is to tell you what you want to hear based on the reflections of the world that you perceive. When something you want happens, you regard it to be good. This person is good. This situation is good. I am good, and the world is good. If it’s not something you want, you say it’s bad. This person is bad. This situation is bad. I am bad, and the world is bad.
There is only one way out: to become aware.
There is no other way out. Otherwise, you will still continue to struggle with problems, to wonder why things always happen to you, to complain, to struggle, and to protect the things you assume to be yours. You will try to immobilize yourself and those around you, and everything that happens will hurt. This is dukkha or existential pain. This is true angst. Some things will certainly happen, and there will definitely be problems. If it’s not one thing, it will be another, and so on.
You will continue to think, “If that hadn’t happened, I would still be happy. If it wasn’t for that person, I would have been much happier.”
What if it wasn’t for a particular incident? What if your past had been better? What if your parents had raised you differently? What if you were richer now? What if you had more friends? What if you had married someone else? It doesn’t matter, because whatever happiness you would have gained would have been fleeting.
You would have had other obsessions instead. You were always going to blame others and the world—it would just be for something else. Of course, there are levels and degrees to pain and agony. For example, I’m happy that I am not stuck in the middle of a war, possibly hungry and lacking shelter. Maybe tomorrow I will be, because there are no guarantees. This is dukkha, and there’s no other way out of it. If I continue to live like this, I’ll keep encountering the same problems.
This is why there’s no other solution than to work on it. This work comes through training your mind and taking full responsibility for saying, “I’m fine.”
Dost Can Deniz