there’s a really cute gargoyle hiding behind your tree
There is, indeed! That is Thaddeus, thinker of deep thoughts. I believe in that photo, he was busy contemplating the relative merits of all-white lights on the tree versus last year’s multi-coloured lights.
The Council of Elders
Reading through yesterday’s comments was a bit like having a visit from a council of elders. By this I mean: I felt…”nourished” is perhaps the best word I can grasp at right now. I felt nourished by your thoughts. Thank you, so much. (You have no idea, really.)
There was much discussion of the feeling of “home” versus “not home”; there was also some very insightful commentary on what complaining is, and what it isn’t. Here’s a sampling:
Complaining is to me, about focus. You can acknowledge that something is not how you want it to be without letting it consume you. Pretending problems or heartfelt desires aren’t there, or aren’t important, is bad for your emotional and physical health!
When you can articulate how you feel about something, you can begin to take steps to improve a situation which is not your your liking. Every path we take, leads to other new paths, the journey IS the thing.
Being discontented by your current state isn’t complaining! It’s identifying what isn’t working for you…
I think you have found “patience”. I see patience as the acceptance of reality. If you accept your reality you can then enjoy the goodness around you even if it is not the place or situation you want to be in. Patience will help you until you find the home and the city that you love. When people complain too much they are just fighting their reality…
Wow. Let’s look at that last one: When people complain too much, they are fighting their reality.
That’s a pretty amazing thought. I think of some of the complaining I have done, about the cold, about the snow, about the medical system here, and really, in the end, my complaints were my last defense against cold, hard reality: This Is What It Is.
I can no more change where I live right now than I can change the weather. We live in Canada, in Ontario, near Toronto, simply because this is where Nicholas has a job. We can change the actual house we live in (we’re renters); we can change the location (as long as it is within easy commute distance of his university); and there is always a chance another position somewhere will open up.
But it’s HERE that we are, and that we must be for now.
I think I’ve been complaining too much (at least at home, I have), maybe almost to the point where the complaints weren’t letting in anything else. It’s really easy to get stuck in the complaints; as some of you mentioned, complaints can become a habit.
I also think that complaining is one style of relating to others, as complaining can feel like sharing one’s feelings with others. This is where Laura‘s comment comes in:
I wonder if complaining has more to do with what we want to accomplish in the situation. If I’m “complaining” because things are somehow out-of-kilter…that can be trying to articulate an emotion. Speaking those emotions into words and actions helps us deal with them so they don’t eat us alive from the inside. The line is thin, and rather gray sometimes.
Complaining, then, is perhaps repetitive sharing of negative feelings, without an openness to what those negative feelings may be pointing to in our lives. Feelings are signposts, are they not? They point to something that damages our sense of peace and say “ouch!”; they point to something that gives us joy and say “yay!”
But a signpost is not a place to live; it is not a destination.
I like this: The Mandarin word for “crisis” (some translators say “change”) is two characters:
My unsettled, homeless, things-aren’t-right feelings are telling me something, as so many of you pointed out. There is both danger and opportunity here.
Tomorrow, maybe I’ll talk about joy.
Holidays are a time when many of us “go home,” visit family, enact traditions, celebrate, eat, connect. Nicholas and I are not going to visit family or friends this year for various reasons; it will be just us. We’re aware that this has the “opportunity/danger” sign on it: Celebrating “alone” could be depressing…or it could be a door into change. We’ve done some thinking about this, and we’re determined to step through the doorway.
Tomorrow we will put together a gingerbread house together. As we do that, we’re going to talk about what we can do to make our little family holiday special, how we can create a celebration that reflects our love for each other, our animals, and our communities.
Stay tuned. And thank you for helping light the path ahead with your wise council.
Today’s Random Good
I like a man who lends his own special charms to help out his wife’s yarn business.