Monday, August 16, 2010


"There are many reasons that suffering without undue complaining may be good for the soul, but ensuring one's reward in heaven is not one of them. Courage is its own reward, and there can never be a good reason to cause other people suffering - which is what complaining does".
A dear friend of mine posted this as her FB status the other day. She is a very spiritual, soulful person with many wonderful qualities. Her words made me think.
1. Is courage its own reward? I thought the bling was the reward?
2. I should give up blogging altogether.
3. No! Didn't we just have this conversation the other day?
4. No-one except me has to read this.
5. No-one at all has to like it.
6. Hang on. Complaining/whingeing/grizzling is very useful! Verbalising things like fear and doubt and OMG WTF was I thinking before - and while - I do something I'm scared of gives those feelings a shape, a controllable form that I can manage much better than the nebulous 'I am soooo feeling anxious/angry/manipulated/inadequate but I am soooo not admitting it, even to myself'. If I write it or say it I can see it. If I can see it I can get past it, over it, around it or through it.
It will come as no surprise to my five faithful readers that while we here at the LBTEPA Institute are big fans of the Stiff Upper Lip shouldn't that be Stiff Lower Lip?, we believe that giving oneself permission to voice both positive and negative feelings can be very liberating. Within reason (quantitatively speaking), of course - or, as our research suggests, you'll be voicing them all by yourself fairly quickly.
Another thing: sometimes if you complain about things, people offer solutions you haven't been able to come up with by yourself. Ideas that pull you up short and make you see the situation in a whole new way - even validating your pessimism! Some of the most helpful things I've ever heard have been in response to my lamest bleating.
If you're having such a rotten time, why are you doing it? Because I want to. Perhaps I'd better shut up a bit about it though
You've got nothing to prove. True.
What if you forgave yourself for not being perfect?
Ooooh, now there's a thought....
It'll hurt a lot and take a long time, but you'll get there. It did, it did and I did.
And my favourite
well yes, you do complain a lot, but you're funny
More anon, world bleaters!

11 much-appreciated comments:

Anonymous said...

It's a really big internet. There is all sorts of stuff I don't care to see on it.

This page is not one of them. Otherwise, I'd never come here either.

Also, seriously, I believe that compulsive over-achievers have a duty to show it's not easy! Sure, I run marathons, but I have to work at it. I study, that's more work. I don't effortlessly swan into exams or starting corrals, I have to work.

If people see that compulsive over-achievers have to work at it, then maybe, they will dare to try the big dreams that require hard work.

That, and when I see other complsuive over-achievers go through the same things as me, I feel very comforted.

(My favourite song to sing in my head while running is Billy Joel's "Pressure." I find it very comforting. "You have to learn to pace yourself, you're just like everybody else. You only have to run so far, so well.")

I don't see your blog as complaining, I see it as facing reality, and doing what needs to be done.


Anonymous said...

I love reading about your training and your marathons- I don't regard it as complaining if you say something is difficult- it just sounds like the truth! If you need to vent, we get it, we understand because we do it too- if you say those same things to a non-runner they think it is complaining and wonder why you do it- but we know.

Run and let run, vent and let vent I say.


The Merry said...

Venting: healthy release of frustration, vexation, or general angst.

Complaining: venting that's been directed into a never-ending loop.

Therefore, ipso facto cognito sum, you're not complaining. You're not caught up in a vent, lather, and repeat cycle. You release frustration and then move on. No worries.

Brendan said...

As long as your whining doesn't get too passive-aggressive it should be fine.

annaleigh said...

I find complaining people much more fun and interesting than people who are always happy and positive. They make me feel inadequate!

Don't stop complaining or else!

Lisa said...

I never really thought of this as a blog filled with complaining. More like a mind dump. And it's actually rather reassuring to someone like me to know that I'm not the only one with self doubt, etc. Blog on!

Gran-oh said...

Maybe someone reads what you've written and thinks 'Yeah that's how I felt too but I didn't quite know how to say it.'

Being prepared to share our inadequacies is sometimes the greatest gift we can give someone else.

Wes said...

I think its the upper lip that tends to smell :-) I love having friends all over the world. I'll take what you can give...

Anonymous said...

OMG ... 9 comments = 9 readers Ha

So .... how is the training going ??

Eat Em

Margaret said...

Hmmm I did see 9 comments and think that perhaps I was 5 over the limit and need not comment- but here I am anyway :) I love your blog. I love that it is real and not contrived . I love that it has pictures of sheep on it. And (after quickly scrolling through the last few posts) I love that I have a hat just like yours - but red!!

Carry on, keep calm, wear the t-shirt (which I have ordered - yay!) x

Mary Sunshine said...

I love your blog...your expressiveness and honesty and wit! It is a treat to read what you have to say. Always makes me think, "hey maybe someday I'll have thoughts like THAT!"

love it!