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No More 'Poor Me': How to Live a Complaint Free Life

There are so many things we can complain about. But what if we didn't?
What if we only expressed what we like? What would that do to our life? Listen to this talk to find out.

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This dialogue also appeared on VOD-000

Video Transcript

With John de Ruiter from the February 10, 2018 Rishikesh, India Retreat

Q: I’m going through so much physical and mental discomfort and while sitting in the meetings then I started to notice that I’m not surrendering to my weakness, yet. I’m not at home in my weakness, yet.

John: You’re struggling with weakness in your self instead of being at rest in the weakness in your self.

Q: Is awareness connected to beyond or is the being connected to the beyond?

John: Awareness.

Q: So what keeps taking birth after death? One of the religious beliefs is that whatever desire you have left on your deathbed, you will keep coming for that.

John: All of that doesn’t really matter. What matters is how to be what you really are in the midst of your self, without you needing to change anything in your self, first.

Q: Yes, that’s my weakness. Still at the back of the mind is to change something.

John: You’ve seen different dogs when they go to lie down on their bed. They will walk around and around and around, and finally it’ll just lie down. It goes through the same practice each time it lies down. That’s a patterned way of lying down. When you go to rest in your self, that’s what you do. You walk around it and around it, and around and around.

What you’re able to do, if you’re not consulting what matters to you on an emotional level is, like that dog, instead of walking around and around, it walks right up to its bed and just lies down. You are free in that way to rest as awareness in the midst of anything. But as you do, that will cause your nervous system to flare because everything of how you’ve trained your self comes up as you, awareness, relax. You’ve trained your self to prevent you from relaxing.

Your self needs to be re-trained by being untrained, its training removed as your self is moving. That can only take place by you, awareness, unconditionally relaxing while you think, while you feel, while you speak, and as much as that causes your nervous system to flare, that you’ll be deeply quietly okay as is in the midst of all of that flare-up. That makes you, through time, the calming of your nervous system: the calming and the stilling of your self by you being stillness in the midst of a self that isn’t like that yet, in the midst of a self that you trained for decades to be otherwise.

Q: Yes, I see that. Sometimes I feel I’m helpless. I don’t know what to do.

John: Do whatever you like but then do it this way (opens hand) instead of this way (closes hand). It really doesn’t matter what you do. All that really matters is what you are being in what you do. To make this practical, when something disturbs you, when your nervous system flares, it doesn’t mean that you need to say something. When your nervous system flares, deeply, quietly have no need of saying anything. What is first addressed, then, in the undoing of your self, is that your speaking isn’t used for stories anymore. You have no story about what bothers you. You have nothing to say about discomforts. You don’t say it to anyone and it isn’t a repression; it is a restedness from needing to speak just because you’re uncomfortable.

It’s a little bit like not being able to sleep. You’re lying in bed, and when you can’t sleep that doesn’t mean that you need to turn over on the other side, move around. Again, turn on another side, groan a little bit, have complaining murmurs. If you can’t sleep, you just lie completely still. No sounds. Nothing needs to move, so you are letting your body rest and you’re not keeping it going just because you can’t sleep. You don’t need to involve your body and your voice in you not being able to sleep. This isn’t comfortable. It’s more comfortable when you can’t sleep to toss, turn and complain, but that isn’t real. That’s just you acting out how you feel, making physical how you feel.

When you can’t sleep, if you were to just lie still and not move at all then while you’re awake you would be slowly dropping deeper and deeper within. If you repress the movement, you’ll have bursts of movement. If you are genuinely resting as awareness despite how your nervous system flares, you’ll be dropping deeper and deeper within, realizing levels of you that you don’t come into in your day; levels of you you’ve not realized before and not being able to sleep gives you that opportunity. It only works if there’s genuinely no voice given, no movement given to your discomfort in not being able to fall asleep. And that’s how you be in the midst of anything else where your nervous system flares: that you give nurturingly and deeply, quietly, no voice and no movement to that discomfort, to the flaring. That makes you the ease in the midst of a flaring pattern. That makes you the healing of your self. You can’t do this for the healing. You can’t do this for pressure-relief or pain relief but you can do this for you; not you as a self, not you in your heart, just you, awareness. You, awareness, home.

You are able to deeply rest from needing to complain about anything at all in your life. Complaint is, restfully, no longer a part of your existence. It really matters for you to be complaint-free before you die.

Q: I’d like to do that now.

John: Then, regardless of what flares in your nervous system, that you deeply settle into a restedness of having no need to complain anymore regardless of how much your nervous system and your mind provoke you and tells you otherwise.

Q: This ‘poor me’ is so alive in everything.

John: Everything can be without complaint. If you can’t settle in your heart that’s nothing to complain about. If your emotions are aggravating you, if you feel like aggravating someone else, that’s nothing for you to complain about. There’s no experience that’s worth complaining about.

When something tastes good you can say something. When something doesn’t taste good, you can enjoy not needing to say anything, and live that way in all of your life. Give voice to what you sweetly like. That brings in your humanness. When you give voice to what you don’t like, that’s you de-humanizing your self. Saying what you don’t like, you cut off your own humanness and you end up making something of your self that isn’t real.

This enables you to be in your humanness regardless of what self you have. This enables you to be your humanness instead of you being your conditioned self. You being your humanness isn’t comfortable for your self. It puts your self in a lot of pressure because what you are being is then not the same as your self. It exposes your self. It makes your self uncomfortable. From a conditioned-self perspective, for you to live no longer complaining about anything would ruin your life. But for you to be rested within instead of complaining is you being deeply at home in the midst of a self that isn’t like you, yet.

Try this with some really little things. When you feel like complaining about something that is almost nothing, just stop, think about our conversation and, right there, enjoy not being able to say anything; you enjoying not needing to complain; you being nurtured in not needing to complain; you resting in nurture instead of you complaining, and you realize how much you love it. And then be the same in another little thing. What you awaken to is your love. You’ll realize your love and all of the complaining was just an addiction. It wasn’t real. It was actual in your nervous system but none of it was real to you. You don’t have a nurturing love of complaining. You do have a nurturing love of being gentled and quieted within.

For a little help you can ask your husband to tell you when you are not complaining.

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