I just realized a fabulous practice. All the whining and complaining my coworkers do used to drive me up the wall. Now I see it as an awesome test.
You can’t grow if you are sheltered. If you spend your whole life insulated and protected, you’ll never mature or get strong. This is true mentally, physically, spiritually.
I was at a retreat recently and was given this meditation. If you are in a rowboat in a lake and a powerboat goes blasting by, you can get upset or you can ride it out. It is what you do with it that matters. If you get upset then you are just making it worse.
I used to think that it would be nice to not have any powerboats on my lake. I’m thinking Rolling Stones here – “Hey, you, get offa my cloud”.
I’m stuck here for 40 hours a week listening to people bitch and whine about everything. Lots of complaining. Lots. From the staff. About the staff. About the patrons. About their husbands. About their children. About everything. All they do is complain, and they don’t do anything to make their lives better.
They are “letting off steam” and I’m the one getting burned.
It gets old. I’ve pointed out that if all we do is talk about negative stuff, then negative stuff is all we will see. We have to look for the positive. This advice works for about ten minutes and then it is forgotten.
If you want to get stronger, you have to test yourself. To strengthen your balance and your ankles, do tree pose. If you do mountain pose you won’t get any benefits. You have to stand on one leg. You have to challenge yourself.
So being around all this complaining is a test. How to listen without engaging. How to be there but not really be there.
I can’t solve their problems. They have to do it themselves. They have to see them as problems first. The longer I try to deflect or dissipate their anger, fear, frustration, the more I’m delaying their realization that they are causing their own problems.
Jesus tells us to love our enemies. He says that if we just love the nice people, what good is that? Anybody can do that.
So the trick is to love the bad situation, the complaining, the whining. Be loving. Don’t fight it, don’t resist it. Don’t join it, either.
This doesn’t mean I don’t want to go rowing on a nice placid lake every now and then either. I don’t enjoy being the calm one amidst the chaos. But I have to do something with this reality.
I’m not the only person to notice this. There are a lot of people who have worked there who feel that there is a bunch of negative energy here. Perhaps the fact that there is a large sinkhole on the property is part of it. One friend says there is paranormal activity. Whatever, the reason, the result is the same. And I’m trying to find something good about this. It is either that, or join it, and I’m not hot on that.