The hardships and misfortunes we encounter along the way can sometimes cause us to feel powerless to effect change in our lives. We sometimes feel compelled to talk about our problems because we want to be understood and know that someone is there for us. Sharing our feelings can in some instances help to alleviate our suffering. The problem here is that many of us don’t know when to stop. Some of us have a tendency to go on and on, but that never brings us to a place of resolution. If anything, it makes us feel more anxious.
Myra said at one point that it felt so natural for her to whine. I told her that It feels natural because it’s something she’s grown accustomed to as a result of having done so for most of her life. You’ve learned to cope over the years by resisting the painful feelings associated with what’s not working in your life. It can feel scary and overwhelming as these feelings make their way to the surface, but you will realize they’re not as bad as they seem once you allow yourself to fully experience them. You will get to a calmer and more resourceful space much sooner when you allow yourself to fully experience those feelings.
Myra then wanted to know how we fall into a pattern of whining. I explained to her that some of us grew up with parents or other family members who were habitual whiners. We have a tendency to internalize the energies, emotions and traits of our parents.
We may have suffered tremendously as a result of difficult life circumstances. Whining is often an attempt to cope with or alleviate our suffering and yet it is one of the worst things we can possibly do, because it adds to our misery by contributing to a growing sense of powerlessness. And that causes us feel helpless to change the realities of our daily lives. We whine so much about the people or circumstances affecting us and then it gradually becomes a habit.
We can easily fall into habitual patterns of whining if we’re not taking constructive steps to facilitate our healing. Whining generates lots of heavy toxic energies and emotions that get trapped within our bodies. Our true essence sometimes gets buried underneath the many layers of toxic thought and feeling. The toxicity can become so pervasive in some instances that it completely takes over us.
Caught up in the drama
We typically suspend disbelief any time we go to a movie in order to allow ourselves to become captivated by the story unfolding upon the screen. In a similar way we allow ourselves to become captivated by the stories unfolding upon the screen of our mind. The problem with getting caught up in the negative scenarios playing out in our minds is that they are often generated by parts of us that are very wounded. Buying into to these distorted representations of reality can easily send us into a downward spiral. It’s important for us to understand that the parts of our mind generating these negative scenarios are only a small portion of the self and not the totality of who we are.
Resisting our mind’s internal dialog
Many of us try to resist the negative internal dialog by either ignoring it or trying to make it go away. Whatever we resist will persist. The thoughts and images we spend so much time resisting and the subsequent feelings that arise in response to them will grow in magnitude.
We cannot completely silence the parts of our mind that like to chatter, but we do have some measure of control over how much attention we pay to them. We need to acknowledge the negative dialog while primarily keeping our attention focused on the underlying feelings behind those thoughts.
Disconnecting from our feelings and physical bodies
Thinking obsessively is a defense that prevents us from fully experiencing our true feelings. We go up into our heads and by doing so we disconnect from our feelings and physical bodies. Our internal dialog elicits more stressful feelings and that feeds the negative thought patterns. We then find ourselves caught up in a self-perpetuating negative feedback loop.
We cannot possibly process our feelings when we’re spinning around in circles in our heads. We may experience the surface most levels of our anger and frustration, and yet we’re disconnected from the deeper pain underneath that drives our negative internal dialog.
The feelings that we fail to process accumulate within our bodies and that builds the negative emotional charge around the issues that have created so much suffering in our lives. Reinforcing the patterns in this way only causes them to become more deeply entrenched. This negativity causes our body – mind to become very dense. Our presence will begin to feel heavy and toxic.
Pain and stress that accumulates within our bodies has a very desensitizing effect. People who tend to whine a lot don’t realize how they’re hurting themselves and others. They’re not just wasting people’s time. They’re literally sucking the life force out of their bodies.
How do we break the habit of whining?
We all suffer as a result of the hurts, disappointments and losses we experience over the course of our lives. Sometimes we need to open up and share what we’re feeling. The problem is that those of us who don’t know when to stop can easily fall into the trap of whining. It can take tremendous discipline to break ourselves out of the habit. We need to start by making an effort to become mindful by paying attention to our thought processes while we’re in the midst of whatever it is that we’re doing.
Negative thought patterns are driven by feelings held within the body. Deeply ingrained stories and patterns can be had to break. Some of us have to be very disciplined by making a consistent effort to refocus our attention on the feelings behind our mind’s internal dialog any time the negative thought patterns emerge. We need to take a step back from the drama whenever we catch ourselves whining by asking ourselves “What are the feelings driving these thoughts?” Is it anger, disappointment, fear, frustration or sadness?
We have to diminish the emotional intensity for the negative thought patterns to lose their power. The negative internal dialog loses its power as we process the charged emotions that drive our obsessive thinking. We need to teach ourselves to go straight into the underlying feelings whenever we catch ourselves whining.
Breathing softly and deeply while immersing our awareness within our feelings and bodily sensations gets us down into our bodies. It also awakens the innate healing intelligence residing within our body – mind. This healing intelligence makes it possible for us to diffuse and then digest the feelings of fear, anger, frustration, panic, desperation and other charged emotions generating the negative dialog so that we can come to terms with what is.
The digestive process I’m describing may take a while. There may be instances when we have to continue to breathe into the feelings for hours. And we will have to resume the practice at other times when as the same feeling resurface. The feelings will gradually lighten up as we continue to breathe into them. And the more we do so, the faster we will be able to work through the issues concerning us.
Running in Circles or Digesting
Myra then asked me “How can I tell whether I’m just running circles in my head or actually digesting the feeling. I then told Myra that we have a tendency to go over the same thoughts repeatedly when we’re stuck in our heads.
We will develop greater sensitivity as we make a consistent practice of going beyond the obsessive mental chatter by breathing softly and deeply while centering our awareness in the middle of our feelings and bodily sensations. That will make it possible for us to actually feel the distress that we’re generating within our bodies when we whine.
We may even say to ourselves “Okay, I’m going to feel absolutely horrible if I buy into that cognitive frame because it’s only going to generate lots of painful feelings. And those feelings will elicit more negative thoughts which in turn will generate more painful feelings.
The digestive process that takes place as we breathe into our feelings and bodily sensations feels completely different. Breathing with our awareness centered in our feelings and bodily sensations takes us to the underlying source of our distress. Our minds begins to quiet down so that we can say what needs to be said with fewer words.
The innate healing intelligence residing within facilitates a digestive process. Feelings that surface will initially intensify and then gradually soften and become more diffuse and go through a variety of other permutations. Conflicting thoughts and feelings sort themselves out more readily making it easier for us to bring issues to a place of resolution. The resulting assimilative process facilitates new learning and growth.
Coming to terms with what is
Whining and complaining are forms of resistance. We don’t want to accept who we are, where we are or the realities of our lives. We’re resisting the pain associated with our limitations. We resist the feelings of fear, hurt, anger, grief and loss that arise when our lives don’t seem to be working or when we don’t have the relationship we want.
True healing can only take place when we come to terms with what is. Teaching ourselves to become present by allowing ourselves to fully experience the feelings that arise in response to what’s taking place in our lives helps us to develop greater equanimity.
Some of the difficulties we’re faced with are going to evoke feelings, of sadness, frustration and disappointment. Breathing into these feelings will enable us to come to a place of greater acceptance for what is. With continued practice we will learn to do what is feasible and then we’ll also know when it’s time to let go. And no matter what happens in our outer world, we will experience a growing sense of connectedness to a greater source within.
Coming to terms with what is doesn’t mean that we’re going to just give up and roll over. It’s still important for us to be proactive by continually striving to create what it is that we want in our lives. Our resolve to do what needs to be done will grow stronger. We may not necessarily like the realities that we’re forced to contend with, but we will become more accepting in ways that will enables us to work constructively within the context that we find ourselves.
Transforming the whining habit
1. Make a concerted effort to be mindful of your thoughts and feelings as you go about your day.
2. Ask yourself “What are the feelings behind all that drama?” whenever you catch yourself whining or caught up in some drama.
3. Notice where these feelings are situated in your body.
4. Breathe softly and deeply while centering your awareness in the middle of these feelings and bodily sensations. Continue to follow the feelings and sensations as they go through their progression.
5. Ask your subconscious questions like “How can I (fill in the blank with whatever it is that you want to do or accomplish)? What steps can I be taking to make this happen? Completely let go of any attachment to getting an answer after asking the question. Your subconscious will give you little insights and flashes of inspirations along the way.
6. Be proactive by taking constructive steps on a daily basis to create whatever it is that you truly desire in life.
It can sometimes be very difficult to break out of longstanding negative patterns on our own. I have received sessions from a number of powerful healers along the way and have gone on many vision quests, a traditional Native American healing practice that involves going out to fast alone in the mountains for four days and nights without food or water. I can always feel a powerful presence working to heal the emotional wounds and free me of limiting patterns.
The presence working through me during the individual healing sessions will enable you to digest the backlog of negatively charged emotion held within the body and heal the deep emotional wounds. Habitual negative patterns will dissolve. New resources and capabilities will emerge. Your responses to the challenges of everyday life will become healthier and more adaptive.
©Copyright 2013 Ben Oofana. All Rights Reserved. This content may be copied in full, with copyright, creation and contact information intact, without specific permission.
Ben Oofana is a healer who began his training with Horace Daukei, one of the last surviving traditional doctors among the Kiowa Indian tribe. To learn more go to http://www.doiohm.com Call (913) 927-4281 to learn more or to schedule an individual session.