The man was in his early-70s, and he was not happy.
I was looking for something down an aisle in Walmart when he walked briskly behind me, muttering to himself in frustration.
He was spitting complaints out of his mouth, and he was ready to fight. He seemed pissed at Walmart customers, Walmart employees, and probably at the Walmart corporation.
He was in his own personal hell at that moment.
(I've been there in Walmart before! 🤣)
Nearly all of us spit complaints at some point during our day, either out loud or in our heads, and we find ourselves in our own personal hell.
I hate traffic!
My boss is incompetent!
These kids should behave better!
This weather is too hot!
My neighbors are unbearable!
We also blame ourselves:
I’m too sensitive!
People don't like me!
I'm crappy at this!
I have no self-control!
I should just keep my mouth shut!
Here’s what our complaints give us: an excuse to not be happy.
If only this thing outside of myself would change… I could be happier. I could be more effective. I could enjoy my life more. I could be a better person, parent, teacher, friend.
Why would we want an excuse to not be happy? Because excuses let us off the hook. If there are no excuses, then it would be on us to be happy. It would be on us to be fulfilled. It would be on us to trust ourselves, to honor others, to create our own boundaries, to live with integrity.
It’s much easier to blame someone or something else.
We blame people. We blame systems. We blame society. We blame cultures. We blame our DNA. We blame our upbringing. We blame, we blame, we blame.
We’ve been warned about our self-righteousness in so many ways before, but the one that came to mind when I experienced this man in Walmart was the story of Adam and Eve…
God said something like this: "Don’t eat from that tree! The tree of the knowledge of good and evil is only for Divine Beings like me."
But Adam and Eve ate from the tree, and so they were kicked out of the Garden of Eden.
In each and every interaction between us and others or the world, we think we know what’s right and what’s wrong, so we condemn others and we condemn ourselves.
We condemn. We blame. We attack. We judge. We bully.
And this is how we create our own personal hell...
The truth is we are already in Eden. God never kicked us out. We’re still there.
Stop creating your personal hell and wake back up to Eden.
I'm not meaning to say, "Just stop complaining and be happy!!"
I have 100% compassion for each of us experiencing our own personal hell. Breaking free from my own personal hell is a daily exercise, and it's exactly what put me on this path of service to self and others.
And it takes something! The truth may be simple, but the path can be complicated and unclear.
It's to be expected that we create our personal hell. It's natural for us to do so. It's our inheritance as a human creature.
However, something else is possible, and it begins with our willingness to own that we are creating our own personal hell.
Thanks so much for reading. 🙏❤️
P.S. As a transformational coach, I help people and organizations move beyond their self-imposed limitations to be their best and feel their best. If you’re interested in finding out how I can support you or your organization, reach out and let’s talk. 💌