I no longer like the fact that I complain. It doesn't serve me anymore. I also don't like the fact that I use my self-awareness to criticize my actions. So I criticize myself when I complain, and I complain about the fact that I'm always criticizing myself. My ego is in heaven.
I've worked hard on this. I've shifted beliefs, healed childhood trauma (as well as past-life) and poured on a lot of self-love. Not to mention the hours I've sat in meditation. All of this has made it possible for a shift to occur, but ultimately, I've needed to be the one to catch myself, again and again, and make a different choice. Every single time I go to beat myself up for something I said or begin to complain about something in my life, I literally say, "Thank you for showing me what I'm changing. I'm now making another choice." And it's working.
I've always been a little uncomfortable with the movement to be grateful all the time because it has felt like a way of circumventing the hard stuff. And a way for people to feel guilty and ashamed when they aren't particularly grateful. But then I realized that I was addicted to life being hard, and the idea that if life was hard then I knew I was doing my work. It was my ego's way of keeping me from my Self, ultimately. So I've changed those beliefs. The harder I work, the more joyful and grateful I feel in my life.
Gratitude is a practice, and frankly, I don't have to look far to find something to be grateful for. I lead a charmed life. And when I get lonely and depressed I feel that, without judgement. And here's what's really interesting: by immersing myself in both the joy of gratitude and the sadness of loneliness, I've found that sadness and joy are so much closer than we think.