Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Quit Your Whining

I used to complain, a lot and often. As I grew a bit older and a tiny bit wiser, I began to see the energy spent in complaining wasn't only wasted, but also acted to tear down some of the things I was trying to build. I made it a point to stop complaining so much. That's not to say I never say a negative word, but I am conscious of my thoughts and words and steer them toward the positive. To maintain this practice, I have to stand guard against the people in my life who think of complaining as the foundation for daily conversation. It's easy to get dragged back into that mode. I have to stay vigilant against my own dark shadows that occasionally try to block out the light, as well.

This is only Day 5 of my juice feast, but I'm finding I have less and less tolerance for people complaining. Sometimes I feel detached from it, and watch it with interest. (Like the man growling about the wait in line at the car registration place. What did he expect?) But when it comes at me in a barrage, I feel like my peace is being attacked. If I can, I try to divert the speaker to something positive, perhaps point out a bit of silver in the cloud, or change the subject, but sometimes the only answer is to flee. My flight can come in the form of silence on my end. I'll smile, maybe nod, or say "Uh-huh" over and over. If it's necessary and appropriate, I'm out.

Hopefully this juice feasting experience will remind me to quit my whining. Like everyone else, I have an infinite number of things about which I can kvetch, but I'm also blessed with a never-ending list of things for which I can express my gratitude and joy. On which side do I want to focus? What kind of world do I want my thinking, speech, and focus to create? Will my impact be positive or negative? Choices.

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