Grace and Peace to you.
It feels so good to complain— to hide behind my powerlessness, to focus on someone else’s fault, to give significance to my opinions, to protect myself with a shield of negativity. But complaining is a way of picking at a wound, and making others bear my pain. Whining is a weed in the garden of the spirit. It steals energy from compassion, sucks the nourishment out of the soil of my mindfulness, and chokes my willingness to be lovingly present. It prevents me from entering into the vulnerability of acceptance, reverence and forgiveness.
So like giving up something for Lent, I’m giving up complaining for Thanksgiving. I will notice when I’m tempted to whine, and instead practice gratitude. Instead of voicing my complaint I will follow it inward and observe the pain it comes from. When I am drawn to fiddle with a wound by complaining, instead I will exercise compassion toward myself and others by seeking healing. Instead of becoming attached to my opinions, I will be lovingly present. Instead of whining I will bless. In all things, I will practice gratitude. And when I can’t muster the spirit to be grateful, I will turn to the deep wisdom of silence.
I trust that it will not always be easy, that gratitude is a practice, not a feeling, and that it will indeed take practice. But I will practice diligently. For what better way is there for my life to be filled with blessings than for my heart to be filled with gratitude?
Copyright © Steve Garnaas-Holmes