Monday, November 9, 2009

The Back Door to Gratitude

Before I forget, a new comment has been posted on "Can You Get That? I'm Too Busy Holding This Grudge."

Now, does anyone else feel like life just keeps spinning faster and faster and there will never be enough time to do everything you need to, let alone everything you want to? If anyone would like to write a post on that, please send me an email at I, for one, could really benefit.

Anyway, that kind of gives you a little peek into what I'll be typing about today.

Here we are in our month of Gratitude. I've been doing the Gratitude Countdown with my family (and we're loving it! Thanks, Mel!). But...

I've been kind of nasty lately.

I think the root of the problem is that I've been complaining too much. Way too much.

So, it probably wasn't just chance that I read an article in the gym last week about a woman with a similar problem who decided to make a change by wearing a bracelet on one wrist and switching it to the other every time she complained. I have a short attention span right now, so I never actually finished the article, but she was making great progress at the point I read to. And I'm pretty sure they wouldn't have written, or printed the article if the experiment fizzled out at the end.

So, I'm going to do that. Starting tonight when I find one of my kids' bracelets that will work for this. I promise. And anyone else struggling in this department is welcome to join me.

Because it's hard to really feel gratitude, or reap the benefits of it, when it's sandwiched in between complaints. That's why I called it "The Back Door to Gratitude." Because it's not exactly a direct route to Gratitude, but it's still totally related.

So, what other tips do you have for nipping complaints in the bud? What about when something really is wrong, how do you express it without it being a complaint? Should I extend this experiment to the rest of my family? Because sometimes (maybe a lot of the time) when they complain (usually it's directed at me, because I'm supposed to be the one who does it all and takes care of it all--oops, that was probably sort of a hidden complaint there, sorry!), I turn their complaint right back onto them. For example, "Why did you forget to wash my favorite shirt?" My response? "Why did you forget to wash your favorite shirt?" That's a really mature thing to say to a four-year old, I know.

So, what is a better way to teach her to express what she's saying without complaining?

I obviously need help here. I'm not always a complainer, just lately. And I really like to stop, so I can focus on my gratitude.

And before my family throws me out the window.

So, your advice is greatly appreciated.



Becky said...

I hope you get some good advice here! We have someone at home who seems to like to complain and I've been looking for ways to help improve that situation. David does have the following quote on his blog that has helped ME:

No misfortune is so bad that whining about it won’t make it worse. ~Jeffrey R. Holland (in April 2007 conference)

Christy said...

Sometimes I have to write it down. That way I feel like I have expressed my opinion and gotten it "out there" and then I can move on and forget about it. Or sometimes I write a letter to someone and then never give it to them.

Meg said...

For some reason just listening to good music can make it all go away for me. There's something about it that is so calming and soothing and makes you realize what really matters.

Also, imagining what Dad would say to me if he heard me talking like that really helps. I always feel so foolish (in a good "I want to be better" way) whenever I picture his face and his response. Weird I know, but it helps me. :)

Melanie said...

This is a bit strange I know, but a person I greatly admire did this to help him remember not to whine or complain or talk poorly of others...

We noticed that one of our friends always had a rubberband around his wrist. We asked him why he always wore a rubber band. He told us it was to remind him to think before he spoke. Whenever the impulse to complain or talk poorly of another person came to his mind he would lightly snap the rubber band. He said it wasn't long before he had that under control totally.

I don't exactly like the harming oneself part (although it was just a little snap)..but, the principle of reminding oneself before one speaks was cool.

Just an idea.....

Jonny said...

The older I get (I'm so old, I know) the more I realize if we could do everything with boldness and love (isn't that meekness?) I think we'd have it all figured out...