Last week, my son and daughter had a bad day at the same time. Nothing I did or gave them or said was right, resulting in a string of tears and come backs like, "Mama, you have poo-poo on your face." or "I hate peanut butter sandwiches!"
Hostility was coming from both sides. If you are a parent and have experienced "Tiny Employee Gang Up", as I like to call them, you will know what I am talking about.
"Tiny Employee Gang Up" is a series of hostile, verbal outbursts carried out by one or more miniature underlings for hours at a time.
My patience in the morning was perfect. I was able to act as an experienced mediator and could negotiate flawlessly. That is until about 3:00 that afternoon.
After hours of complaining and crying, I couldn't handle it anymore. I had decided that the children were out to get me, and I let them veg out in front of the TV for an hour counting down the minutes until my co-captain/husband would come home and relieve me of my duties.
After this less than desirable day, I began to think about my children's constant complaining. I am positioned as their parent to help them find effective ways of communicating with me and the outside world. Instead of rudely blurting out their gut feelings, they should learn how to calmly express themselves with a "No, thank you, mama. I would rather eat mac and cheese this afternoon."
But who helps us as adults? Do we complain too much?
I'm tired. I don't have enough time. My spouse is not doing _________ (fill in the blank). I don't feel well. The traffic sucked today. That co-worker is really annoying me.
If someone points out my negativity, I get defensive. This bad habit is 30 + years in the making! I am a master at my bad habit!
But things change. Since the birth of my children, I have wanted to set a good example for them and teach them to make a positive mark on their friends, their communities and heck, the world!
I am not ashamed to say out loud that I think we could all do with a little more love in our lives and this change starts with the right mind set.
A couple of years ago, I vowed to change my attitude and never look back. Please note, this is not easy. When you are a seasoned complainer like I was, it takes a serious commitment to change.
So, what can we do to stop complaining?
If you are up to this challenge, I would encourage you to start with the simple five step plan listed below. PLEASE NOTE: Some readers will roll their eyes at my suggestions, but that is okay. I hope we bump into each other so I can smile and help you out. :)
#1 Stop complaining - Become aware of what comes out of your mouth. And be patient! This step will take some time.
#2 Misery loves company - Step 1 might weed out some friends that hang out with you purely to flap their jaws about an annoying friend or co-worker.
#3 This too shall pass - Meditate on positive thoughts by investigating motivational phrases that you can recite when your complaining demon rears its ugly head.
#4 Take a couple of deep breaths and don't speak -"If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."
#5 Take care of one another - This can be as simple as smiling at a stranger. Let's try to throw out some love into the world and see what happens. Once this becomes a habit, there's no telling what we can do!
During my gloomy to gleeful transformation, I found a few tools that have helped me stay on a path to genuine and radiant contentment.
Ever tried a guided meditation? You will love this one from the privacy of your own home Illumination: The Sound of Light and Bliss with Pamela Bliss
A no-nonsense approach to life as a Christian, 8 Steps to Create the Life You Want by Creflo Dollar, is not for the (as Creflo would say...) "spiritual sissy".
The Daily Love offers daily emails with inspirational quotations by authors, historic figures, motivational speakers and so on...
What helps you push through an extra stressful day?