How do you stop a complaining spirit?


#1

Curious if you have any pointers for how to stop complaining about a particular situation. Some of you know that my family and I moved to FL back in 07, and things have not been 'bad,' at all really...many positives* have happened*, and I thank God everyday for His graces and blessings. That said, I am finding myself complaining about Florida, again, and while we are heartily considering a move back to PA--I'm hopeful that you can give me some words of encouragement and prayers, on how to just live in the **here and now,* and stop complaining about what ''didn't happen'' that perhaps, I had hoped would happen, upon this move. Maybe I had unreasonable expectations, I don't know, about moving to Florida. But, in a nutshell, I don't consider Florida to be ''home.'' Not like how we all felt about PA. (My husband loves Florida, so it's been tense when we talk about moving back, although he wants me to be happy)

I don't want to bore you with the details, and frankly, I'm tired of hearing my own self complain about Florida:blush:; hopefully, this gives you enough to go on. Thanks in advance for your help...I really want to stop complaining, for good! This is probably the only area in my life, where I complain.*


#2

This is from An Introduction to the Devout Life by St Francis De Sales

Complain as little as possible of your wrongs, for as a general rule you may be sure that complaining is sin; “Qui se plaint, peche.” the rather that self-love always magnifies our injuries: above all, do not complain to people who are easily angered and excited. If it is needful to complain to some one, either as seeking a remedy for your injury, or in order to soothe your mind, let it be to some calm, gentle spirit, greatly filled with the Love of God; for otherwise, instead of relieving your heart, your confidants will only provoke it to still greater disturbance; instead of taking out the thorn which pricks you, they will drive it further into your foot.

It's from the section on patience,
ccel.org/ccel/desales/devout_life.v.iii.html?highlight=complain#highlight

I think trying to really be thankful to God and people is a big way of over coming this. We may think things are not perfect but we must remember that God has given it to us, everything we have is a gift. It is always possible that we could be worse off.


How does one hear God's will?
#3

*Michael, THANK YOU greatly for this. I just read it, and I have tears in my eyes. I'm going to print this, and read it over and over this weekend. Honestly, I am moved at what I've just read. I particularly like the part about envisioning Christ being beaten, and crucified, and realize, that my problems pale in comparison. I also like the part (I thought this was somewhat funny) about ''exaggerating'' our grief or sufferings. :blush: In thinking this all though, perhaps, I am. Maybe. A little bit? I have a fear of loss, and I think I have an unsettled feeling about my job, (who doesn't perhaps in this economy) and that has set the stage for my bemoaning.

I also LOVE the example of the honeybee. I don't know if anything could have come across my desk today, as fulfilling as this, and as helpful. God bless you for posting this...thank you. :o*


#4

Florida may not feel like home and that’s okay. Nothing on this Earth will ever really be home, we are all just renters for now. But it doesn't hurt to try and form some sort of attachment to Florida. Even if you do move away from it, you should want a positive attachment so it doesn't feel like a black, shadowy memory. Then, even if you do leave, Florida and the misery you associate with it will be chasing you. These same feelings could pop up in your next home and that will be even more despair since you cannot pin it just to Florida.
Likely, you view PA in a good light because so many good things happened to you there and your family grew there. Why not start to see Florida in your own way...by taking up a hobby such photography. Go around town, or to the outskirts and take some really beautiful photos. Get artsy with it. You can always make a little flicker photo page to share with friends who live far away. My first semester of college, I hated the place. HATED. I was in misery daydreaming of a new college almost every day. I got a camera for my birthday...then I spent an afternoon around campus on a muddy, rain slicked day and took pictures of obscure spots on campus. Raindrops on shrubs, those types of photos. They turned out beautiful! I don't even have a skill for photography but on this day I did and I was able to capture my campus in a way that was "mine" - I appreciated it a lot more after that. I think when we channel our misery into something beautiful, like art, it can really help us make peace with your feelings.


#5

MercyMia, great response! There are always positive things about any place, and it’s important to acknowledge them. Part of complaining (as St Francis de Sales said) is that it makes us have an even more negative attitude toward the person, place, or thing. Looking for beauty is a good way to move beyond that.


#6

*Mia! Thank you...that is a terrific idea. We bought a new camera last year and we use it for filming mainly, but yes, I could do that...why not? I could then download onto the computer, and change them to black and white...I have this photoshop application on my computer here at home, so that could be great fun. It would be hard to complain about art! :D

I discussed this with my husband today, about complaining. He is a very VERY pragmatic man. Sometimes, I wonder how we have stayed together so long, but maybe this is why God brings opposites together. He said to me...''I love you, but I can't listen to endless complaints, from someone who doesn't wish to discuss solutions.'' :eek: I said, what does this mean? He answered...''Every problem has a solution, I am not sure anymore if you want to find solutions, or if you find comfort in complaining.'' (I call him Dr Phil from time to time)

I don't find comfort in complaining, but I admit, I do complain and he will want solutions...he likes to problem solve, like many men do...and it drives him crazy that I complain, with offering no solutions. I don't know a solution to this, and maybe there is none. Maybe I just need to enjoy the gift of just being here, being alive...and do what you said...snap some pictures, and find the beauty here.

Thank you Mia and Mrs Sally...I am not sure I would ever EVER thought of that. *


#7
  • As an aside--I have thought of ''giving up'' complaining for Lent. Giving up coffee might be easier. :blush: I told my kids this tonight at dinner (hubby's working) and they looked at each other...and then my daughter said...''you should mommy, that would be a hard one.'' :eek::p Fine, I have a problem, I need to stop complaining. I agree. I feel very sad that I have been doing this for so long about Florida. :bighanky:

Dare I say that I blame things that are not Florida related, on moving here...as though if we had stayed in PA, life would have been a HUGE bowl of cherries. :o

I intend to go to confession tomorrow about it, also...I didn't realize it was a sin, but it makes sense as to why it is...*


#8

Whatevergirl, lots of prayers for our kind and sweet WG.

You and all the Ladies have GOT to see this YouTube. Someone else just posted another part of the this YouTube on CAF tonight and was good too. But this is the extended version of this monologue and at the end he talks specifically about men trying to fix things and it is really funny or I thought it was funny.:smiley: Hopefully you will too. Watch as he makes the Sign Of The Cross.

Mark Gungor - Men’s Brain Women’s Brain - Full Version

youtube.com/watch?v=GuMZ73mT5zM&feature=related


#9

*:D GD...LOL

I am going to check that out later...thank you! Why do men always want to solve problems? My husband said on the phone...''you should make a list...and then let me review it, and I will be able to see what the problem is.'' :rotfl: Review a list of my problems? :ehh: He said...''sitting around complaining, with no solutions...I will never understand that, sharon.'' :p

Sooooo GD...

Why do men like to turn everything into a task to be tackled? :shrug: I'm electing you GD, the spokesman of all men, tonight to explain this mystery to me/us women. *


#10

Have any of you read that link that Michael posted? I am just in a daze by it, frankly. It has really given me much food for thought, and my kids enjoyed hearing about it, also. They had never looked at complaining in quite that way. Michael, you must have really had a sense of what I needed to read at this very moment in time....thank you. :hug1:


#11

[quote="whatevergirl, post:9, topic:183214"]
*:D GD...LOL

I am going to check that out later...thank you! Why do men always want to solve problems? My husband said on the phone...''you should make a list...and then let me review it, and I will be able to see what the problem is.'' Review a list of my problems? :ehh: He said...''sitting around complaining, with no solutions...I will never understand that, sharon.'' :p

Sooooo GD...

Why do men like to turn everything into a task to be tackled? :shrug: I'm electing you GD, the spokesman of all* men, tonight to explain this mystery to me/us women.

[/quote]

Compartmentalize things in life!
Make a list!!
Check things off as you get them done!!!
Solving things one step at a time!!!!

The man is a genius!!!!!:p:p

Wow, I did read what Michael had posted and it is a great exert on Penitence.:thumbsup:

As for men fixing things, well that's just what we do or try to do.:rolleyes: It is just part of our job in life, "its just what men do"haha, like taking out the garbage, taking care of the cars, cutting the grass, shoveling the snow in the driveway.hehe If you can watch the YouTube it is very funny about explaining things.


#12

I was yanked out of a wonderful lifestyle in a beautiful city (San Antonio) and suddenly, without warning, transplanted to my old hometown in Oklahoma. It has taken years to get over this! It is not easy.
One thing to do is not romanticize where you were before, but do more to enjoy the here and now; we've started having nice late gourmet dinners together, just the two of us, or going downtown to walk together; attending events in the city where we live NOW; getting involved in the parish where we attend Mass......etc., etc. It all helps.
But give yourself time. You're in a kind of grieving state for your former lifestyle and that is hard! It is one of the greatest stressors there is!


#13

[quote="Michael1985, post:2, topic:183214"]
This is from An Introduction to the Devout Life by St Francis De Sales

Complain as little as possible of your wrongs, for as a general rule you may be sure that complaining is sin; “Qui se plaint, peche.” the rather that self-love always magnifies our injuries: above all, do not complain to people who are easily angered and excited. If it is needful to complain to some one, either as seeking a remedy for your injury, or in order to soothe your mind, let it be to some calm, gentle spirit, greatly filled with the Love of God; for otherwise, instead of relieving your heart, your confidants will only provoke it to still greater disturbance; instead of taking out the thorn which pricks you, they will drive it further into your foot.

It's from the section on patience,
ccel.org/ccel/desales/devout_life.v.iii.html?highlight=complain#highlight

I think trying to really be thankful to God and people is a big way of over coming this. We may think things are not perfect but we must remember that God has given it to us, everything we have is a gift. It is always possible that we could be worse off.

[/quote]

If you don't mind, I'm going to quote your post in full on another thread where someone is dealing with situational discomfort.


#14

*"Situational discomfort’’…I like that phrase, Lief…

So, I went to confession over this today, and cried. :frowning: I guess out of shame, shame of complaining, then we went to mass tonight, and prayed for Haiti as a parish together. It just seems so senseless to complain when I have so many blessings. *


#15

I find that thanking God for the particular thing which is causing me aggravation helps a lot. I try to thank Him for both the good and the bad.

When it is raining and my head feels like its going to burst and I hurt in every bone in my body, I thank Him for the rain and offer my pain.

If it’s hot and so humid that the air conditioner doesn’t work, I thank Him for the heat and the humidity and offer my discomfort.

When the wind turns around and brings blessed relief from the heat, I thank Him and offer my comfort.

and so on.

God permits all things for those who love Him. God allows everything that happens to you and He has a purpose in allowing it. In thanking Him for all things, you can actively co-operate with God’s will for your life. Even what we might consider to be bad is ultimately for our good.

Replace the complaining spirit with a thankful spirit.


#16

I’m more than happy for it to be quoted on another page. It was all from St Francis.


#17

Whatever girl I moved to FL in 1998 and it took along time to like being here. One of the things I did notice and I still do is how beautiful the sky and all the variety of birds I get to see everyday that are not in RI. When I am feeling irritable I look at the sky then I begin to Thank God for His beautiful creations. I am also very fortunate that I work in Stuart, FL and I have to go over the Roosevelt bridge everyday and I also see the water…just looking at the sky and the water gives me a glimpse of the majesty, the beauty, and tenderness of God.

On my way home from work I get so see the most beautiful sunsets…the colors are so awesome. Much more intense than up north…I think anyway.

Everyday I see pelicans, hawks, morning doves, cardinals and the tiniest birds and vultures…I love it!

Another thing I did was to start my own family traditions during the holidays…which are much different than what I grew up with; but to me and my children they fit our lives and we enjoy them much better


#18

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.