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The Opposite of Complaining is Gratitude

March 27, 2012 1 Comment


After my personal retreat, I was determined to maintain the peace of mind that I was experiencing.  I went deep into meditation, spiritual readings, audiobooks, therapy, and anything else I could find that would help me stay focused.  One of the things I couldn’t shake was the negative thoughts I was having about people or situations in my life that I wasn’t happy with.  And then I watched a sermon online by Michael Bernard Beckwith, and he said something that slapped me in the face through the computer…”The opposite of complaining is gratitude”.  He went on to say that before you go to bed each night, you should (1) forgive yourself for anything that you said or did that may not have been aligned with who you know you really are (the image and likeness of God), and (2) forgive others for anything they said or did that may not have been aligned to who you know they really are (the image and likeness of God), and (3) name as many things as possible that you are grateful for (4) pray for God to show you what your next move should be.

It sounds so simple and it was not new news to me, but I had to check myself on how often I actually practice that on a daily basis.  I asked myself, “Do my thoughts about what I am grateful for outweigh the thoughts I have about what I don’t like or want to change?…Do I go to bed forgiving everyone who has frustrated me?…Do I go to bed forgiving myself for the things I didn’t complete?…Do I go to bed forgiving myself for the areas where I made mistakes?”-  Absolutely not.  I started to think about how many years I have gone to bed with “stuff” on my mind that I should have released.  I had gotten better at forgiving others, and my husband and I never go to bed upset with each other, but what about myself?  That’s where I was messing up.  I was holding myself to a standard that was impossible to meet.  I wanted to give more at work, and not get so frustrated with my 3-year old, and save more money, and volunteer in the community more, and exercise more…and…and…and.

For the past couple months I have started to practice Rev. Michael’s process described above…what a profound impact it makes!  In addition, I started practicing the lessons in the A Course in Miracles workbook (more on that in another blog).  I had done some of the lessons years ago when I was going through another growth period, but I hadn’t been consistent with it.  This time, it has truly transformed my thought patterns and connection to God in such a profound way.  I smile every day now (sometimes at embarrasingly random times because I’m full of so much joy) and I know it’s because I am thanking God on a regular basis for all things (having two hands, two feet, eyes, the ability to walk, two healthy boys, a home, etc.)…even the situations I don’t like because I know, no matter what I see in front of me right now, they will work out and they will ultimately make me stronger.  Nothing is too hard for God…nothing.

On this beautiful day, my 32nd birthday, I am grateful for so many things.  I am not holding myself to impossible standards.  I am not complaining about the small stuff because I know that God walks with me everywhere that I go – I don’t have to do it all by myself.  Every day, I think about how blessed I am.  When I get caught up or really frustrated with something – I take it to my meditation cushion, yoga mat, I pray about it, I do whatever I can personally do to change it, and then I let it be.  Because of that, I have more love and light to give to everyone else which is the real reward.  Until next time…

Keep shining!


Filed in: Gratitude

About the Author:

I used to live life shackled by fear, doubt, and worry. I put on a happy face while navigating my day-to-day duties, but I was emotionally drained, stressed, and unhappy. When I hit rock bottom, and was diagnosed with depression and anxiety, I was determined to live life differently. I knew there had to be another way. Out of that determination, and guidance from Spirit, the "Living in the Light" blog was born. It documents my spiritual journey out of the darkness and into the Light. After nine months of publicly sharing my journey, and consciously releasing my attachment to the ego, I experienced a powerful spiritual awakening. I went from living in fear, doubt, worry, and stress to complete inner peace. My greatest passion has become assisting others on their own journey to inner peace. My spiritual memoir, From Stress to Peace: An Intimate Journal on the Journey from Living in Darkness to Living in the Light, is available now on Amazon and Click the tabs at the top of the page to learn more about the From Stress to Peace 21-Day Challenge, Living in the Light Retreats, 1:1 sessions, and the Living in the Light Community - all of which are designed to support your journey to inner peace. I appreciate you taking the time to visit the blog and look forward to supporting you in any way I can!