Monday, August 6, 2007

Another Form of Pollution

I’m a part of an international prayer team which takes prayer requests. Occasionally, our team leader sends a special email she calls Prayer Team Forum. Usually, it’s inspirational. This week I read a sentence in it that stilled my whole being. Try this out:

Complaining is another form of pollution.

That puts it in perspective, doesn’t it? A spiritual teacher I knew decades ago, Edwene Gaines, suggested a 21-day spiritual exercise to her students. Don’t complain for 21 days. If you catch yourself complaining, you get to start over, a whole new 21-day cycle. She said that when she first did this exercise herself that she was nearly silent for three weeks. She found she had nothing to say.

I agree with Edwene and the teacher who wrote the sentence above. Complaining is another form of pollution. It pollutes our souls, and those of others.

The teacher whose name I couldn’t find anywhere in her essay suggests instead of complaining that we appreciate. When we hear someone complain about someone else, we can add our appreciation of that person into the mix and neutralize the complaint. Her idea is:

Complaints pollute and appreciation elevates.

Want to try the 21-day challenge? It’ll surprise you. The more you switch from complaint to appreciation the better you’ll feel, and the more people will appreciate you. This practice is a form of personal climate change!

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