There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~Anaïs Nin

Friday, March 11, 2011

Lent Day Three - Rain, Rain, Go Away

     There is a large pile of snow at the end of my driveway that I run over every time I back out.  This morning was no different, so I said to my daughter “I hope the rain melts the rest of that snow, I hate backing over it every day.”  To which my daughter replied “why don’t you chip away at it with the shovel?”  And I said “It doesn’t bother me enough to do anything about it, it only bothers me enough to complain about it.”

     There is some comfort in complaining. In my commiserating I find a sense of community.  Casual conversations are struck up in the grocery store about the length of the lines, the price of gas, and, of course, the weather.  The rain is a perfect conversation starter, but if I respond with a big smile and a comment about April showers bringing May flowers I am met with uncomprehending blank stares. 

     Because the point isn’t the rain, it’s about bonding through our negativity.  By dismissing someone’s opinion about the weather, I have lost the opportunity to validate their feelings.  But communicating this way has fostered in me a habit of griping.  Not out of any sense of despair, depression, or unhappiness, but just because it’s how I learned to interact with people. 

     During this Lent season, I am intentionally focusing on my relationship with God. Through daily Bible readings, I am paying attention to how Jesus interacted with people and I am struck by how often he gave thanks.  Not Pollyanna, April showers positivity, but simple gratitude.  And again I am faced with a choice. Do I choose to remain comfortable and secure in my habit of complaining? Or do I choose to give thanks for the fact that I own a house with a driveway and a shovel, while I chip away at the snow.


  1. Yay! I can fall into this too yet I really hate complaining. Choose thankfulness!

  2. I hear you Deborah, this has been heavy on my own mind too. I have felt exactly the things you've described, people want to bond through negativity. I too have fallen into the habit without wanting too and now I want to change back again!:)

    I am a positive person usually but sometimes the fact that everybody around seems to be complaining about everything...well sadly it becomes a habit!

    There are some very unique people who after they pass away others say "You know, I never heard her say a bad word about anyone!" (Or anything maybe.:) I'd love to have that said about me someday but I'm not quite there yet.;)

  3. Hi Ladies! Thanks again for your comments.
    The first step toward changing anything is becoming aware of what we want to change. When I actually said that comment to my daughter, we both laughed. I said "did you hear what I just said? When did it happen that I learned to like to complain?" But acknowledging where I want to change is the first step in the process.
    Colleen I can tell you are a positive person, but I can also tell you have a lot of empathy. You feel things deeply and I think for people like that, like us I should say, its easier to be swayed by others moods. We have to be on guard about that. :)