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Op-Ed

The grim grumbler

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By EMN Updated: Aug 29, 2014 11:04 pm
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MULLINGS

Easterine Kire

[dropcap]Y[/dropcap]esterday I spent some time with a friend that I had not seen in some months. Life had not been good to her in that space of time. She was limping from an injury in her back. She had several other ailments which she faithfully litanied for my benefit. To add to her already overflowing bag of sorrows and griefs, her relationship with her grown daughter was not showing any visible improvement. At the end of her recital, I felt there was nothing else that could go wrong with her that had not already gone wrong. I was so tired mentally at the end of listening. I don’t mean to be heartless, but there was no way I could get in a word to help her. And the ironical thing was, she had asked for my time so I could help her!My friend is a victim. She likes to tell other people how hard her life is, and how hard it has always been. I tried to encourage her and help her to focus on staying positive and stop complaining. It was a downhill task. At the end of our session, I felt drained and hopeless.
Was there any way she would allow another person to help her?
It really is a vicious cycle. The more you say what you have, the further you are from having what you want. My friend did not know how to speak the solution, she was so stuck in speaking the problem. By doing that, she was perpetuating the problem or problems in her case.
That is the problem with many of us. It is almost as though we would rather stay in our situation of difficulty rather than be helped out of it. I began to feel that my friend did not really want to be helped out. Strange as that might seem, her problems had become her identity. Take them away and she would become a completely different person, a person who no longer had anything to complain about. She would not recognise that new her. It was safer to remain where she was, because that had actually become her comfort zone, though that sounds so wrong. It’s a dangerous mindset. The people who never expect change in their circumstances will not see change. I am not trying to be depressive or negative, but that is true. Positive minded people have a far greater chance of combating and surviving cancer. Negative people stay trapped in debt and bad neighbourhoods. Not only that, but people who complain all the time need to realise that they are incredibly tiring to be around. If they cannot find anything nice to say, no one is going to want to be with them.
I’m not saying my friend had no right to complain. Things happen, of course they do. Life is full of surprises and not all of them are pleasant. But they get sorted out too, one by one, and it doesn’t help any further that we moan about the stuff that has gone wrong. It doesn’t make them go away.
I really like what Charles Capps wrote in his book, “God’s creative power.” Talking about Jesus, he said, Jesus never prayed the problem: he always prayed the solution. Cindy Trimm, motivational speaker and preacher writes, “There is a direct correlation between the quality of your thoughts and the quality of your life.” She also adds, “Every circumstance in your life can be changed for the best.”
We are oriented into being problem oriented in our everyday culture. How often do we hear the sentences, “I have a problem,” or “What is the problem here?” Too often.
How often do we hear the phrase, “It’s going to be all right”? Too infrequently.
The renewed mind is the mind that looks beyond the problem and sees the solution. If we can learn to say stop to thinking in a negative pattern, and deliberately start thinking positively, things will happen. Good things. Try it.

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By EMN Updated: Aug 29, 2014 11:04:17 pm