I gave up complaining for Lent

IMAG0033Inspired by a discussion group where Christine Lewicki spoke about her J’Arrête de Râler concept and books, I gave up complaining for Lent. Let’s be real, it was more ‘dialing down’ my complaining, just like a volume button down to the lowest setting. Overall I feel like my abstention was successful. I’m going to continue my quest even though the Easter season has come and gone.

I learned~1) there is a fine line between communicating negative information and complaining; it’s all in the delivery. If I tell you I got a parking ticket this afternoon in a manner that is too perky, I’m not complaining, but it will come off as sarcastic which isn’t much of an improvement. I can however, not whine and go on and on about it as if the world owes me something. I’m someone who historically bottled up any tension and anger which was not healthful for me, so even though I WILL communicate the bad things that went down I will not complain about it.

2) dialing down my complaints turned up the volume on everybody else’s. I didn’t judge anyone for it since it felt more like a Dorian Gray mirror image. It was the same when I have given up sugar or drinking during Lent; that is when I realize how abundant it is in my own diet.

3) gratitude was my key to the volume control knob and even though I fumbled quickly and often, I was able to dial down my complaining by keeping a list of the things and people I am grateful on my mind. I’m curious what you gave up for Lent and how it went?!

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4 Responses to I gave up complaining for Lent

  1. Giselle says:

    I wish I would have thought of this before Lent! I’m so used to giving up things food-related, even though I already easy a very limited and as-healthy-as-possible diet, but I live this concept and will certainly do it next year, or why not just start today! 😉

  2. Starlene Markwalder says:

    I loved how you not only “dialed down” complaining, but you also replaced it with being Thankful! Double duty! I also appreciate your honesty. I gave up drinking for lent for the 1st time. I had thought about giving it up probably for the last 10 years during the lent season, but always felt I wouldn’t have the self control and would set myself up to fail. Well, this year, I took the challenge and lo and behold, only with God’s strength did I not have a lick of alcohol (only in Nyquil when sick with a sinus flu). Not only did I give it up, but there were More opportunities to drink than ever… i.e.-open bar at my roommate’s work party, 5 birthday parties, a baby shower with bottomless mimosas , and the final kicker… a trip to vegas. If that’s not temptation staring you down, I don’t know what is. It however gave the opportunity to exercise self-control, courage, and selflessly be designated driver. It was surprising to me how was easier it was to give up when I went into the situation knowing drinking wasn’t even an option. I also benefited with saving money, and people commented on how healthy my skin looked. I learned that by taking a risk and giving up an idol, then God rewarded me in ways I didn’t think possible. On my own, I am weak, anxious, and have fears I like to drink away- but with God, He is my Strength, Peace and gave me Courage. I would not have known I had this in me, if I hadn’t given abstaining from alcohol during lent a whirl. Thanks for letting me share.

  3. Yvonne says:

    Thank you for your honesty and openness. I love the idea of replacing our negative emotions with thankfulness! Definitely what God has been challenging me to do lately. I gave up not turning the TV in my room during this time, making my room more of a sanctuary. It was hard at first because it was habitat but then after a while I think about it. Im going to keep doing it.

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