PRAYERS TO THE DEVIL

Oddly, having a blog post titled prayers to the devil seems rather fitting on a Monday. Before you fear this has anything to do with evoking the dark lord, let me reassure you that is not what we are speaking about here today. What we are going to talk about is complaints which Bob Marley referred to as ‘prayers to the devil’. Which I must confess I find a fairly accurate description.

Are complaints really that bad? Let us stop and take a look. Frist, so we are all on the same page, let us define what a complaint is. To me a complaint is a negative observation about a person, place or thing with no intent on finding a solution or remedy. This is different from merely observing a situation that needs improving and voicing that while pondering what can be done to make the situation better. Forms of complaining can range from mood-killing banter to gossip. Yes, gossip is a form of complaining. I don’t recall every hearing negative gossip about someone that included a plan to assist them in getting better.

Are they really so bad we should compare them to the devil? What do complaints do? By voicing their negative opinions out loud it increases the focus on the person sharing them. We all know where focus goes, energy flows. Therefore, the persons negative mood will only increase as they share this negativity with others. What about the others? Hearing what is wrong in the lives of people they know can at the very least kill the good vibe buzz one might be feeling. If the person receiving the complaint is already in a bad mood it will only serve to sink them further. As you can see complaining will only serve to foster a negative atmosphere. If you think of something that can poison the souls of most it is shared with and bring the one sharing even lower, I can’t imagine many things worse.

Understand I am not saying if you see something you do not like, or have a bad experience that you have to keep it to yourself. Not at all. What I am saying is when you tell someone about it, think about why you are. Let’s say someone is asking your opinion on an Italian restaurant you don’t care for. Instead of saying, “That place sucks!” or worse beginning to list everything you dislike about it, try following it with a solution. Wouldn’t you rather hear this? “I didn’t really like that place, but the bistro down the street is really good.”

We all know people that when asked, “How is it going?” will proceed to offer a list of every social and medical malady they have faced since the age of five. How do you feel after even a brief conversation with someone like that? On occasions when I have the unfortunate circumstance to converse with someone who is determined to find the cloud in a blue sky there are two things I do. First, I turn it into a game to avoid their feelings rubbing off on me. I ask them what is good in their life at the moment. Sometimes I point out things that they have to be grateful they may have overlooked. If the situation seems right I may even share one of my corny jokes with them. Then, I go directly home and take a shower. Now I am keenly aware that the shower does not actually wash the emotions from my being, but as the water flows over my skin I close my eyes and imagine the negativity flowing off me. Some days that is enough, some days I have to exfoliate.

We all have times we need to vent and get things out of our system. I am as guilty as the next person. When you are done, however, consider what can be done to change what you are lamenting. If you can’t think of anything ask for a solution and focus on something to be grateful for while you are awaiting an answer. Think of how listening to complaints make you feel before you share them with others. Remember where your focus goes, your energy flows.

2 thoughts on “PRAYERS TO THE DEVIL

  1. This reminds me so much of my paternal grandmother. She was my rock and I was so blessed! I had grams until she was 90 and I was 49. We would talk at least 5 to 6 times a month. My grandparents lived in Upper Michigan, and the last time she traveled to Milwaukee was for my 1st husband’s funeral when she was 83. She never complained, although I did hear from gramps after she passed, that she had two pet peeves. He wouldn’t however, share them with me. Probably because no matter how she felt, she would always have a smile on her face and a song in her heart. She loved watching the birds eat from the feeder that gramps put near the window she sat by all day. I showed her a book I had about wild birds and she was always watching for her favorites and looking them up.

    Grams big treat of the week was watching Lawrence Welk and having 15 potato chips and a cookie. That was her weekly allotment. When my daughter and I went for our often 3 day visits, I’d sit and tell her all I did since the last visit. She relished the happy moments and I purposely left out anything sad or negative. Letting her think all was wonderful in my life brought her much happiness. When it was time to turn in, I’d say goodnight to her with a kiss and “see you in the morning.” Her response was always, “yes, God willing.” God was good to my grandparents. They both passed in their sleep without any need for ambulances, or emergencies or hospitals. Gramps lived at home after gram passed in 1997. An aunt and cousins were there every other day, and on the days they weren’t, a neighbor checked on gramps. He lived to just a month before his 103rd birthday in 2006. Passed in his sleep and all was right with the world.

    I so would love to be like them. Living in a small town where everyone knows everyone else. The only crime was kid stuff and the outside world was like many earth’s away. Makes me long for that simple life in my Grandparents small town. No computer, no cell phone, no cable TV, just a cabin on the forty acres and small lake that gramps didn’t do anything with. My hubby, my dogs, my books and nature! Those frequent phone calls from the family and visits every 6 weeks or so. Then all could be all right in my world.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your Grams sounds like my kind of person! I, too relish the thought of a small town where everyone knows everyone else. I remember growing up without cell phones and the internet, but they are not going anywhere. I have decided technology can go a long way to bringing back a lot of the traditional ways. Sounds confusing, but I have had the great pleasure to get to know some amazing neighbors I may never have, including one who gives me their valuable feed back thanks to technology. If those of us who feel this way can come together we can create a great community whether online or in our cities. Thank you every so much for this great comment!

      Liked by 1 person

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