(PPT) 27 The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered. 28 Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues. Proverbs 17: 28-28 NIV
Good morning again. We are in the midst of the series, A Complaint Free World, based on the book by Will Bowen (PPT) The text of these talks is posted on the blog section of our website, (PLAY VIDEO) (ppt) www.unitychurch.com, if you wish to catch up.
We are entering the stage of (PPT)conscious competence. Let me review the pervious stages in the context of complaining. In the unconscious incompetency stage, we were not even aware that we complained. When we started changing our bracelet or using the app every time we complained, then we entered the stage of conscious incompetence, because now we knew without a doubt that we complained quite frequently, to our surprise, I may add. We have continued to change our bracelets and now, we are aware every time that we are either complaining or about to complain; and that is the stage of conscious competence.
This stage of conscious competence can trigger some uncomfortable moments of silence. We all remember the saying “misery loves company”. There are people that, regardless of what they are complaining about, they want you to join them in their complaining. One example is when people start talking about their aches and pains or the latest medical procedure they underwent. Maybe someone starts complaining about everything that they see is wrong with the country, the economy or the world.
Well, when you consciously decide not to join the self-pity party, awkwardness can set in; and it can be uncomfortable. Yet, a thing or two is going to happen, as you stand your ground and refuse to join in complaining: The other person may soon realize that you will not be and audience and will move on to find someone that will join in their complaining. The other thing is, that there might uncomfortable moments of silence, which is an opportunity to change the subject to something more positive.
It is important to know, that if someone has a legitimate reason to complain, and is not necessarily a habitual complainer, you can always listen with empathetic compassion, without complaining yourself. If this is the situation, in the majority of the cases, the person simply wants and needs to be heard.
Now, let us not lose sight that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. I believe that there is an important spiritual component when it comes to keeping silence when someone else is complaining.
Here is a quote from the Prophet Isaiah that will illustrate the point I am trying to make.
(PPT) For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: “By waiting and by calm you shall be saved, in quiet and in trust shall be your strength.” Isaiah 30:15.
(PPT) The Hebrew word here translated as “quiet” not only carries the sense of inner silence, but inner peace as well. Our salvation and strength comes not through noise and much talking but by cultivating what the Greeks call hesychia — serene interior silence. –Carl McColman – A Contemplative Faith
What I am saying here, our silence is more meaningful and effective by intentionally cultivating that serene interior silence.
In the book the author mentions more than once that the way that we can discern when we are stating a fact versus whining and complaining is by the energy that we put underneath our words.
My brother Juan, who has sometimes an interesting sense of humor, is always joking when small glitches happen. Whether a cash register stops working or runs out of paper when he is about to pay at the grocery store, or the gas pump has an out of order sign, he quickly says: “Of course” He even makes it a humorous game to expect that sort of thing happening. And guess what? It does!. And it does because our subconscious mind does not have a sense of humor, and the Universe always responds to our thoughts and to our words.
This is what is called a self fulfilling prophesy.
I invite you to evaluate phrases such as “Of course!” • “Wouldn’t you know it?” • “Just my luck!” • “This always happens to me!”
You can change that by simply choosing a pet phrase that will convey an energy of positive expectation as opposed to a gripe or a complaint. Alinda and I adopted a phrase years ago. We started it while interacting with people in other countries where the customer service experience was different than that to which we were accustomed. Rather than getting upset, we would look at each other and together say: “Its and adventure” Very soon we adapted this to all sorts of unexpected happenings. We have added, God is in charge and it’s going to be OK. When you add to this a positive visualization of the desired outcome, the results always end up being better than if we had complained our way through it.
Back in December our daughter treated us to the Barbra Streisand concert in Miami. We were an hour into our trip when our daughter realized that she had not packed her Parkinson’s medication. Its an adventure, God is in charge and its going to be OK. Phone calls were made and the pharmacy transferred the prescription to another location in our route to Miami. After an hour delay we were on our way. After checking in into a hotel we called an Uber driver that missed a turn and extended our trip by 25 minutes. There was no time to eat at a restaurant like we had planned. Its an adventure, God is in charge and its going to be OK. We decided to grab a snack at the same venue of the concert. As we are walking towards the concert arena, my daughter realized she had left her purse in the Uber car. (I had the tickets in my pocket) Its an adventure, God is in charge and its going to be OK. We contacted the driver and arranged to pick up the purse the next day at the driver’s place of employment, on the opposite side of Miami the next day. After we finished the concert, which was awesome, we walked to a pizza place right across from the venue, and from there we took another Uber back to the hotel. Alinda and were settling in our room when Alinda realized that she had left her nice jacket at the Pizza place. Its an adventure, God is in charge and its going to be OK, we said again. Phone calls were made and the jacket and the purse were retrieved the next day.
We stopped to visit a friend in Wes Palm Beach on the way back. Before we got in the car, I said everyone P L E A S E check your pockets, belongings and make sure we are not leaving anything behind. Its an adventure, God is in charge and its going to be OK
Will Bowen says that the best barometer of whether or not you are a positive person is how you use the words “of course.”
Charles Fillmore, the co founder of Unity says in the Revealing Word
(PPT) silence, the–A state of consciousness entered into for the purpose of putting man in touch with Divine Mind so that the soul may listen to the “still small voice” (I Kings 19: 12). When one goes into the silence he enters the “secret place of the Most High,” the closet of prayer within. He closes the door and in the stillness of that meeting place he prays to God, he communes with God, and he meditates on Truth. Then he listens to what God has to say to him..
Like I said before, we do not have to wait for a formal or scheduled time of prayer to enter the Silence. We can enter that interior state of serenity in the midst of every day circumstances.
Our words have power and we can positively affirm our way out of any so-called negative circumstance. How things get miraculously resolved, is none of our business. When Jesus fed the multitude he did not complain about the task at hand, he simply lifted his consciousness to God and gave thanks; and the people were fed.
(PPT)The shortest path to get what you desire is not to talk about or focus on the problem. Focus beyond the problem. Talk only about what you desire, and only to someone who can provide the solution. You will shorten the wait time for what you seek, and be happier in the process.
The practical application of this lesson is to use the words Of course!” • “Wouldn’t you know it?” • “Just my luck!” • “This always happens to me!”, every time something good happens to you. That way, you will have many beautiful moments to share.
Next week we will look criticism and sarcasm and how they fit in a complaint free world, as we begin to wrap up the series and get ready for the next one; the name of the lesson? I have no clue. Please don’t criticize that. Was that sarcastic?