“Watch out for the joy-stealers: gossip, criticism, complaining, faultfinding, and a negative, judgmental attitude.” – Joyce Meyer
It seems innocent enough. A little complaining, talking about someone else, thinking everyone has it better than us – they’re “lucky.” Feeling justified, we think that letting it out again and again somehow will make it better. And it doesn’t, it makes it worse. What we focus on is what we become, who we are. These seemingly little things chip away at our capacity for joy. These joy-stealers are contagious if we don’t keep our guard up. Complaining is one of my triggers. I’ve been hearing a lot of it lately and instead of letting others chirp and let it go, I complain about their complaining. I fall into these traps when I’m tired, working too many hours and when I don’t get to run outside due to the “polar vortex” winter with 20 below temps.
We need to be still and look for the good in others without question or delay. Naïve? Maybe, but what and who will we miss by jumping to conclusions, judgments and criticism? Are we willing to risk joy and delight in exchange for “being right” in our own mind, whether we are or not. And we not only need to remove the joy-stealers, we need to replace them with gratitude, appreciation and awe for the many blessings to be found when we take off our blinders and filters. The light shines in replacing the dark. Be still and cast light.