Complaining at Spiritual Retreat – The Deeds

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After some months of hardship in our space, I decided to go for the Spiritual Retreat that my old sister had recommended. When she lost her job last year, she went through a lot of hardship and Spiritual Retreat was what helped her to be normal again. We both took a drive to the north coast of KwaZulu Natal, it was a 6-hour drive. The alone drive was therapeutic, having to catch up with my sister and discussing important family issues. 

6 hours late we arrived at the venue and the first Spiritual Retreat was scheduled for 8 am the next day. All the sections were great, I was learning something new and the growth in my spiritual connection. On the 3rd day during the section, the facilitator stopped and asked one of the attendees. Why you always complaining? From day one you were negative, I was hoping by day three you be better. For a moment, we were all quite and the was no response from the lady in question.

The facilitator illustrated the impact of complaining in life and for our health in general. That afternoon it took time to found out more about the impact of complaining in life and on our health in general. I came across the article on entrepreneur which suggested that while it’s not an exaggeration to say that complaining leads to brain damage, it doesn’t stop there. When you complain, your body releases the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol shifts you into fight-or-flight mode, directing oxygen, blood and energy away from everything but the systems that are essential to immediate survival. One effect of cortisol, for example, is to raise your blood pressure and blood sugar so that you’ll be prepared to either escape or defend yourself.

All the extra cortisol released by frequent complaining impairs your immune system and makes you more susceptible to high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease and obesity. It even makes the brain more vulnerable to strokes

What I liked about this article it introduced the concept of Deeds based on the common law. The purpose of a deed is to transfer a title, a legal document proving ownership of a property or asset, to another person. This met to transfer the title of complaining to something with a positive purpose.


This concept says something truly worth complaining about — is to engage in solution-oriented complaining. Think of it as complaining about a purpose. Solution-oriented complaining should do the following:

  • Have a clear purpose. Before complaining, know what outcome you’re looking for. If you can’t identify a purpose, there’s a good chance you just want to complain about its own sake, and that’s the kind of complaining you should nip in the bud.
  • Start with something positive. It may seem counterintuitive to start a complaint with a compliment but starting with a positive help keep the other person from getting defensive. For example, before launching into a complaint about poor customer service, you could say something like, “I’ve been a customer for a very long time and have always been thrilled with your service…”
  • Be specific. When you’re complaining it’s not a good time to dredge up every minor annoyance from the past 20 years. Just address the current situation and be as specific as possible. Instead of saying, “Your employee was rude to me,” describe specifically what the employee did that seemed rude.
  • End on a positive. If you end your complaint with, “I’m never shopping here again,” the person who’s listening has no motivation to act on your complaint. In that case, you’re just venting, or complaining about no purpose other than to complain. Instead, restate your purpose, as well as your hope that the desired result can be achieved, for example, “I’d like to work this out so that we can keep our business relationship intact.”

The dangers of complaining are also illustrated in the Philippians 2:14-16 ESV / 1,741 helpful votes Helpful Not Helpful Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish amid a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labour in vain.

The concept of Deeds led me to PositiveMind question of what is in the word DEEDS, illustrated in a quote.

DESIRE: The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire; the size of your dream; and how you handle disappointment along the way. Robert Kiyosaki

ENHANCE: I think that’s the great thing about acting you get to play different characters and enhance one part of yourself to really bring that out and create a new person. Danielle Campbell

EXCELLENT: Successful people will always tell you you can do something. It’s the people who have never accomplished anything who will always discourage you from trying to achieve excellent things. Lou Holtz

DESTINY: Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved. William Jennings Bryan

SUCCESS: Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill

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