There is an undeniable rush from getting it off of your chest. Complaining gives us a way of putting it out there, getting them told, saying exactly what we feel. It makes us feel alive and relieves pressure and pain, allows us to shake it off. Thing is, an emotional outlet is a temporary high and worst yet, only benefits the person venting. Besides, emotions are capricious, unreliable; we will know one thing, but feel something completely different. Complaining may feel good at the onset, but will leave us empty and lacking when it's all said. To be grateful is indeed another animal.
To be thankful is not necessarily instinctive. We are by nature selfish beings. And if we don’t train our hearts to be grateful, we will live in a state of perpetual need—or should I say, never ending want. Most of the times our unthankful attitudes stem from the expectation that our blessings should be presented in a certain way, at a certain time, for all the world to see and admire. But many times they come in subtly, unassuming, providing something here, there and over there. They don’t always come through the beautiful or popular people; no trumpets make the announcement, no grandeur (man how we love grandeur) involved. They often come in the form of unpretentious strangers lending a hand or advice, or circumstances that just somehow work out in our favor. You may see them through ideas or creative thoughts in which, if we act upon them gives us exactly what we need. This requires us to take action. Sometimes we are waiting on the wind and the blessing is in the rain. We miss it because we ignore it-- stubborn and ungrateful because it isn’t the way we imagined it.
Gratefulness opens and expands our capacity to see God’s goodness and receive it when it comes. It helps us to forget what hasn’t materialized because we are centered on what is present. It is gratefulness that opens the hand of God. And it also allows us to give because we are so appreciative of what we have until it seems ridiculous not to give back. It takes the focus off of us and puts it on Him. It keeps us loving, hopeful and happy and that is so much more than a little venting could ever do.