Sunday, March 09, 2008

Stop Feeling Sorry For Yourself!

I remember being told those words by my parents as a child, and I often think/say them to my children now. Unfortunately, not very many people say those words to an adult. I know I need to hear them more often! Eric is usually pretty good at reminding me this, although (and I hate to admit this) his words often either fall on deaf ears or increase my upset feelings. I often know that I need to just get over myself, but that is much harder said than done. Here is a wonderful post on the topic from Kelly Crawford's blog at Hearts for Family. (The poem she wrote at the the end of the post is just beautiful and it truly touched me. It has earned a spot on my refrigerator door.)

Lately, I have begun to realize that my self-pity has very precise trigger points. I am beginning to feel that if I can truly get those points nailed down, have a clear picture of them, I can do something to avoid them in the future. Now I know I cannot avoid the actual occurrences that trigger my self-pity, but I can avoid letting them lead me down that road when they do occur. It's kind of like facing your fears to help you get over them. Maybe that means I find a way to do things differently so that I can avoid self-pity inducing moments 95% of the time, or maybe it means I need something to almost instantaneously get me back on the right track when I start wallowing in "Poor ME's" all day. I do know for certain that I can lay it all out for the Lord and allow him to help me. His concern for me, as His child, has no limitations and, although something like this seems minor to myself to lay at His feet, I know it is not to Him. "He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand." (Ps. 40:2) As I said, I am just beginning to realize certain things, so this is still just a work in progress.

But I do know that, while I have been more in tune with the situation, I have noticed just how thoroughly damaging my moments of feeling sorry for myself are for myself, my relationships, my children, my home. Everything seems to suffer when I am not at the top of my game emotionally. I can be physically unable to get anything done, but if my head and heart are still in the right place, everything in our home goes on like usual, albeit with dirty dishes and laundry everywhere. Those things are easy to catch up on though. It is not nearly so easy to win back the respect that I lost to my children when I snapped at them for no good reason, just because I felt like I needed to vent and I was lonely. It is also not nearly so easy to turn back time so that my children can be this age once again and not have mama say she's too busy to talk or play, just because I felt like I had no one to help me and my work would never end.

I believe it is so easy to have tunnel-vision when it comes to ourselves and our problems. We often feel like there is no way out, no hope, no future, no one that even cares we are in this place. But that is just not true. Everything in our lives is fluid and we are constantly passing from one season of life to the next. What really hurts us and makes us feel sorry for ourselves today just may be the thing that really enlightens us and sets us off on a new course in 5 years. And in all things, there is always SOMEONE who cares; a small still voice reminding us we are loved, cherished, and purposefully living our lives just the way He created us to.


Anonymous,  7:56 AM  

There is nothing wrong with self-pity, it's a natural feeling and a growth oriented process.
People who say to "Stop feeling sorry for yourself" are repressive, dysfunctional and destructive towards others Their objective is to invalidate the pain of others and make them feel insecure for experiencing the pain of their lives. It is an attack on people for sharing the pain of their lives.
It is an attack of repressive people.
Rejoice in self-pity, defend it and tell the attackers to go to hades!
Viva Self-Pity!
People who love themselves feel sorry for themselves, it is only natural and on felling sorry for themselves they take care to identify what has caused them pain and to deal with who and what has caused them pain and nourish themselves to be happy.
I encourage people who have denied themselves self-pity to re-integrate this feeling back into their personality or else you became like the Nazi personality without empathy or warmth.
Self-Pity is a process. Only by feeling self-pity can a person determine what is necessary to bring happiness to themselves.
Do not deny the Self!
Do not deny negative emotions!
This is the true path to a joyous life!

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