Self-Pity

PelicanFeeling sorrow for one’s self, “Woe is me” and “Why Me?” attitude

The cure for grief is motion. Elbert Hubbard

Every man supposes himself not to be fully understood or appreciated. Emerson  

Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in this world. Helen Keller  

  When we pity someone, we are sympathetic and understanding for their loss, misfortune or whatever has happened to them. We care about them and their difficulties. Should we care about ourselves in the same way?

  It is good and healthy for us to acknowledge our own hurts, sorrows and difficulties. We need to aware of them and deal with them. One of the difficulties of doing this is the ability to be objective and ‘third person.’ When dealing with others, it is easier to counsel, advise and encourage. We can more easily be objective. It is more difficult for us to do this with ourselves. We only hear what we want to hear, and we only see what it is we want to see. We are dealing with our own inner emotions, self-identity, fears, weaknesses and vulnerabilities. It is hard to be objective when we are dealings with these sensitive and painful self-issues.  

   This is tender territory. Most of us avoid getting this involved with ourselves. It is outside our comfort zone. We do not want to come in contact with the aspects of ourselves that we do not like or are not happy with. We would rather not go there; opening the door to old scars, wounds and hurts. We do not want to reminded of how weak, scared, and vulnerable we are. It is hard to deal with these feelings and not end up feeling that much worse about ourselves. It is easier to look and go the other way. We can really fall off the deep end and start feeling self-pity; “why me?” We can get into a downward spiral that causes us to really feel bad and even hopeless. We need to develop the ability to deal with ourselves from an un-biased third party point of view.

    There is a need to be kind and compassionate to self while at the same time, honestly dealing with our issues and taking action to move forward. As long as we are trying to be better that is what really counts. It is important for us to be able to love and accept ourselves as worthwhile; forgiving ourselves when we ‘mess up’ or fail and having courage to move forward. We need to be able to help ourselves through our trials and tribulations. We have to avoid being seduced and held back by prolonged feelings of self-pity.

Challenge:  You can get ‘bogged’ down and incapacitated in feeling sorry for yourself. It is hard to escape. Life requires dealing with difficulties and moving on. These are things you must do. Self image and how you feel about yourself determines how well you do this. Learn to build a positive and healthy self-image. Be able to look at yourself objectively with kindness and compassion as you would a loved one or a friend. Build on this.

Wisdom: Despair is the absolute extreme of self-love. It is reached when a man deliberately turns his back on all help from anyone else in order to taste the rotten luxury of knowing himself to be lost. Thomas Merton     

Spiritual: (NIV)

I can do all things through Christ who give me strength. Philippians 4:13

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. Psalm 57:1

Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. Romans 8:37

As we truly understand God’s love for us, we gain enough courage to see ourselves as we really are. We will be able to love ourselves even though we do not like who we are. As we understand the vastness and greatness of his love, we become capable of overcoming our shortcomings as we increasingly become the person He wants us to be. As we walk closer with Him, we are increasingly transformed from our weak, worldly ways.   

Prayer:  Help me to rise above self-pity. Help me to love myself in a healthy and meaningful manner. 

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