“Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in this world.” Helen Keller
“Selfishness is one of the more common faces of pride. ‘How everything affects me’ is the center of all that matters – self-conceit, self-pity, worldly self-fulfillment, self-gratification, and self-seeking.” Ezra Taft Benson
“Self-pity is never useful. It tends to distort like a fun-house mirror.” Anne Roiphe
I remember all of the wasted times and days I gave away to pitying myself. I truly am happy with my life and the people in it yet at times when I reflect I question my motives behind my actions and the motives and actions of others. Usually there are many wasted hours of sitting in my rocking chair or lying on the couch. Those days are crippling and useless. Did they do the same for me? spend more time with me? Am I as well liked or respected? These are the questions that bring us down.
I often have assessed what brings on a good mood and I discovered it was due to the intervention of other people. Entering a room at work and greeted by a few workers with delight gives you a warm feeling. When relatives enter my house and smile and hug it is awesome. If I call my husband at work and he picks up the phone and says brightly HELLO I am flying high. So I guess I allow others to control my happiness or sadness.I then contemplated what transpired to bring on my unhappy attitude. It became a bit more complicated. If I got to work and even one person ignored me I wondered what was said behind my back. Of course constantly replaying the persons movements and face gestures only made it so much worse. I would hear of their promotion and believe they underhanded captured the job.
If a relative gave me the cold attitude and sort of snubbed me I would search my mind to recall anything I had done and didn’t remember. When I exhausted my brain I felt worse because I was left with questions but no answers. A relative who normally kissed me as soon as they entered the room but skipped it this time made me interrogate the reasons. Likewise if my husband was less than charming I projected all his moves and words onto a made up reality that was certainly far from the real world.
I based my final conclusions on many minutes spent on gossip and talk. If we have a legitimate problem then working on it with friends or family is important. The trouble is most of us continue our talking and drop news and tidbits pertaining to others. Whenever any of these gossiping stories surface, there is a new twist to the words that possibly changes the meaning. We feel cheated, slighted, unloved, overlooked and jealous of others then blame them for our feelings.
None of us plan on retelling a story but when it happens we either embellish the facts according to our own point of view or we give a shortened version that leaves out important details that would change the tone of the message. If we admit we don’t all have the same regards towards different people we have in common we comprehend our myriad of deductions that result. So we are left judging each other for things they may never have said or done.
It can leave us hurt and bewildered about what people are saying and what others think of us. We can hit the bottom at times because we retaliate in words and actions which probably confirm to any doubters their opinions of us were correct. We are painfully wondering what transpired that caused us such grief. Our final step is to pity ourselves. We immediately believe we have done no wrong and feel very deprived of friends and love. The key word is love. If we have belief that others do not care for us it is devastating.
After our let down party which can last for hours days or weeks and more, we shamefully pick up the pace and sense how little we deserved such a painful situation. I call this point in time the waking up from sleep time. Now we sense feelings of anger rise within and we brace for another attack which of course never materializes. Instead personal friends appear the same as they were before the hurtful time. They act glad to see us. Relatives visit and embrace us and compliment us. Our husband surprises us with some flowers or an extra big hug stating, “I just thought you could use one.”
Was it in our minds or did we overreact to the situation? It truly is time to consider truth. Most likely there are days when others are off and they have no gentleness of kindness left to give. It is kind of like the same place we appear to be at this moment. All the talk which is good perhaps turned sour when there is a lot of emotion driving a lot of people involved and each has their own agenda and outlook. It is almost like saying it is an incident waiting to happen.
It is relevant that we choose our words wisely and if they are misunderstood it is better to refrain from becoming defensive. Many see this as an expression of guilt. for those of us who like to tattle and talk, we must consider how painful we can make an already explosive situation. It can prove necessary for us to either speak kindly of another or not speak at all. When all the speech gets changed the turmoil begins. It never elevates us to bring another down. Discussing another’s concerns for the sake of meddlesome interest is a waste of our individual time. Stick with private matters.
Facial expressions, body language words and actions play a role in creating a positive or negative environment. Most all of us have lit small fires through behaviors when we were around another person. I have learned to escape rapidly and extricate myself from danger. Being the target is horrible but becoming the instigator is guilt ridden. Private affairs should remain private.
If you become the target due to jealousy revenge or fear again I would suggest a swift retreat. The uneasy atmospheres usually evaporate in a short period of time. Everyone recovers their senses and reflects before they speak. Recover without self-pity which is draining and a waste of time. Get moving and recall the multiple reasons for the occurrence while tossing the painful experience to the wind. You and your time is precious so mull over more important things while you intensify your self-worth.
“In life, you can blame a lot of people and you can wallow in self-pity, or you can pick yourself up and say, ‘Listen, I have to be responsible for myself.” Howard Schulz
“There’s great sadness and life doesn’t work out like you would want, on a lot of levels, but there’s no need to feel all alone. This happens to everybody, so there’s no self-pity. This is the ride that humans are on, and all of it is essential for our natural part of it.” Mike Mills