Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Self Pity - The Drug of Self Love (On Being Mentally Strong Series)

“Self pity is easily the most destructive of the non-pharmaceutical narcotics; it is addictive, gives momentary pleasure and separates the victim from reality.”
-- John Gardner

Let’s just start this point out with a bang. Quit being a crybaby. Stop walking around whining and complaining about how ‘bad’ your life is. Mentally strong people do not walk around feeling sorry for themselves. Rarely do you ever see or hear a mentally strong person complain about all their misfortune and terrible their lives are and if they had this or that, how much better their lives would be.

Out of all the feelings and emotions that exist within the make up of a human being, there are few human emotions as warm, comforting, and enveloping as self-pity. Self-pity will wrap a person within it’s furry feelings of victim-hood and soothes you like a lullaby into a cocoon of complaint, and if you are not careful, the transformation that takes place within the ‘warmth’ of the cocoon will make you, not only unrecognizable to others, but in the long run, you will lose touch with your true self. Truly nothing is more corrosive and destructive than the emotion of self-pity. Helen Keller said, “Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in this world.” Self-pity will parch your attitudes, it will paralyze your abilities, immobilize your true potential, and it will put off your ability to achieve. It brings to a quick halt any moving toward excellence and prevents any kind of expansion of the mind, body, and soul.

When you begin to ponder the feelings of self-pity, and get honest with yourself, then you too would come with the same conclusion that I have come up with...self-pity is one of the most useless of all human emotions. Think about it. After all your moaning, whining, complaining about how bad your life is and how terrible your past was...well...what do you have? What has changed? Absolutely NOTHING! As a matter of fact, I contend, the more you continue down this path of self pity, the more you become attached the ‘feelings’ of these emotions and you end up falling further down it’s spiral staircase of the empty nothingness. Millicent Fenwick said it this way, “Never feel self-pity, the most destructive emotion there is. How awful to be caught up in the terrible squirrel cage of self.”

When we pity ourselves all we see and feel is ourselves. When we have problems, all we see are our problems and that's all we love talking about. We become blinded and are not able to see the good things in our lives. Like a drug, self pity warps our senses and fetters us with it’s emotional strings and before we know it, the only high we get in life is when we begin to talk the talk of a victim. All the while we throw self-pity pity parties for all who will give ear to our ‘horrific and dysfunctional’ life. And yes, because like attracts like, we will have ‘friends’ but they will be the kind of friends who will only help pull the covers of despair over our heads and help keep us comfy. They will rub our back and ‘cry’ with us and embrace us in one of those ‘misery loves company’ kind of hugs until we quit feeling like something different needs to be done. Life then is lived for the next ‘high’ that can only come in the arms of another self-pity drug addict who is willing to give us our daily fix of condolences. Once in awhile, the person who is drugged up on the emotion of self-pity, will momentarily awaken from their stupor and wonder why there are so many negative people in their lives, and instead of seeing the true cause, they are quickly moved to believe that the positive people around them hate them and then move back into their cocoon feeling justified in their self contempt.

Mentally strong people have learned to accept themselves and in turn have learned to take responsibility for their actions and their outcomes. They have to come to learn this simple fact; life, for the most part, is not fair and rather than become complacent within the walls of life’s circumstances, the mentally strong plow forward knowing each event will bring something good to their lives if they will not let themselves yield to their feelings of self pity. Those who are mentally strong in this world have learned that the way one thinks is just as much of a habit as the way one does something. As much as fear is a habit, so is self pity, defeat, anxiety, hopelessness, despair, and resignation. And life’s lessons have taught a mentally strong person you can eliminate all of these negative habits with two simple resolves: ‘I can!!!’ and ‘I will!!!’ One of my favorite authors, Og Mandino said, “Each day is a special gift from God, and while life may not always be fair, you must never allow the pains, hurdles, and handicaps of the moment to poison your attitude and plans for yourself and your future. You can never win when you wear the ugly cloak of self-pity, and the sour sound of whining will certainly frighten away any opportunity for success. Never again. There is a better way.” So even though there seems to be no way out, there really is a way out and it starts with rejecting the emotions and feelings that come with self pity. “Rebellion against your handicaps gets you nowhere. Self-pity gets you nowhere. One must have the adventurous daring to accept oneself as a bundle of possibilities and undertake the most interesting game in the world - making the most of one's best.” (Harry Emerson).

You knew it and you’ve known it for a long time now. There really is only one answer; turn away from self pity and move on. Accept fate, and move on. Don’t yield to the seductive hallucinogenic mirages of self pity. If you were to get honest with yourself, you have already learned that acting like a victim gets you no where and self pity has always been the plague that has strangled your tomorrow’s. It’s time to begin looking for the ‘silver lining’ in your life, because it’s there. Just outside the sheath of your self made cocoon is a whole new world full of magnificent colors and adventures. It’s time to pull out the IV tube of self pity you have been feeding your heart with and step out into the sunshine of a new day, a new year, and a new YOU. It’s time to laugh more. It’s time smile more. It’s time to enjoy the blessings of your life and live in the abundance that God has promised you for your life. “Laugh at yourself and at life. Not in the spirit of derision or whining self-pity, but as a remedy, a miracle drug, that will ease your pain, cure your depression, and help you to put in perspective that seemingly terrible defeat and worry with laughter at your predicaments, thus freeing your mind to think clearly toward the solution that is certain to come. Never take yourself too seriously.” ~ Og Mandino

It’s there...it really is...a life full of fun and adventure...just outside the thin layer of your emotions is a whole new world waiting for you to learn and conquer. Now go ahead...step outside, and let the rays of your new aliveness begin wrap you in it’s arms and fill you with its warmth...and while you are at it, don’t forget to SMILE!

No comments:

Post a Comment