Tuesday Tip – Self Pity

Do you ever want to have a pity party for yourself? You know, sit and sulk about how awful you feel? Of course, you do! Or at least I do! I don’t think we would be human if we didn’t. We all have experiences in our lives that make us want to feel sorry for ourselves. You don’t need fibro or cfs for that to happen. Life is hard!

Dictionary.com defines “self pity” as, “pity for oneself, especially a self-indulgent attitude concerning one’s own difficulties, hardships.”

I am a big believer in acknowledging feelings. I think it is healthy to analyze how I am feeling emotionally and give it a voice. Call it what it is. Self pity, sadness, anger, anxiety, jealousy, etc…. To deny that those feelings exist is just pretending or suppressing. We all have these feelings from time to time. It’s human!!! And self pity is definitely a struggle for those of us who live with chronic pain and fatigue.

I think we run into problems when those feelings become who we are. When we allow them to control how we think and feel by dwelling on them. When we look within ourselves or feed the self indulgence by NOT talking with God about it. By choosing the feeling over what we know is right.

One of my friends will frequently say, “I think God can take it.” Meaning God knows human emotion. When we come to Him and say, God I am just feeling so ______ right now. He is able to hear those words from His children. He is able to “take it”. He can take the doubt, fear, anger, bitterness, self pity, etc… It is how we choose to deal with that emotion that defines if we are sinning or not. Admitting whatever emotion and then asking God to help you overcome it is a great place to start. You will never be able to hide your feelings from the Lord, so you may as well just admit it and deal with it! 🙂

The quickest way to overcome self pity in my opinion is by being grateful. Everyone has something to be grateful for. When I am tempted to indulge in selfish pity, I start naming things that I am grateful for. God is the giver of all things, so I start thanking Him for everything. Sometimes on a particularly rough day, I start thanking Him simply because it is the right thing to do, but it isn’t long before my words meet my feelings and I truly embrace a spirit of praise and gratefulness.

Taking the focus off of yourself and finding ways to help others is also a great remedy to the self pity monster. Sometimes our ability to help is greatly limited because of our health. But even sending an encouraging note or email can go a long way to helping you out of your own self indulgence. Life is more than our illness. Sooooo much more. Try to find someone else who may be struggling in this life and go out of your way to encourage them.

What about you? Do you struggle with feelings of self pity? How do you choose to deal with it? It’s been pretty quiet on this blog lately. So, share your thoughts with us! It may help someone else!

Thanks for reading!



10 thoughts on “Tuesday Tip – Self Pity

  1. I very much needed this today! I’ve been in a self pity mode for about a week and its changed me and I’m not liking the person I’ve been! Its even funnier that I’ve been telling my boyfriend, who has been going through a hard time, to praise God anyway! Maybe I should take the advice! Thanks for the post! Its time to turn this around.

    • Oh, Amy, I can so relate to that! It’s much easier to tell other people how to handle problems than deal with our own! 🙂 Thanks for taking the time share that you were encouraged. Yes, time to turn it around!!!

  2. Thank you, Ann. I have been there a few times in the past two months. Right now, I am praising the Lord for being free from the IV and the PIC line, and for my ability to walk! It’s true though. We need to get the focus off of us and on Him and others!! Thanks so much for your encouraging words. Love you.

  3. Yes, when I have a bad flare-up I really feel sorry for myself. Or, sometimes when I see women my age exercising (doing stuff I know would kill me) but looks like so much fun, I do feel sorry for myself. The Ann Voskamp book reminded me to be thankful for everything — it’s all God’s grace, isn’t it?

    • I know what you mean about the exercising thing… that is one of the hardest things for me to watch and not get the pity-party started… =) but thankfulness for what we do have is certainly the cure to that!

    • Yes, I get twangs of jealousy when my friends are out running 10 miles at a time. Not that I want to run 10 miles everyday, but I wish I had the freedom to make that choice. I can so relate to that! Yes, the book, One Thousand Gifts certainly is a great lesson in gratefulness – I love that book! Thanks for reading, Shelley and sharing your thoughts!

  4. I have had the monster for about 3 years now and am just finding my way to live beyond my illness. I could not agree more. Living in a state of gratitude motivates me daily. I may move slower, but I’m movin’, and for that I’m very grateful. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Pingback: Blessing and Serving | Restoring My Soul

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