By Maria Khalifé
“Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.” ~ Anthony J. D’Angela
We all try to be brave, keep moving forward, and keep a stiff upper lip. Our parents and teachers encourage us in this direction. But sometimes, things just feel overwhelming and we want to wallow in self-pity. That’s when the Pity Party starts and it’s okay, as long as you learn from doing it and don’t stay in that mode for days without end.
In those dark days when the bad seems to outweigh the good, we let our doubt and fear run rampant. We begin to think there’s no solution. We think things are not fair. We indulge that “Why me?” idea.
Everything that happens in our lives brings a lesson along with it. I have thought that perhaps the lesson from “bad stuff” happening is: my thinking must be way off track. Since what I think is what I get, I can turn this around by changing my thinking back toward normal, which is the good.
One of the blessings that comes along when you feel sorry for yourself and indulge in a Pity Party is that it is so uncomfortable inside that party, after being down for a while; you begin to look for ways to stop feeling victimized; stop feeling like you are the kicking boy of fate. You run a whole bunch of scenarios through your mind, mostly negative because you feel so powerless and angry, as ways to quit feeling uncomfortable. Those who aren’t fatalistic enough to put an end to their lives usually discover a solution, begin to take the steps toward resolution, and they end up building fabulous character.
I think self-pity serves a good purpose. It’s a way to sort of cave in on yourself, bury yourself in your own thinking, entertain a wide variety of ideas that may or may not be solutions, cast aside the ones that you know are silly or useless, and whittle down your options until you find that one perfect idea that you know that you can begin to take action on and subsequently get yourself out of your funk.
I wouldn’t indulge in Pity Parties for too long, though. Running all those emotions through your mind can be exhausting! Don’t sit in judgment on yourself if you have ideas about guilt, embarrassment or harsh judgment. A Pity Party is a process, a good process. Yes, it’s self-indulgent, but it’s also a way to sort through your options. It might help you to record or write out your feelings. It will help make your options more clearly visible; at the end, you can destroy what you’ve recorded or written down. You might “whine” at a close friend who can provide good feedback to help you find a solution.