By Christopher Simon

Self-pity is a deep pit

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” ~ Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

We all indulge in self-pity from time to time. Sometimes it seems like we’ve been dealt a lousy hand. I recall a counselor once saying, as I was lamenting some problems I was having, “it’s tough to be you,” which seemed to actually give me license to pity myself even more. But what I think he was really saying was to not be so hard on myself. What I was suffering from was the tyranny of all the obligations I was placing on myself. And sometimes we do indeed feel sorry for ourselves because of all the obligations placed on us, by ourselves or others.

Perhaps we need to learn how to say no to others, and change the “shoulds” to “coulds.” That is, every time you find yourself saying “I should do x,” switch it to “I could do x.” So instead of saying “I should call my mother,” why not instead say “I could call my mother”? That slight change of wording changes the whole tenor of how it feels.

To get back to the morass of self-pity that we often find ourselves in, the problem with indulging self-pity is that it takes us down a rabbit-hole that can be hard to get out of. Sure, life is tough, but it’s also beautiful, and full of opportunities. Thank God for the aspects of your life which make it hard; they are sometimes the very things that allow us to grow.