We all do it. We look at the negative aspects of our lives and ask why me? Oh woe is me! Look at how bad things are. I can’t get past this. Why did this happen to me? How come it always goes bad for me? We end up focusing on those aspects of life that we don’t like. But while we do that, we sap our energy, waste it actually, because “woe is me” never contributes to a solution.
When I allow self pity to take my energy I am saying to myself that I can’t overcome whatever difficulty that might be present. I don’t look for a solution and I don’t take action. I am focused on the past, on what happened and I allow this to define me. This way of thinking can easily take me down a depressing path that leads me further into self loathing and self hatred. Self pity is just another form of an ego trip: cause it’s all about me and only me don’t you know!
I just can’t allow myself to go there. It is too destructive.
Not long ago I read that when something happens that you wish hadn’t, you give yourself a minute to wallow in the self pity. You can cry, pound your desk, shake your fist at the heaven, yell as loud as you want or whatever other non-destructive behaviour you wish; you have sixty seconds to complete this task. Once the time it up, it’s up. After one minute of lamentations it is time to move on.
We all want things to go well, to follow our plan. And they don’t always. I can embrace the failures of my past and learn from them to find a new solution. This time my solution might work, or it might not. There is no guarantee. So if it doesn’t work out a second time, I can give it one minute of sobbing into the wind and then back to seeking a solution. Then it is time to keep to the present and move forward, one step at a time.
Focusing on the past and on failures will never lead to solution. It’s okay to grieve over what didn’t go as planned, but it is important not to let myself become bogged down in that quicksand of self destruction. I need to move forward. So I will try to remember that I can allow myself a minute of woe, and then it’s time to move on. There is a solution!