The Moat of Self Pity

“My life’s a mess. I’m single and will never find anyone to love.”

“I’m stuck in this dead end job and will never make any money.”

“I’m swimming in debt and I will never be able to retire.”

“My kid has ADD and doesn’t have any friends. How did I fail him?”

“I can’t stop drinking, and I don’t even think I want to. “

Self pity.  It says that I’m alone, that no one understands, that no one has it as bad as me.  It creates a castle of the self. The self becomes so important that it needs a moat to defend against any intruders.  The moat of self pity makes our isolation complete.  The truth is that no one is an island. Not one of us has ever had a personal struggle in this life that is so unique that there is no one who has some kind of experience with that specific life event. I hate to break it to you, but you’re just not that unique. None of us are.

I heard once that the antidote to self pity (or fear) is connection.  When I reach out and connect with someone who knows me, or who has had a similar experience, I realize on a deep level that I am not alone.  Just knowing that I’m not the only one who has felt these same fears helps drain that moat and allows me to cross over and meet them.

Just for Today

When I feel like I’m the only one who has ever felt this particular kind of “ick”, I’m going to take a breath and get honest with myself. Is it true that NO one else knows what it’s like to be me?  I will then take action to reach out to my higher power and to someone who has had a similar experience and be willing to drain my moat of self pity.

Prayer

God, help me to recognize the lies that I sometimes tell myself. Bring people into my life who can walk alongside me and who can prevent me from the isolation that self pity can bring. Grant me the willingness to believe that I am not alone and that the people you bring are gifts from you.

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