Bringing an End to the Pity Party

I don't yet know enough about astrology to know whether the current Jupiter Retrograde is having a major influence on some people right now, but I have noticed a recurring theme in my Reiki sessions recently. My understanding is that a Jupiter Retrograde can encourage us to work on self-worth and can help us to learn to love who we are, to practice abundance, to share ourselves and to re-evaluate our personal relationship with giving and receiving. Jupiter Retrograde or not, self-pity is making its presence clearly known, over and over again right now, with many people seemingly actively competing with parents, siblings, work-colleagues and friends to demonstrate they have it worse, that their life is harder or hardest, that they have the least money, the most debt, greater health challenges, or are surrounded by more people who don't appreciate, value and respect them. I'm also astute enough to recognise that these self-pitying people appearing in my life may well be holding up a very valuable mirror for my own behaviour, in true 'Physician, heal thyself' style.

Recognising this 'poor me' behaviour in ourselves puts us in a position of great power. Once we are able to identify these patterns of thinking, and the ways in which we repeatedly announce to the world our perceived state of being, then we can identify the need that underpins them. And then we can do something to transform the reality that we have manifested for ourselves. I'm a great believer in the power of 'flipping a situation' into something that serves us better. In using the contrast of what we don't want to identify what we do want we can move towards what we do want, rather than mithering about what is wrong in our lives. The unwanted situation, person or behaviour that is presenting in our lives at any given moment is merely a vibrational indicator of the way we have been thinking in the past. It is always possible to think better-feeling thoughts.

With this in mind, this morning I found myself searching for the 'opposite of self-pity' and Google immediately showed me this very helpful article by the author and spiritual teacher Deepak Chopra, which I am sharing as it is crammed with helpful tips:

Q: How do I get over not being 'good' enough? Why do I sometimes feel sorry for myself because I don't get what I think I need or want? How can I expand my mind and grow into a better person? How can I learn to 'stay in the moment' and take responsibility for all the choices in my life to this point? I've read several books and meditate yet sometimes I 'slip' back'. Do you have any suggestions or insights? Thank you for your time. - Diane K, Camerillo, California.

A: Dear Diane,

You've posed several questions, all seemingly different, yet connected to a central issue. The issue is dependency. Self-pity is the opposite of self-esteem. It arises because you feel no-one will lift you out of your difficulties. With no-one stronger, older, wiser and kinder to help you, there's a tremendous sense of lack. You cannot find the same strength that these rescuers have - or you imagine them to have - and the ache of not being enough is felt as self-pity or 'poor me'.

The answer to feeling poor inside is to gather some riches. I don't know about your past, but somehow you maintain a childlike wish to be dependent, and this is keeping you bereft. It is also denying you a world of inner riches. A person who feels rich inside feels as if she is enough. She is strong enough and good enough. She can trust her instincts and feel secure in her choices. She takes responsibility for every victory, as well as any failures, along the way.

You may not think you have these inner riches, but you can begin to accumulate them. Write down each quality and consider how to gain it. Your list might look something like this:

  • Being enough

  • Trusting my choices

  • Taking responsibility

  • Feeling self-confident

  • Handling a difficult situation

  • Finding a way to shine

  • Being understood and appreciated

  • Standing up for myself

The next time you feel sorry for yourself, lapse into self-pity or in any way feel inadequate, take out your list. Look at your situation and analyse where it came from. Was it from not being enough, not trusting your choices, feeling misunderstood or unappreciated?

Be specific. Once you have identified the lack, write down a way to fill it. Hoepfully you will find a way to act immediately. Your remedy should be active and positive in any case. For example, you might write down:

  • Go back in and speak my mind.

  • Point out that I have made my choice and I will live with it.

  • Look at more options than the one that didn't succeed and then follow one of them.

  • Show that I am really good at this.

  • Go back into a tough situation and try again.

I know that these are a bit general, but you get the point. Your enemy is apathy. Being dependent you wish that someone will take you by the scruff of the neck like a baby kitten and carry you to safe ground. Only action can fill your sense of lack and that action must be based on who you are and what you stand for.

- Deepak Chopra

Published on 26 May 2010 -

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