We have all ran around the rat wheel of pity at least once in our lifetime. It starts with feeling sorry for yourself. Then you think why me? Then you think “but what did I do to deserve this?” And then you think “why not someone else?” And then you feel guilty for this entire mental production.
I was the master of woe is me. No one could throw a better pity party than me. I was always the only guest at these pity parties because no one else saw a reason to view me as pitiful. I find it funny that often other people can find more value in your circumstance than you do. Sometimes we create the clouds of our day simply by clouding our thoughts with negativity.
One day I decided to kick pity to the curb for good. I decided to take ownership of my life. I decided to confront feelings of shame.
I started reading a book called Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brene Brown. This book has changed my life and I have not even finished reading it yet (it’s one of those deeply exquisite books that you have to take your time with)!
I have learned that being so set on appearing strong, perfect, and completely put together at all times when I really do not feel that way does nothing but KEEP pity close to me. Now that you are scratching your head and asking “how does that make sense,” let me explain.
Most people try to mask how they are feeling inside. They may be deeply hurting, but go to extreme lengths to hide those feelings from the world. When you try to cover a heart full of shame, fear, and hurt by slapping an S on your chest (indicating that you are superman or superwoman) you are asking for trouble. You don’t even have a cape, but since you are portraying this hero-like persona people will have hero-like expectations of you that well…you cannot live up to…because it is all a lie. Then you feel sorry for yourself. Then you think why me? And so on and so forth. You are in the rat wheel of pity simply because you refuse to appear vulnerable. You refuse to be who you are from a moment to moment basis.
Dr. Brené Brown’s book presents a very powerful new vision that encourages us to dare greatly: to embrace vulnerability and imperfection, to live wholeheartedly, and to courageously engage in our lives. This means BEING WHO WE ARE RIGHT NOW. This in itself is empowering because it prevents shame from building up and pity from reattaching itself to our minds.
If I feel overwhelmed at any moment I allow myself to feel that way. I allow myself to be viewed by others that way. People may judge me for it. And that is okay. People are judgmental by nature . What matters most is that I live authentically. What matters most is that I confront shame and overcome it. And then pity stops coming around.
What a beautiful way of living. To be who you really are. To embrace vulnerability. To feel what you really feel. Feelings are the best indicator of our thoughts. So if I am feeling bad I take a second to explore what I have been thinking about. This helps to change the climate of my thoughts. Change your thoughts and you change your world.
So to recap, the best way to combat pity that I have found is to confront feelings of shame by living authentically. This means living in the moment and gently allowing yourself to be imperfect in that moment. That does not mean that is who you are. You just had a moment. You can change the next moment simply by changing the climate of your thoughts. Be positive. But most importantly, be yourself. From moment to moment, be who you are.
**As always, the information above is based on my personal experiences. Please feel free to share how you have kicked pity from your party**
© Kelley Daniel, http://www.missingmarkers.wordpress.com, 2014 .