I was drawn to this post my friend shared today by a famous yoga teacher who I really admire. She seemed to have a really cool life. She is young, admired, in shape and really self-confident. Or so I thought. She gets to go on exciting trips and travel all over the world…little did I know she was homesick and going through a divorce. She posted a photo of herself on her social media today and the first person to comment said some ugly things about her being “vulnerable” as an excuse for pity. Wow. Harsh.
Interestingly enough, I bet we have all been there though. Seeing someone’s posts and wondering if they just needed a pick-me-up or were they seeking attendees for their pity party? The truth is, we all have felt this way at some point in our lives. We are on the brink of being really vulnerable and wondering if others care. The flip side to this is we might stay closed off from the world because we are busy thinking we will be judged for how we feel. The fact is, emotions are like waves. We can no more control them than we can control the turbulent sea. We just have to ride it out.
I say this as I am still in the clutches of my own grief on losing a beloved pet. So I can’t control my waves of grief right now, but there are things I can do to make this time more bearable. I can turn my pity, of which I honestly feel like I am the only one at this party, into self-care.
3 Ways to Turn Pity into Self-care:
- Observe your thoughts as they turn to “why me”? I recognize that I will have moments of thinking I am the only one who has ever experienced x,y, z. Since I know this is definitely not true, I use this as an excuse to journal my feelings and explore what is really going on here. Did someone post a photo of the exact opposite feeling? Quite possibly. And what is the exact opposite feeling I want to explore right now? Happiness. Love. Support. Okay, so now let me list the ways that I feel these emotions I am trying to get to. Who makes me feel this way or what? It doesn’t have to be a who…as I can definitely create my own happiness with things that make me feel successful. So then I go down that path instead.
- Don’t open the invitations you get…to go to the other pity parties. This one might be hard. So do this one as tactfully as you can, but if you are struggling, the emotions you want to surround yourself with are not going to be more struggle and pity. Get my drift? You really want to think about the things that are going well in your life and get back to that higher vibration that allows you to feel good about yourself. If you can turn it into something productive, like a friend journaling session, or a walk of pity, then go for it, but set a timer. After 3 minutes, switch and listen to the other person. Then you must have 3 minutes of praise and success. Because ultimately, you know that this stage will not last forever.
- Make a practice of talking about your joys. Again, this one is hard. We always want to talk about what is bothering us…or what we want to change, but feel like we can’t. What if we talked about all the things that made use feel joy, happiness, and fulfillment in life? Ask a trusted friend to tell you 3 good qualities about yourself if you are feeling down. Even better, text them and tell them 3 things you love about them out of the blue.
Opportunities for growth exist as we see our pity for what it really is. A moment of self-doubt where we don’t feel good enough. A moment of judgement where we think we should be doing more. A moment of envy perhaps, where we see the outside of someone’s life and look at the highlight reel. Go deeper into what is really bothering you and what the opposite of that feeling is. It is there that you will find your gold.
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