"Self-pity is a slimy, bottomless pit. Once you fall in, you tend to go deeper and deeper into the mire...well on your way to depression, and the darkness is profound. Your only hope...look up...see the Light of My Presence shining down on you...rays of hope can reach you at any depth." (207)
Self-pity is basically feeling sorry for myself, making myself my primary focus, the object of my full attention. It is one of the most seductive and pathetic forms of existence. Why? Because one can become so absorbed in yourself that you will hyper-focus on all the reasons you believe you're entitled to be catered to and accommodated. It is pathetic in that it is pathological to well-being and constructive living. Once that kind of mindset tracks its way into someone's brain it can override constructive reason and even alter character development and healthy expressions of personality... ultimately altering one's whole life! It's very hard to praise and worship God when all you can see is yourself! It's very hard to encourage and appreciate others when all you see is yourself! What a shallow, pathetic way to live!
I have absolutely NO tolerance for entertaining that kind of toxic thinking in my own life. I find it poisonous and paralyzing. I've counseled people who have grown up in settings where self-pity was allowed or even modeled. It can be very hard to retrain your brain to take a different mental route that helps one to override self-pity. Self-pity is like a spiral stairway leading down to a very dark mental prison.
I personally find it very helpful to keep a good sense of humor (not to take myself so seriously) and to fill my mind with things to be thankful for and my life with praise music. I stay tightly connected to God's Word. Then, I practice repentance...repenting each time I catch my thoughts wandering down pity-paths...asking God to infuse my pathetic ponderings with His more noble, honorable thoughts.
Here's my practical 'next steps' out of self-pity....
1. Be quick to honestly recognize it.... Repent! Stop the pity immediately!
2. Get up, move my body. Exercise, go for a walk, clean out a drawer, etc.
3. Do something for someone else. Be generous and meet someone else's need.
4. Be grateful. Remind myself of all the blessings in my life. Express my appreciation for someone via a note, text, email or phone call.
I find it impossible to be used of God when I am wallowing in self-pity! What a waste!
Policing Self-Pity & Promoting Praise...dmc