There better be a darned good gift bag once your pity party is over. I know. I know. The universe is conspiring against you. I feel you. You feel downright used, bruised, and abused. Spilled your coffee all over your keyboard and new outfit again? Well, spilling hot coffee on your lap wakes you up faster than drinking it. Ha. Stay grounded and take one cup, I mean one “day” at a time. Your boss reamed you out again, the kids simply won’t answer unless you scream like a psycho, and your “so called” best friend hasn’t even answered your text since the 12th of never. Sheesh.
Talk about feeling like a chump. But before you sign up for perpetual victimhood, please try to release your own chains. Because you are the only one who truly can. Feeling forever entitled to sympathy is no way to live, sweet friends. Start by observing those voices in your head. Are they overflowing with self-love and acceptance? If not, please challenge the ones who convince you to be a pawn or pushover for anyone. You are worthy, period. Every journey toward mental and spiritual health begins with self-compassion, despite past moral failures. Resist the notion that you don’t deserve all good things that may come your way.
Look at it this way: So far, you’ve survived 100 percent of your worst days. You’re doing great. You made it through tax season, Y2K, bird flu, mad cow disease, and the 2018 government shutdown, so far. Trust me when I say that humor is your best survival tool.
Still serving yourself a heaping portion of that self-pity casserole? Stop undermining your own happiness by holding those grudges. You always have a choice of how to respond and react to others. What’s your role? Are you always the innocent, injured party? Do not allow yourself to get preoccupied with your perceived powerlessness. What does the bitterness from past hurts offer you? You have the power to turn that pain into empathy for others who may be hurting. Feeling bad for yourself? Go comfort others. If you can influence someone else’s life, imagine how much you can impact your very own.
The way you think about and treat others has a huge effect on the way you think of and behave toward yourself. Sure. You’re the victim, so no one dares criticize you or risks upsetting you – ever. Feeling persecuted all the time can invite sympathy from others; but it also encourages us to avoid responsibility for our own choices. You can literally spend your entire life blaming others for your unhappiness, if you choose to. You know what they say: “If at first you don’t succeed, blame your parents.” It is high time to reclaim responsibility for your own power, sweet friends. You have a whole bunch of flavors. Why would you choose being salty?
Don’t feel like you’re all that and a bag of chips? No worries. Act as if you do anyway. Shoulders back, chin up, and look them straight in the eyes. Yes, courage and confidence can be taught. You know what they say about practice. It’s a funny thing: The more you practice, the “luckier” you get. But isn’t it a bit unnerving that doctors call what they do “practice”? Just sayin’…
Enough of the worst-case scenarios playing in your head. Decide to anticipate calmly and to feel good even if some things aren’t “going good.” Rather than wallowing in why, ask yourself what can be done to solve your problem.
“Wow, there is so much drama goin’ on, I’ll never get bored.” Please tell the Drama Queens that auditions have been canceled for today, even if that means you. Stop pressing that drama button. Remember, you can’t save a damsel if she loves her distress.
One surefire way to start taking more responsibility is to replace the word “you” with “I.” Unless you’re saying that YOU forgot to take out the garbage – again. Lol. Oh, and here’s a free tip, guys: No woman has ever started an argument with a man while he was dusting, vacuuming, or taking out the garbage.
Keep asking yourself: “What thought is creating my pain?” Do not attach to thoughts that make you suffer. It’s okay to feel sad or disappointed. Just don’t immerse yourself in it for longer than necessary, please.
It’s been said: When life knocks you down, try to land on your back. Because if you can look up, you can get up.
By Caroline Schumsky, LCSW, MS