I Think I Found The Problem

by Mark Ivar Myhre on June 21, 2007

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While self pity ranks as one of the most effective tools of a child in coping with the rigors of life…

as a grown-up self pity becomes the glue that holds our problems together.

It lulls us to sleep as it gently persuades us that we really aren’t responsible for our life and the problems in it. The slimy gooey mushy pit of self pity cradles and cocoons us, and like a fish in the ocean that never realizes it lives in water, we don’t even know that self pity exists in our lives.

But, boy can we see it in others!

When I first began to seriously explore self pity a few years ago, one of the first things that jumped out at me was the fact that almost everyone I knew was literally inundated with it! I was surrounded by people in self pity.

This seemed so odd, since I honestly believed my own pity had been somehow conquered and bested; perhaps shooed off in the night, or maybe, attempting to do the right thing, it simply slunk away while I wasn’t looking.



Either way, I KNEW I didn’t have any self pity issues…

Therefore, I felt completely justified – almost as a duty to God and country, to point out (and oh, so tactfully!) the pity I observed in the people I loved. Kind of like pointing out a speck of food on your dinner companion’s face.

After all, they’ll probably thank me for it, and I’ll be a hero, right? I’ll be the wise one, the sage, the enlightened guru on the mountain top of emotional stability, ready to impart my wisdom on all those seeking to better themselves.

The “Miss Manners” of the emotional realm. Why, I could even start an advice column in the local…

My daydreaming was rudely interrupted by a hard dose of reality, as my good intentions (have you noticed – they’re ALWAYS good?) not only fell upon deaf ears, but my wonderful friends and relatives, apparently having their own plans for advice columns up their sleeves, informed me (without the tact, I might add) that not only was I COMPLETELY AND ONE HUNDRED PERCENT WRONG, but also I WAS THE ONE IN SELF PITY and NOT THEM.

Well, that was a real head scratcher, let me tell you.



Months passed. Still, the resolution alluded me. How could they ALL be so wrong?

Finally, I began to learn about and explore the shadow self – the part of us that holds all the things we deny.

I learned the shadow, born when we are born, exists as a part of every human. Every bit as real as any person alive. I learned the shadow is not something to be despised, or feared, but rather the shadow serves a very useful function.

All the thoughts, all the feelings that I could not or would not admit to having – they didn’t just disappear. As I was throwing my pity away, like cigarette butts thrown from a speeding car, my shadow followed right along behind me, picking up every single one of those pitiful butts and saving them for when I matured enough to dispose of them properly.

And in the meantime, my shadow offered many hints and clues to the pity I denied. One of those hints reflected as the people around me expressing and living in pity.

What a mind blowing experience! …to come to understand and know, on a gut level – that others really are a mirror to my own inner workings. More than a cute saying, the people in my life really do reflect what’s inside of me. They really do.

The pity I denied ended up in the whining of those around me. Like a bad movie that just will not end, my unwitting friends were playing out the very emotions that I would swear on a stack of Bibles did not exist in me.

Now I REALLY had a reason to feel pity! And I was forced to acknowledge what I knew deep down inside the whole time. Yes, there was a tiny, tiny, TINY bit of pity somewhere in my otherwise upstanding and respectable emotional body. (Did I mention it was tiny?)



Out of this recognition and acknowledgment, I was then able to take the next step; forgiving myself. And out of forgiveness comes the ability to change.

So the next time you hear your friends whining about nothing, remember they’re only reflecting what you’re too, um, spiritually evolved to whine about yourself.

Oh, and here’s how to end self pity.

all the best,

Mark

Mark Ivar Myhre
The Emotional Healing Coach
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