Outcome: You’ll turn lemons into lemonade.
This can also be called the move on pause. It gives you the time to wallow and the strength to shake it off. For people who crave more time, a big regret is wasted time. I’m not saying that there’s no value in self pity. Every emotion contributes to who we are, how we see things and to the lessons we learn about life. However, these emotions can take over and that isn’t useful for anyone. So, practice your RELAX. SET. GO. rules to relish (12/22/09 post), all of them with this one, and set a time limit to feeling sorry for yourself.
So much of what seems monumental in the present becomes insignificant in the past. The most important thing is that you don’t let yourself feel insignificant. There are a thousand clichés to describe this . . .“don’t sweat the small stuff,” “hindsight is 20/20 vision,” “don’t make a mountain out of a molehill,” “every cloud has a silver lining,” “this too shall pass,“ “that which does not kill me only makes me stronger,” “it‘s my party and I‘ll cry if I want to . . .” I could go on and on. It is your party and cry if you want to but don‘t cry too long because if you do, rest assured you will be crying by yourself.
Self pity can be a complicated mix of episodic emotions; sadness, anger, frustration, desperation, doubt, loathing, heartache, loneliness and despair. In the height of it, feeling the victim is common. It’s also common to want to control the situation in order to restore happiness. Let’s face it, self pity is usually about the things you can’t control (like the past). Obsessing or as I call it, “spinning in place” over resolution, understanding or retribution is natural but unfortunately, it brings little consolation.
When you can’t control the situation (even if you are somewhat culpable), then comfort will only come when you find a way to cope and begin to move on. Self pity is mostly a one-sided relationship (that’s why they call it “self” pity). No matter how much you might want things to be different, the best thing to change is the focus of your own emotional state. So have your pity party (you do deserve it) but always make sure you can get out of the trenches. So much of life is about relationships. What relationship are you going to have with your emotional pain? Are you going to let it hold you captive while life passes you by or are you going to confront and conquer?
They say “the best way out of the tunnel is through.” I also like the cliché, “the best revenge is a good life.“ Take revenge on your dark emotions, not on what you think controls them. You’ll emerge the victor; a better and happier you. Karma and the universe will take care of the rest.