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"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." - Benjamin Franklin
"Self pity is easily the most destructive of the non-pharmaceutical narcotics; it is addictive, it gives momentary pleasure and it separates the victim from reality." - John Gardner
Little things in life pile up. Someone double bills our debit card setting off a cascade of overdrafts. We pick up a nail in the tire that leaves us with a flat tire, setting our schedule for the day behind. People don't do what they promised, the job is a hassle, the kids drive us nuts, it seems everyone wants in our wallet and we have no place to go that feels safe. Our ego loves these moments - it gets to assert itself like no other time. "Why me?" we cry. We start to relive the past as though figuring out what we could have done different will change our current circumstance. No sooner do we finish that than we start to project all manner of additional doom in the future. We get ourselves worked into a frenzy and then end up feeling like just resigning from the whole life thing.
Self pity is a powerful emotion that can become debilitating if we allow it, and when we understand how untrue and how costly it is we see the need to look for a solution. Yes, when trying times come we can pause to back up and regroup. Yes, we can pray for intuitive guidance and inspiration that will help us get through it. Depending upon how far we work ourselves into despair, it can take hours, days, weeks - even years of time before we work ourselves out of self-imposed depression. Anyone who has lived through this can easily see the value of an antidote for this.
And such an antidote exists. It is simply doing the work to make sure that we are living a life that is full of gratitude. We can get rid of unrealistic expectations and learn to want what we have. We can take the time to regularly write down a list of things we are grateful for. But the best thing we can do is to give of ourselves on a regular basis to those that are both in need of help and willing to do the work to receive help. Opportunities abound - even if we cannot find it in a career we can certainly find a way to volunteer or at least show up where others are struggling. There are cancer wards, accident rehabilitation facilities, community outreach centers, drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities, groups that work with developmental disabilities - the list goes on and on. And the benefits are not just that we will give ourselves a good dose of immunity toward self-pity, but we will gain compassion for our fellows and increase our sense of self worth. It is one of those few things in life that will cost us nothing but will pay us great dividends.
Today, may I show up for life.
Have a great Tuesday !!
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