I woke up at four a.m.
Fifth morning in a row.
My little daughter had a fever.
This meant no day care for her, no working for me and a dilemma of how to get firstborn to and from school.
My husband sent me the following picture from his trip to Cape Verde, where he is, alone.
My to do list is two pages, written with font 10.
Do I manage to convey the enormity of my pity party this morning, at all?
The icky, slimy bug of self-pity started hissing in my ear. Thought by thought, my energy faded away. Powerlessness started seeping into my muscles. My ability to receive any nourishment from interactions with my kids or with my friends and family started receding, until I could feel the slippery frosting of self-pity, coating me from head to toe.
Now, rationally I know self-pity is an attempt to defend myself against overwhelm, expectations and demands. On an emotional level, it’s another story.
The thing is, while self-pity may feel like relief, or like self-love – it’s anything but. It shifts the locus of power on the outside of ourselves, puts us in the back seat of our lives.
Of course, the row of set backs continued. My friends couldn’t help with getting firstborn to school, the taxi driver was rude, there was less money on my account than I remembered, my website crashed… It wasn’t until I had sent my website provider an e-mail to ask for help, and they responded they couldn’t and I just had to google the answer, that I remembered Veronica Torres’ tool: “How ridiculous does it have to get?”.
What else would have to happen, until I took responsibility for my own thoughts and feelings.
Ah, well. I asked myself what would take me closer to self-compassion and loving myself in the moment. After a shower, a glass of water and a loving discussion with my daughter, I came back to the computer and easily updated the theme of my website. Now she’s sleeping and I’m feeling happy for the frolicking Engineer again.
I drew this picture to remind myself that there is a better way than self-pity. What would take you one step closer to self-love and self-compassion today?