Self-pity is defined as “the self-indulgent belief that your life is harder and sadder than everyone else’s.” I spent many of my early Nar-Anon meetings overcome with self-pity. I was married to an addict. In my mind, my life was more difficult than anyone else’s was and I was miserable. The addict was wasting our money on drugs and had even been arrested. I was living with huge problems and I had no answers. I had a right to feel hurt, sad and angry. At a meeting, I heard a member share that she was grateful to be married to an addict. From an earlier sharing, I knew her life was not easy and her situation was not much different from my own. So I thought I must have misunderstood her.
She explained that if she were not married to an addict, she would never have considered coming to Nar-Anon. Without the Twelve Steps, she would still think the way she always had. No one would have suggested that she did not need to solve every problem. She would not have learned to turn to her Higher Power to handle those things she could not. She would not have learned about gratitude. Gratitude helped her change her perspective. With gratitude, she could look for the good things in her life and take the focus off the bad things. She understood she could love herself and be happy even if she did not have the perfect life. I had not misunderstood. I was engaged in self-pity and it was self-indulgent. It was time to change my attitude to gratitude.
Thought for Today: If I see myself clearly and honestly in relation to my present circumstances, I will see that I can still choose to be happy and grateful and I do not have to become the victim of self-pity.
“Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything good in the world.” ~ Helen Keller