Eeyore, the old grey Donkey, stood by the side of the stream, and looked at himself in the water.
"Pathetic," he said. "That's what it is. Pathetic."
He turned and walked slowly down the stream for twenty yards, splashed across it, and walked slowly back on the other side.
Then he looked at himself in the water again.
"As I thought," he said. "No better from this side. But nobody minds. Nobody cares. Pathetic, that's what it is."
— Winnie the Pooh
Self-pity. Water gazing. Quite possibly the most lonely times of my life have been when I've made pinky promises with self-pity and threw parties that no one attended. I've lingered over my reflection in the changing stream and kicked it with sadness.
Don't get me wrong. This is just as much an entry for me to read in a couple of weeks when I'm turning up the weeping guitar, and letting the sulk soak in. Sometimes self-pity feels amazing. Like some weird drug for my soul, it just hits the spot. The kicker is the withdrawal. That's when I realize I've been gorging on self-pity for quite awhile.
After the whole "situation" last year with my ex-husband, I had lots of nights with my six-month-old wondering when I would be able to walk out the door again without wanting to run for cover. And even most recently in my life, some surfacing of strange news, I still hear from people (who mean well) ...
"You're taking this well."
or even more funny to me (if you only knew),
"You're so strong."
Because I'm not strong. (Seriously, I'm not.) And I don't take things well. I get angry. I cry. I say bad words and have practice "conversations" (read: maniacal rants) in the privacy of my car.
But bitterness... resentment...self-pity... friends, it's just not worth it.
Things happen, yes. Bad things. Hurtful things. Things that shoot like venomous arrows to the core of your being and suck the very last hopeful breath out of your lungs. Questions start. Questions that are very real. Very scary. Very...unanswerable.
Here's what I (try to) do...
1. I feel it. I feel it down to my toes. Let it run its course — right then, wherever I am. Sometimes it hurts like hell. Sometimes I just have to stop and lie down on the floor.
2. Then I ask God for the grace to let. it. go.
Self-pity and bitterness are just really gross parasites. They slither down sweetly, hitting all those things that validate your pain, and then set up camp until you forget about them. Then the mayhem begins. The rotting of your internal joy, peace, love, sweet smiles. It kills it all until you're nothing but a miserable shell of the person you were. And you? You're worth much, much more.
Really, it's not worth it. Life is too short to let someone else feed you parasites. Smile and eat some chocolate. Or go for a walk. Or eat chocolate and go for a walk at the same time (because you are ohsoamazing like that).
Nothing profound or deep. That's all for now. And I'm bookmarking this blog entry for my next emo-slump.
"Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies." — Philippians 4:8-9, the message.