The harmfulness of self-pity
19 November, 2017, 12:00 am
Worries, hatred, acting despite the consequences and misbehaviours are fuelled by self-pity. Self-pity is the source from which stems all these troubles but it is so subtly concealed that it isn’t easy for us to recognise it as the trigger of all problems.
All these unhealthy behaviours come from self-pity. For instance, being uncomfortable in a given situation because we are not used to it, lacking materialistic satisfactions, confrontations and misunderstandings between people or failing to take responsibility, etcâ€¦ It all comes from self-pity and we need to learn how to obtain the solutions to such issues.
We can observe these issues from different angles and perspectives: relationships between relatives, colleagues, friends or kids. About kids, for example, the reason they are often bullied at school and consequently have a poor opinion about themselves comes from the fact that, often, at home, the children give orders to their parents: “demanding this or that” and because children take everything for granted from their parents, the situation seems normal within their family. But when they go to school, they may easily be bullied by the other pupils who do not accept such behaviour. And naturally, the more they are bullied, the more pity they feel for themselves. Parents had better grow their children’s autonomy and be inclined to offer help and educate them on how to respect and take care of others, rather than bringing them up self-centred, bossy and ill-mannered.
From an early age parents should cultivate independence in their children and how to be responsible for their own behaviour. As adults, they should not do things for the children to satisfy all their whims because it deprives the children of the opportunity to grow up.
And that is the greatest disrespect for the children. The more the parents cultivate the whimsical behaviours of their kids, the deeper the seeds of these patterns will be buried in the kids’ mind. Because the children’s whims are most of the time satisfied, they feel great disappointment and anger when the parents do not abide. Thus, both adults and children experience self-pity because the adults feel they do so much but don’t seem to reach their children’s satisfaction at all times and the children rely too much on their parents instead of growing their autonomy.
Likewise, you may feel somewhat uncomfortable and uneasy in relationship between a couple, friends, or colleagues as the time goes by. Little by little it all accumulates and turns into grievances until your dissatisfaction breaks out one day. Many things account for self-pity: habits, environment, memory, knowledge and even a rightful point of view. When you mechanically impose a rightful view on others and insist you are right and wonder why they don’t follow your opinion, such dissatisfaction will lead to self-pity. And with the accumulation of self-resentment, a minor problem will turn out to be a big problem, which will lead to destructive or perversive actions.
For example, someone who seems to be very modest and humble, yet with a restless heart and mind, often puts pressure and burden on himself. He isn’t aware of the discrepancy between his behaviour and what his heart really needs.
At first he may feel somewhat uncomfortable, and then, little by little, he may feel pressured, dissatisfied and resentful. Once these feelings accumulate up to a certain point, harmful and perversive deeds may occur. Therefore people must take this matter seriously.
First of all, we should learn to adjust, trim those destructive deeds into large pieces of problems, turn the large pieces of problems into small ones until none remains. It is important to stay sincere and truthful. If you start to feel uncomfortable, you should ask yourself whether your behaviour truly and faithfully reflects what you are trying to achieve is realistic or beyond your abilities.
We could be very willing to help others from the bottom of our heart but we should first solve our own problems. We can only have enough space for others and support the other’s needs when our heart is fulfilled and balanced. Do not let yourself pressured by trying hard to do good to people or you will feel burdened and resentful. Do what you are willing and able to do, with nothing to complain about or regret. Impose no pressure on yourself or others. Do not attempt to guess others’ minds since they are all dramatically different from one individual to another.
It is difficult to satisfy the needs of someone by guessing what they really have in mind. It is as hard to have others satisfy you as it is hard to have yourself satisfy others. Likewise it is difficult to balance all people’s needs.
Only you can only satisfy yourself, Only when you are deeply satisfied, will you have the leeway to help others, you can do something for others as much as you can while feeling light and happy. Thus you can distance yourself from discomfort, dissatisfaction and self-pity.
Each one of us may feel resentful at some point in our lives and only with a clear wish can you solve this thoroughly. When your wish is clear, your heart is bright and a bright heart can shine over the darkness of self-pity and can see through resentment and reach its essence.
Wishes are made, based and aligned on our innate nature. If people go with the flow of pure and perfect nature, they will thoroughly solve the problems caused by self-pity that haunt us all along our lives. We should try to solve it, by having our wish shine on it, for our wish is clear and bright. Our wish is thorough, so it has the perfect force and effect. A wish follows the heart’s nature and therefore has a purifying, cleansing effect. And it can play its role in every aspect of our life. Let your wish decide and guide, do not let resentment overwhelm your wish lest it spreads over in every aspects of your life.
Light of life advices our dear readers to review the previous articles in The Sunday Times in order to have a consistent and comprehensive understanding of the methods we provide. Sunshine breakfast does not mean to be an academic lecture but strives to offer methods to truly solve our worries and sufferings. You can apply these methods and we respectfully and sincerely recommend them to you our dear readers so that they can play a positive role in your life.
* The Light of Life team is from China. They invariably follow the instruction and methods of the ancient Chinese sages and enlightened ones so as to try to solve all kinds of problems and worries in life.