wings and things

Self-pity is not a crime

on November 15, 2013

I am not just talking about my own self-pity – I am talking about anybody’s/everybody’s. Self-pity is a normal emotional response to horrible events, situations and dilemmas and, as such, it deserves respect, not criticism, advice or platitudes.

I reckon that if you feel sorry for yourself, go for it. Self-pity isn’t a crime and is probably a necessary emotion preceding acceptance, ‘moving on’ or whatever the psychologists call it.

But for many of us, there is no moving on; the grief is static, unending and ever-present because there IS no hope of improvement, of resurrecting the life of a child lost to illness or accident, of rewriting history.

If it weren’t for self-pity, I don’t think empathy would be possible because how can you possibly understand what someone else is feeling unless you have felt it yourself?

Self-pity is not a crime.

21 responses to “Self-pity is not a crime

  1. Beautifully put Jules 🙂

  2. dcwisdom says:

    Not a crime and certainly a part of living. However, we can only park in the self-pity camp momentarily, else we adopt it permanently and ruin our relationships. Question is, what can we learn from that self-introspection? There are good lessons in it.

  3. Rhonda says:

    Couldn’t have (and wouldn’t have) said it any better…xoxo

  4. Boy… do I ever appreciate what you said…. because for the past few months the stress level has been unbelievable… and I would feel sorry for myself but then I would say…but that isn’t right and I’d think over and over how self-centered it was to feel this way…and ‘guilt’ …that useless of all emotions would creep in…. leaving me completely confused… Thanks Julie….for putting it in perspective… Diane

  5. KarenEllis says:

    HI Julie, agreed on Self pity as long as it doesn’t take over one’s life. I had to get out of mine fast when my mother went overboard FOR me. It was difficult for me to regain my footing while she kept rehashing events, instead of letting me talk my feelings out. It is a normal response to things gone awry for sure.
    All the best to you.Karen

  6. elizabeth says:

    I totally agree Julie. Well said. 🙂

  7. But there is always change, and we need to try to steer things the best we can when change seems to be out of our control. There are always small ways we can make the best of it, choices we can make even when many other things are not in our reach to control.

  8. janechese says:

    Although sometimes I have wallowed in self pity, I agree with you wholeheartedly and compliment you for saying so. Being perpetually happy is just not real nor healthy.

  9. Vicki (from Victoria A Photography) says:

    Well said, Julie.

    I agree.

  10. Terry says:

    Oh Julie I so understand your post. I tend to feel sorry for me and for Al. I think life sucks with his illness. There is no hope and I am just trying to get through each day the best I can. Big hugs to you and all you are going through each day. love you

  11. Anonymous says:

    Strange thing to say from someone who has never had a shred of it! M xx

  12. Amen! Why can’t we admit to feeling horrible about horrible situations? Admitting it and facing that it’s a horrible situation, and feeling bad, doesn’t preclude us from moving on and through it. Very strong, and very courageous people are no less so because they feel the impact of things that happen to them.

  13. Trisha says:

    I agree! It’s normal and healthy for us to grieve for what we’ve lost. And with what you’re going through it’s a long process of losses. Nobody better be pressuring you to cheer up. That would make me mad! We feel what we feel and we need to honor those feelings.

  14. I agree with what you have written especially about static grief, or maybe I would call it cyclical grief because it returns in waves, maybe each time with a little less intensity, and then after a while some strange sort of resolution is reached. I do not believe you need to reach a state of acceptance because one may never be able to accept something tragic or traumatic. However, resolution comes by an eventual adjustment to the new order – whatever that is.

  15. mrs fringe says:

    I agree. Some events–tragedies. diagnosis, mark a point of no return, and we need to experience that grief, have time to adjust, because those events mean there is no “back to normal.” A new normal, eventually, but no going back, and expectations have to change.

  16. a good psychologist would not call it moving on. i never would have said that to a patient. that whole “moving on” thing is more of a trend some of the wannabe’s use. as far as needing to feel what someone else has felt in order to understand, i am not sure about that one. i like to think i have sympathy for other’s who are going through heartbreaking circumstances that i have not experienced.

    i am a big fan of self-pity. i think it helps us with acceptance and gives understanding of the reality of our situation. you are so right in saying we can’t go back and we are forever changed. sometimes that is a good thing and other times it just knocks us down and we have to learn how to get up and integrate the experience into our life.

    i know that you are going through not one but 2 or 3 life changing events. i so wish i could spend some time with you. i think of you daily and send love and big hugs to you.

  17. […] Self-pity is not a crime ( […]

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