So there I was with my head in the refrigerator after spilling a bottle of homemade iced tea all over the place.
I went from feeling like a happygoluckyfella to Cinderella the moment I reached for a shmateh and started cleaning.
Went from feeling happy to the PLOM’s (Poor Little Old Me) faster than a Lamberghini can go from zero to 100 mph.
I shouldn’t be cleaning, I should be writing, I should have written more than I have, I should have done this…Done that. Ad infinitum. Actually, ad nauseum. (Whenever I throw in a Latin word or two, my IQ spikes five points.)
It’s the self-pity rush, and when it starts it’s hard to stop it. So here’s what we can do. Immediately.
The ABC Gratitude List. I start listing everything I have to be grateful for beginning with A and going to Z. Then I start focusing on everything that’s right in my life instead of what’s wrong.
How lucky am I to have a refrigerator? That got me thinking to women around the world who have no refrigeration or water. Then I thought of the girls in Nigeria who are being held hostage by Islamic extremists. Then I thought of the girls who were raped and hung in India. Pakistan. I’d send a protest letter to someone—anyone—who’d listen.
Then I thought of how to make my time spent in the refrigerator fun. I could turn it into something creative. I could laugh at myself. Thus, this blog’s message.
Set the egg-timer. You can have a pity party for five minutes. Then you can take action. There is no situation that can’t be bettered. When we think, why me? Well, why not you?
Self-pity is not sorrow. Grief is earned. You’ve been through terrible times. You are encouraged to fully feel sorrow. Self-pity is sorrow for ourselves and our lot in life. It is like holding a resentment. Helen Keller said it best:
Finally, I look for the spiritual lesson, and I found it: humility. I thought of Pope Francis who just visited Israel. He said that “it only through humility that the church can once again become a moral beacon in global affairs.” But we each can be a beacon just by being a power of example. Not complaining, getting the job done, and accepting and celebrating the overwhelmingly wonderful ordinary parts of life.
Here’s the message for Monday. Our minds can take us wherever we want to go. We can choose to sink in the darkness of self-pity or we can turn to face the sun.
What tools do you use?