Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Self Pity

Bill Wilson described self pity as a ‘maudlin form of martyrdom’.  There’s a wonderful expression which goes with this “Get down off the cross we can use the wood.”
I woke feeling outside.  I felt like I was a farce. I felt that no one liked me. I know I’m liked by some but there’s this desire that’s insane to be liked by all.  It’s said that some of us will walk into a room and if everyone but one person likes us we’ll specifically spend time with the one person who doesn’t like us hoping to make them like us. Meanwhile if we walk into a room and everyone doesn’t like us but one person, we’ll go over to that one person and start an argument.  The expression ‘egomaniac with an inferiority complex’ defines us.  I know it defines me at these times.
It’s just little "slights".  Mostly it's perception.  "I may not be much but I'm all I think about."   I feel what I perceive as a slight then ad them to the other fears and soon with just the right stirring of my neurotransmitter soup I can get a whole case of paranoia going on. I don’t want to leave the house. I’m afraid who I will meet. Mostly I’m afraid I’ll upset someone again. So much of my life I feel I’ve been around super sensitive people who get really angry about something or other that I didn’t realize was so ‘offensive’.  I know with age and maturity that these individuals are ‘controlling’ and themselves deeply unhappy but it doesn’t change the fact that my thin skin at this time allows them to get under it. I’ve a thick skin at other times so figure that I must be sowing what I reap.  I pride myself on my ‘critical’ analysis which sometimes is just nasty gossip. I’m trying with a fine tooth comb to address these deficiencies. I’ve still got a lot of fear and anxiety about all the boogeymen the media puts up.  I’ve got a host of fears about conspiracies and health issues.  I’m forever upset about financial insecurity even when I don’t have financial insecurity but the media is forever chanting about poverty and financial down turns.
The other day I said  I wanted to be a billionaire because being a millionaire might not provide the 'security' it once appeared to. There really isn't any security in the material world and no number of body guards, armies and things protects you from disease and death.  Still, if I was a billionaire maybe I'd have something else to worry about.  Worry is like a goat that will eat anything including the shoes and cars if it's preferred grass isn't available.   Indeed I've known the richest people who were consumed with anxiety about finance and the poorest of people who should be more concerned about finance insecurity concerned instead about something entirely different.   I'm caught up in the anxiety about homelessness when I have a home.  Someone somewhere is starving so I’m starving. I’m sensitive but in fact it’s all outside the reality of this moment.  I think the media can get us caught up in the 'group angst' to distract us from what is really important in the here and now. Here and now I have to have a shower and get dressed and go to work.
Right now I’m in a home, well fed and waiting for the coffee to brew.  I’ve friends. I’ve a dog that really would rather play with me. I’ve family that love me. I’ve a God that has always loved and cared for me but I still think I’m going to be betrayed. I drift into thinking of Hansel and Gretel and witches fattening me up for the oven. I still fear the ‘lessons’ of God. I believe in a spiritual set of laws and fear I’ve broken them.  I know I’m to ‘do unto others’ but I don’t do this to the ‘authorities’.  I often question and criticize the authorities.
Now in reality the Sultan or King could just wipe out every person in retaliation for lack of respect. I think the present world runs on this kind of ‘authority convention’.  I believe that the successful people are those who brown nose.  Even that term ‘brown nose’ reflects my deep seated irreverence.  I really have no reason to be disrespectful of authority.  I don’t need to believe my leaders are plotting to steal all the money and leave me penniless. I do feel powerless about the future of the world. I feel that at any time they can start lopping nuclear bombs about and I might get caught in the ‘friendly fire’ or ‘cross fire’ or ‘collateral damage’. The idea of 'them' against 'us' is cultivated by the internet, the media and the left and the right.
I awoke feeling fearful that I’ve offended someone important.  I feel there are these people who are like sultans in bureaucracy and they’re just waiting to make my life miserable because they have that power.  I’ve had experience of these people. The fact is that the ‘probability’ of them being about cooking up demonic nasties for me is very small. Over my life most bureaucrats, most leaders, most teachers, most superiors have been just fine. Yet I focus on those rare events when the pain they caused was horrendous. I can’t let go of the past pain and heal.
I wake and the twin vultures of fear and resentment are sitting on my bed posts waiting to pluck out my eyes. I fear I’ll look at the rest of the world through this ruptured vitreous. I think I was friendly yesterday. Yesterday was a pretty good day.  I felt really good around people. Nothing bad happened. No one threatened me with guns or authority.  It was just a pleasant day at work.  I relaxed. I think that’s what has me afraid to day. I feel I let myself relax yesterday and now I’m going to pay for letting the ‘guard’ down . It’s that kind of feeling.
But feeling isn’t truth.  Feelings are like thoughts and I must recognize that truth is a higher level of reasoning and intuition combined. The truth I know is that God loves me.  My family loves me.  My dog certainly loves me. My fish don’t know any better so they love me. My friends love me.  I’m okay. I’m alive. There’s everything to be thankful for.  Even now there’s coffee brewing. I’m blessed beyond my wildest dreams.  Right now today there is no threat except in my mind.  I’ve simply got to trust and believe and learn again to play.
Mostly I’ve got to beware of self pity. It’s a way of putting myself down, thinking I’m ‘one down’ and looking for evidence to support that ‘position’. The ‘one down’ position is a ‘safe’ place like “see I’m self flagellating’ so ‘you don’t have to whip me’.  The self pitying person shields themselves from real criticism and real insight but focusing instead on the ‘feeling’ of martyrdom.  Self martyrdom is a place where I put myself separate and above others and then complain I don’t get the ‘right’ attention. It’s a drama queen position. It’s driven by ‘ego’.  Ego separates me and holds me a part.  Isolated I feel afraid and fearful I can attack.  Martyrdom is a precursor to hostility.
By contrast an attitude of gratitude is a real spiritual place of wonder and thanksgiving.  Thank you God for everything.  Especially thank you for the peace of mind to see my own silliness and laugh.

No comments: