This morning I woke up thinking about myself. I wish I didn’t do that, but it happens most days so I try to read something to get me pointed in the right direction. One of the readings I often turn to suggests that I ask God to “direct my thinking especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives.”
Self-pity. Ugh. That’s where I started the day so I decided to really take a look at it and dude, not going to lie, there’s more yucky in there than in the crisper drawer of the fridge. The crisper drawer–where good intentions go to die. My head is just like that. I intend to be thankful. I intend on being humble. I intend to be kind and then I start thinking about myself and things start getting moldy.
Check out one definition for self-pity I found:
self-pit·y (noun) excessive, self-absorbed unhappiness over one’s own troubles.
Not pretty is it? There’s something about the term self-absorbed that gets me every time. I guess it’s because we all know someone who is self-absorbed. You know, the person who dominates every phone call with me me me. Or the interrupter–isn’t she a joy? Or maybe the acquaintance who has to one-up everybody so when you have a headache, they suddenly develop a migraine and if you got a puppy they got a pony. We all know that person and it’s no fun to realize that sometimes that person is me.
So when I slowed down to really take a peek at what I was noodling on, I realized that I had some expectations that I’m afraid won’t be met and I was already feeling sorry for myself about it. It’s like I’m being given a gift and without opening it, I’ve decided it’s not the color I want. And that’s exactly why I need to slow down and turn over rocks to find the little squiggly things underneath. Not to shame myself, but to recalibrate my thinking so I can be more focused and useful.
When I turned over the rock this morning, I discovered that I’m premeditating future troubles based on speculation and opinion. I’m manufacturing troubles out of thin air and deciding in the face of so much evidence to the contrary, that I won’t be taken care of. So how do I stop doing that? I call it out. I admit that I’m thinking about it all wrong. I look for something to be thankful for, and I ask for the right thought or action when it’s time for me to make decisions. Boom. I’m free to start my day without wasting time wallowing in self-pity and here’s the really cool thing: the more consistently I do that, the more effective and happy I am.
Make it a wonderful Wednesday, y’all!