Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Power Thinking Wednesday - Pity Party Pooper

Today is power thinking Wednesday. It’s not something I plan, it just sort of happens that way. On Wednesdays, I drop the kids off at school and head over to Mission Viejo for a 3 mile walk around a beautiful lake.

It seems that when I power walk, I tend to start power thinking at the same time. Thinking with a purpose. I drafted a super long post last Wednesday too, about the mind/body/spirit connection but didn’t post it for fear it was too long.

Today I was thinking about my attitude. I have noticed a change in my mood lately and consequently, the way I treat others (and by others I actually mean my family). I have been impatient, quick to anger, negative, unkind and just plain not fun to be around. I’m sure my family has grown tired of spending time with me like this. But today I realized that I’m tired of spending time with myself too.

An attitude adjustment was in order, but I wasn’t in the mood to make it happen. Sometimes it’s hard to pep yourself up when you are feeling grouchy. Today I enlisted a little help from the man upstairs.

Normally, I breeze around the lake at a fast clip, sometimes power walking and sometimes running. There is a spot on the path, where the lake peaks out from behind the trees and the lush green foliage builds a quiet sanctuary. It never fails that at this spot, I am taken aback by the view and I think about stopping on the nearby bench to soak up. Usually I just keep on going but today I decided to do just that.

I sat and closed my eyes, listening to the birds chirp. I became aware of the breeze blowing on my face. It was there that I felt God with me. In the silence, I asked for help. In the silence, I got an answer.

In a knowing sort of way, I understood what was going on and what to do to change it. What became clear to me was that I have been feeling sorry for myself too much. In the last two weeks, I have been feeling sorry for myself almost constantly (kids are sick, I’m not getting enough sleep, house is messy, husbands back is sore, no one has manners, kids are fighting… I could go on but you get the picture). I’ve been having a pity party for one. The fruits of this pity were clear: anger, negativity, unhappiness, impatience, unkindness, etc. Basically, the opposite of who I wanted to be.

Then I thought, if feeling sorry for myself is producing the opposite of what I want for myself, maybe I just need to DO the opposite of ‘feeling sorry for myself’ in order to yield opposite results. Is that confusing?

If I feel sorry for myself, it means I am not being grateful. I am not appreciating any of the blessings that I have in my life. I have so been focused on the few bad things that I have missed seeing the many good things. It’s understandable that I have been a grump!

The problem that had, only ten minutes before, felt so overwhelming and complex, suddenly felt so simple and easily rectified.

I felt so much better just knowing what needs to be done. I pulled out my blackberry and started making a list of all the things I am grateful for at this moment. It won’t surprise you to know that my list was very long. I live a blessed life. And I felt better. Way better.

And so my attitude has been adjusted. I am off to write a positive message to myself on my white board… “Don’t miss the abundance of good things by focusing on the few bad things.”


  1. oh my last bible study was on just this topic, "self pity" & it was convicting for we all have it from time to time!
    every time I have one of these moments, I quickly "try" to think about those with greater challenges than I & I'm quickly reminded that it could Always be worse! Nothing like birds chirping, breezes blowin, & a beautiful lake to walk around to change the "Tude". Hope your having a Brighter Day!

  2. This post was for me, right? I'm in the same boat, however, I think my feelings are valid and I'm not really feeling sorry for myself. I think Moms just don't take good care of themselves. I know that I give and give and give and get tired.

    Your post was inspiring and I'm glad you're feeling better!

  3. Inspiring stuff, and I so needed that reminder considering the day I've had with my crazy stubborn 4 yr old!

  4. Thank you for this GREAT POST....please, please, please publish the long post...or at least send it to me. I for one would LOVE LOVE LOVE to hear all that you have to say.

    BTW, it was not confusing at all.

    I think the thing God is trying to get through my thick skull is that all the things He says to do are for MY benefit--forgiving others-for me, loving others-for me, serving others-for me--AND, that I can't do these things by my own strength...I MUST look to Him for the strength, and to fill me up from the inside out. Sounds like you got "filled up" today?!