Tag: Self Pity

The gain from pain

One cannot get through life without pain … What we can do is choose how to use the pain life presents to us.  Bernie S. Siegel, M.D.

Broadly speaking one will experience 3 types of pain. The physical pain is what we are most familiar with like breaking our bones or getting grazed when one falls. The emotional pain is one we experience when our emotions are put to test like in case of a broken relationship be it with parents, spouse, siblings or children. The psychological pain is one we may be subject to but not acutely conscious off as will be the case if we are the butt of jokes amongst classmates or if one is constantly being belittled or humiliated. Almost all of us would have suffered from one or more of such pain but in most cases we have overcome it and gone on to forget it too.

Yet when we are asked to look back and recollect some of the more painful memories it is the emotional and psychological pain that often comes immediately to mind. Painful experiences leave a deep and sordid aftermath which can be life altering whichever way one takes it. For those who are deeply scarred by the event will always walk in the shadow of that pain and will attribute all their failures and miseries to that pain. On the other hand those who are more resilient and positive will use that painful learning to fire up their spirit and conquer their fears and hurt brought about by the pain. Herein lies the test of the true spirit of life – will you conquer pain or will you let the pain imprison you? For every Helen Keller and Douglas Bader there are a thousand others who give in to their pain and commit suicide. Here is the extraordinary story of a man cheated by fate once but one of those bravehearts who never let fate rob him of his freedom of expression; click here to read on about M.P.Anil Kumar http://sojish.com/topics-mainmenu-31/63-notes-a-articles/196-airborne-to-chairborne.html

While it might be pretty easy to pontificate about pain ( as I am doing right now) it is the person in the line of fire who has to experience the agony of the pain. One never knows but tomorrow it could be either mine or your turn to be part of that painful experience.  Death of a loved one is a pain that each of us would have experienced at some point. In all probability we would have soon taken the rational bypass  that death is a reality and consoled ourselves that we have to face the reality. However if the person who died is in the prime of youth or a child the inevitable question that haunts us is ‘Why?’.  More traumatic to deal with is the pain brought on by  a drastic physical change the like losing a limb or being a paraplegic, for these are life altering not just for the person but also for the family. Not far behind is the pain of seeing a loved one suffer from dementia, Alzheimer’s, motor neuron disease etc. all of which have no cure as on date and yet slowly wastes the body away causing deep anguish to both the patient and to the family. Can we realistically handle such pain?

Yes one can minimize the impact of such pain through a mixture of pragmatism, counseling, prayer and positive thinking. Pragmatism will help one comprehend the reality with fortitude. Counseling will alleviate the  panic and help channelize ones energy into acceptance of the reality. Prayer is the one channel that will send a person tons of hope to cope. Positive thinking will provide the oxygen that nourishes body and mind, strengthen ones resolve and provide us a shield to guard against depression and a feeling of hopelessness.

Remember: Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional.

Try this:

  1. As and when you can, try walking barefoot on a tar road or on cobble stone walkway for at least 5 – 10 minutes. What are your feelings? Do you give up even before you have walked a  100 meters? Do you get irritated saying ‘ Why am I doing such a stupid thing?’ To experience the pain brought about by fear you can visit a nearby zoo or snake park and try  (with permission of course) handle a non poisonous snake.
  2. Plan a visit to a local old age home/ a hospice / home for the mentally challenged and spend a day with the inmates. How do you think the staff of these places motivate themselves to work for those who are in pain and suffering?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

Faith vs Self-Pity

The opposite of having faith is having self-pity.  Og Guinness

Every morning in the jungle a Lion gets up and says that he has to run faster than the slowest the dear or he would have to grow hungry. At the same time every day in the jungle a deer gets up and says I have to out run the fastest Lion or I will be dead meat. The moral of the story is that whether you are Lion or Deer, when morning comes you have to be running.

There is another interpretation of this fable, which states that it doesn’t matter if you are Lion or Deer you must have faith in your abilities or you will simply wallow in self pity. If you are a Lion you will be cursing your fate for not being faster than the deer or if you are a Deer you will be cursing the brute strength of the Lion. If we take our own lives we will notice that there are many times when we tend to compare our lives with those of others. Most times it will be comparing ourselves with someone who has something better than us and then we feel disheartened, dispirited and disappointed that we are so unfortunate or unlucky. Reality demands that we compare our abilities and our achievements so that we know how much more we can achieve.

Faith springs from the self belief, our confidence in our abilities, our setting up and focusing on our tangible goals and the inner resolve to keep going when we are weary and/ or confused. Self pity on the other hand is a convenient interpretation of the available facts which is skewed to meet a mindset that throws up excuses for failures, passes blame on to others or circumstances for our limitations and conjures up a million reasons why we won’t succeed. Faith adds zing to our lives whereas self-pity deflates our zest. Faith aims to energize us whereas self pity seeks sympathy.

Remember: Faith is putting a spotlight on your future and orchestrating a fabulous performance. Self pity is when you focus the spotlight on you whilst you are giving a bad performance.

Try these:

  1. Look up your new year resolution or your list of things to do. Focus on those tasks you have not yet started. How many of these have you avoided starting because you thing you are not up to it? How many have you ignored because you want additional help? Can you name a person, thing or task that is responsible for the delays in the tasks outlined but not completed. Can you cross your heart and only blame the person, task or thing for your inability to get the task done?
  2. Name the three greatest achievements you have managed in the last 1 year. Who do you credit for the success?  Why do you call these your greatest achievements? What was the reason / who was responsible / how did you manage to achieve these goals?  How much credit will you take for achieving these goals? When you started on the task did you believe you would successfully achieve your task?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

Self Pity

Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in this world. Helen Keller

Quite often we tend to brood over the past and a number of times we stray into a ‘If only’ mode, thereby suggesting that ‘If only’ things were different at a point in time we would have been happier / successful/ popular etc. It is but natural to lapse into such though process because man by nature is a thinking animal and in that process we would have both positive and negative thoughts. However when the negative thoughts over ride the emotions and seep into our psyche then we shift gears and move into a self pity mode blaming others for our failures, circumstances for conspiring against us succeeding and us putting on a garb of an innocent victim of fate.

If the past looked dark, for many caught in the frenzy of self pity, the future seems darker. This is because we also have the ability to telescope our self pity into the future and visualize ourselves as victims of a conspiracy of fate. We convince ourselves that if things look bad today the future is worse; we imagine ourselves caught in a spiral of unending struggle, engaged in a battle to rid ourselves of financial woes, personal and professional challenges and getting stuck in the rut of everyday living. Perhaps self pity is the way to escape from our responsibilities, loosen our guilt over our failures and a comfortable perch from which to agonize over the dismal way our life has shaped up. Alas, self pity cannot change the reality that we alone have to furrow our path to success.

It is important to realize that self pity is very different from introspection. Introspection is brief and objective analysis of happenings. Rationality is at the core of it and we place the facts dispassionately in front of us with a view to study it and learn from it. The negatives are not seen in isolation nor are they used as excuses but merely as facts that exist but never the only cause of our troubles. Rationality also places a very high premium on the positives and views it as lucky breaks, deserving opportunities and chances of fate that we should have capitalized on. If we haven’t, we take responsibility and we also cherish the moments of success that have been built up these positives.

If we look at the life of Helen Keller, we would realize how much more fortunate we are for most of us we are blessed with perfect faculties of hearing, sight and speech. Despite the triple strike against her, she was lucky to have the support of her family and the extraordinary luck of meeting up with teacher who believed in herself and her pupil and used the most extraordinary methods to groom her ward. Look around and you will observe that you too have the extra ordinary luck of a supportive family, friends, resources almost all of which we take for granted.  At this precise moment cherish the gifts of eyesight because you are reading this post, the gift of education for you understand what you read and the gifts of technology for you are accessing this because of the computer, the blog and the allied paraphernalia that technology has gifted to human kind. You have much to look forward to in life; if you still have doubts how about seeing the following video footage


Remember: “Self-pity will parch your attitudes, it will paralyze your abilities, and it will put off your achievements. It prohibits excellence and prevents expansion.”

Try these:

  1. Blind fold yourself using a large kerchief or a big cloth. Now try and spend 15 minutes just doing what you would normally do in the day (except trying to sleep of course ha ha). Experience the feeling of helplessness, fear, paranoia etc. When you think 15 minutes are up remove the blind fold and check if it was 15 mins or 5 mins. Now ask yourself what are the strikes against you, in your life; you won’t find too many I bet.
  2. List out three things about yourself that you are ashamed of or embarrassed about. Do you experience a feeling of self pity because of those embarrassments? Are any of them hereditary or born with eg. Stammering, personal deformity or being obese. Do you still feel self pity that it was your unfortunate lot to be inflicted that scar in your personality? Now contrast that with all the blessings that you have got.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com
You are also invited to visit our weekly Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com