Self-pity: the crippling malaise

Self-pity: the crippling malaise

‘I had no shoes and I cried, till I met a man with no feet!’ goes a saying, while Bhagvad Gita advises us to do our dharma leaving the fruits of our work to destiny — these are not just a collection of wise words but food for thought for those of us immersing ourselves in self-pity.

Self-pity is a crippling mental state that drags us back in the race of life. Losses and setbacks in different aspects of life like health, relationships, wealth etc are unavoidable. But against those who put them behind and march ahead in life, there are those who wallow in self-pity.

Many misfortunes in life are temporary phases like the loss of a job or a failure in exams which could be rectified while others like loss of lives or limbs, incurable diseases etc are irreversible and permanent. Yet, life cannot and should not stop at that.

“Do I deserve it?” and “Why me?” are questions that victims repeatedly ask others and themselves. Many posers in life defy logic and dwelling on them is futile. Self-pity is just a passive submission to circumstances, that saps one’s self confidence and zest for life, paving the way for depression, pessimism and helplessness. Going beyond it is important; yet, how to go about it is the big question.

History has many instances of people achieving name and fame for themselves putting tragedies of life behind. Keeping in touch with people in the same boat as ours helps unburden and get suggestions on how to go about life. Parents who have lost their children, victims of crimes and injustices, those suffering from diseases are examples where one gets solace and relief in the knowledge that there are others like them, who might even be worse off.

Helping others in similar circumstances, like adopting a needy child, donating (in which ever possible way - money, time, energy) for similar causes helps, too. A firm faith in God and the strength of prayers and healthy practices of strengthening oneself through meditation should put one back on the right path.