When caught up in the trap of self-pity, it is a common and normal reaction to look around and feel as if we have no support. Mary found support in Elizabeth, but let’s face it, I bet she was lonely too. I’ve felt this way before but I’m a stubborn woman and I refuse to believe that God would leave me without support! So. On days when self-pity wants to write my story, I trash talk it. For whatever reason, I often find the temptation to become depressed is heightened around times of expected joy. Times like the holidays, or right before or after a spiritual experience. As we wait for the birthday of Jesus, I will take a couple of days to share some of my own trash talking ways, just in case you might need it this holy holiday season.
When it FEELS like I am alone and lacking support…I have learned to ask the following:
Is it that I have no support, or that I am demanding support show up in a particular person? I know, I know. I understand. This is a tough sell. Our expectations often seem so reasonable to us! But who is to say that they are as clear cut as they seem? Of course, we can get many people to agree with us about how our parents, spouses, children, friends, etc. SHOULD treat us, and I always like it when I can gather a team to support my personal outrage and self-pity. But is that the better way for me to live a flourishing life? That is the question. Let me suggest an alternative viewpoint.
Recently I babysat my grandson for the day. I thought to myself, “If my mommy was here, I’d call her and facetime with her. She would give me all sorts of advice. She would comment on what Christian was wearing. She would probably tell me my hair was too short.” It is true, mom isn’t here to take my daily calls. But there are people who would be happy to hear from me or receive a picture from a doting Meme. I reached out to a couple of them instead and am most grateful for their receptivity to a grandmother’s joy.
I miss my mom, which is more a sign that I loved and was loved well in that relationship than it is a license to feel sorry for myself. I’m working hard to not confuse those competing thoughts.
What can you do differently if you are feeling the blues? Who can you reach out to? And, if they cannot reach back, who is the NEXT person you can reach out to?