(Plagiarised from, and inspired by David Hayward, aka The Naked Pastor, who runs The Lasting Supper)
You suck. You’re a failure. You’re useless and worthless!
Is that what you tell yourself?
“I’m a complete failure and I should just give up”
So here’s something to ponder – self-pity is the greatest obstacle to your personal spiritual progress!
Even though on one level I despise pity, I’ve had to come to realize that on another level I cherish it. It’s delicious. Not only does it make my story feel validated, it also makes me feel soothed and comforted in it.
My version of my story is not necessarily reality. I am discovering from brain science and psychoanalysis, which also agrees with philosophies like Buddhism, that me clinging to my version of my story, my attachment to certain thoughts or beliefs, or even any thought or belief, is the cause of suffering. My attachment to a thought is suffering.
”Perhaps the most important revelation is precisely this: the left cerebral hemisphere of humans is prone to fabricating verbal narratives that do not necessarily accord with the truth… The left brain weaves its story in order to convince itself and you that it is in full control… What is so adaptive about having what amounts to a spin doctor in the left brain? The interpreter is really trying to keep our personal story together. To do that, we have to learn to lie to ourselves.”
It’s as if we are clinging to a story about ourselves, that we are relishing a thought that causes us intense suffering. On the one hand, we want to stay attached to this story because it evokes pity in ourselves, and in others for us. On the other hand, we realize we simply could not continue in this vein because it would only perpetuate our suffering and therefore our need for pity. Pity can kill our motivation to move on.
It’s a vicious, circular trap… the more I pity myself, the more pity I get, the more I need to stay in my suffering, then the more I pity myself and the more pity I get. There would be no possible way out until… UNTIL… I realize that this is all orbiting around a lie: a fabricated narrative that says I suck as a person, and that I am a failure as someone trying to help others. It is a lie that I suck as a person. It is not true!
As soon as the centre disappears… the lie… so does its gravitational pull, its orbit, and its planets: my need for self-pity and pity from others. They are flung into the furthest galaxies.
It’s not a one time magic disappearing show. When I am inundated with negative “press” every day, not only from my own false mind as well as from those who don’t respect me, it is a daily project for me. But it’s not too difficult. It’s just a matter of looking at these accusations and simply asking, “Is this true?” Is it really true? No, it’s not. It’s a lie.
This is what progress looks like. It helps us escape from our victim mentality that would keep us bound in our own pity and the pity of others for the rest of our lives. It helps us move on to really become healthy and independent. It helps us to become truly free. In fact, it sets us free to become a better person who truly does help others.