There are many occasions which require planning. Time, effort and money of varying degree are all necessary to put together a wedding, a bar or bat mitzvah, a confirmation or even a funeral. But there’s one kind of affair that requires none of these things, not even pre-thought, and can begin in the blink of an eye – a pity party.
I know because, as I write this, I am sitting next to someone who is in the middle of one right now. Let’s call her Jessica. Jessica is having quite a little self-deprecating bash. She’s uncorking bottles of vintage defeatism and dancing on the tables! And I can tell that as she begins to tell me her story, and get it out, she can begin to feel it lift, but she’s still serving coffee and cake and contemplating paying the band for an extra hour.
Why would she do this? Why would anyone do this? Intellectually, Jessica knows that it won’t make her feel good. It won’t contribute to her happiness. Yet on some emotional level, giving into the negativity feels oddly satisfying and comfortable. She’s been here before. She recognizes it. And in a moment of low self-esteem and unworthiness, unconsciously she believes it is what she deserves. It’s really quite sad.
In truth, it is the exact opposite of what Jessica deserves. Through our conversation, she has demonstrated that she is worthy. As with all people, she does have value. And with a little work, she can gain strength from awareness and the power of choice, to change – here and now in the moment, and gradually over the long term.
So, I’m sorry but it’s time for you to go Self Pity, Low Self-Esteem, Depression. You’ve been welcomed guests, but Jessica has had enough of your company. Put down the cake, Fear. The party’s over.
And as for you, emcee, she’ll happily pay the band for another hour or even two, but she’d like to change the tune, so I hope you take requests!