I found myself flopped over on the futon, wallowing and pitying myself earlier this evening. We had finished eating dinner, and there wasn’t really anything urgent needing to be accomplished. So, I just sort of stayed there, not really wanting to do much of anything — at the same time realizing there’s so much that could and should be done. After a few minutes, I consciously paused, told myself I had until the next commercial break to wallow, and then made the conscious decision that it was okay to feel depressed for a few moments. Even during my moment of despair, I still managed to maintain a sense of mindfulness, paying attention to my emotions and reactions to different stressors and stimuli. I reminded myself of all the uplifting content Brenda Della Casa shares on a regular basis, which includes the permission to feel bad for a bit but the reminder that feeling sorry for yourself isn’t going to fix your problems.
When the commercial break came on the TV, I got up, grabbed my water, and took a drink. And then? I went about my business. When life seems to be spiraling out of control, it’s okay to feel sorry for yourself, to feel miserable and worried. To feel is human. However, there comes a point when feeling like a victim becomes more defeating than the actual circumstances that causes the feelings of defeat in the first place. Today, I’m thankful for the ability to distinguish when it’s okay to stop and feel and when it’s time to stop feeling sorry for myself and make things happen.