Thursday, February 09, 2012

Self-Pity....the nasty word-week 9

Well I read this and had hope to put the two last section together but I have to separate lest the Self pity one...such good stuff to think about. So here goes..

Self Pity...and not just for artists only... though it comes from that perspective I think it's good to understand it for anyone.

Julia shares...I stepped into the black hole I call self-pity. I went down, sputtering , "but!  this is silly! I have so much to be grateful for! Burble!...

I am like any other artist/person-happy when I'm working freely and unhappy when the work becomes too much like work. I write both because I love to write and because I have to write. I am called, and if I don't answer, the calling just gets louder until I do answer or I have a bout of self-pity because I "have" answered it...sounds a bit crazy don't it..

for warn you this will be a long post..and a good one.

At the root of self-pity is a stalling device. it's is a temper tantrum, a self-inflected dram that has little to do, ever, with the facts.  Self pity isn't very interested in facts. What it likes is "stories" Facts are sober. Stories are emotion. Self pity thrives on stories that go "poor Innocent me and terrible, means them.." Self pity likes to make us feel the world is adversarial place and that the odds are stacked against us. Self pity likes to point out the way we are never truly appreciated, valued, cherished.  where was this a few weeks ago when I could have really used it...but I guess it comes when it's best..

What self pity really wants is a cheering section and a fan club.. Self pity is not interested in our getting over it. Self pity is interested in our "getting over" Stuck by a bout of self pity, we want an appreciative audience for our suffering, not a bout of self improvement...Good point there..

Self pity is not interested in our spiritual status. It turns a deaf ear to our peppy affirmations. For an artist, Self pity constitutes a chronic and formidable creative block.  Self pity has one job and one job only: it intends to stop us in our tracks. If self pity can just keep us mired in what's the use, we will not have to do anything to find out..  a trigger..."They aren't going to appreciate you" is often a trigger for self pity... Oh heck been in this place many a time with being just a mom and juggling it all...not feeling appreciated for all you do...fact was about this is I always led me to the oh poor me's of self pity..

Self pity focuses our attention on how we are perceived rather than on what we are perceiving. It' takes us out of our creative power and tells us that we are powerless, we will never "make it." Even if we already have, self pity isn't interested in realistic self-assessment. It is interested in stalling us...or keeping me stuck in the muck of it all. "Artists focusing on the odds "against making it" is like sipping a poisonous drink.

Self pity never asks "well what do you think of what you're doing, how you're living, what you are making?'. that question might lead us to shake things up a little in some interesting directions. Self pity doesn't want us to shake things up. It wants to shake us up, like a double whammy martinis that put you straight on the floor with it's punch.

All artist and people in general I believe... get attacks of self pity, and we get them with a Oscars leering down from the mantel. We get them- we get them-because if we don't watch out, we are about to do something big.

Self pity is a scraggly red robin. it means that once we get over it, we are going to spring into action. Self pity as all of us know -is different from the vague gray numbness of garden variety depression.
Self pity has an edge to it like a shard of glass. We can use, to cut, but our sense of hopeless, into ribbons.   In other words, used properly a good dose of self pity is a jump start for creative action or any action. "What's the use?"  converts quickly into "what's next?"

wow about done already with the word self pity...I want to get out of even thinking in the negative way about just after reading this all...

If you don't medicate it....with etc... you fill in the blank. A solid attack of self pity is a signal that you are about to either make yourself sick or make yourself healthy...The healthy part of us cannot stomach the self pity...that for sure...I know I have bouts of it and it not comfortable at all I really want to shake it off like a dog with a wet on it's coat... "get rid of it quick like"

The action may be something that starts with compassion: Of course you are hurt. Your work was unfairly received. Cry a little.

Although self pity appears to be grounded in lack of appreciation from others, it is actually grounded in our own discounting of our self and our struggles.

"If this makes me feel so bad,  what can I Change?" 

Be the change that you want to see in the world. Gandhi

We persist and persist and our fatal artistic "flaw" is often revealed to be our own strength.
"What can I change?"

In other words, the question "What can I change?" Snaps us back onto our own creative spine...or as Cher puts it ..."Snap out of it"  Now we are asking the question that only we have the answers to: What do we respect?
What do we Like?
What do we want to do more of?
We spring into action on that.

After a nap...yes a nap Self pity is often born of fatigue?  now there's an eye opener for me...being aware of the fatigue and not that I can stop it all the time but being aware that a bout of self pity could be coming on if I don't do some self care is a wonderful way to make a change.. or lets say a quick start..

There is something about being horizontal with out the benefit of drink or drug. that allows the imagination to do a little lucid dreaming..We get up from our bed of pain thinking,  I could try that..and we do.

Task work...
Most of the time when we  are struck down by a bout of self pity, it is because we feel under appreciated. The truth is, sometimes we are under appreciated. The effort we make and the effort we expend seems to go unnoticed by everyone but us. It is as though we had a tine, built-in resentment collector...and a friend is mine shared what resentment is... re feeling the same feeling over and over and over again.. an inner gauge that processes reality by tiny little clicks that say "you see? Not appreciated again."

We cannot make others appreciate us, but we can take the time, care and attention to appreciate ourselves.
 "Other people's Opinions of me are none of my business"  A more positive  counter point might be phrased "My own Opinion of me is all that Matters"  

Well that's a good mind full this morning...

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Thank you for stopping by and viewing my collage chatter, many creative blessings and peace to you and yours