How to Avoid Pity Parties

cryContinued from here.

I remain vulnerable to engaging in pity parties, particularly when I don’t feel well physically, and thus must intentionally choose to take steps to avoid their lure. One step I take is choosing forgiveness at the moment that someone wounds me. I have already decided that I will forgive anyone for anything they do to harm me, and I waste no time in beginning to pray for them, even as I am reeling from what they have done. As an example, on the morning that I had to drive my son to a children’s hospital an hour away for major back surgery, we discovered that someone had vandalized my husband’s truck by breaking the windshield with a baseball bat. I was already vulnerable because of my son’s pending surgery, so I could have easily spent that hour’s drive feeling sorry for myself. Instead, I chose to spend that hour in prayer – both praying for my son’s surgery and praying for the vandals. While I did not feel like praying for the vandals, I chose to do so ensure bitterness would not take root in my heart.

Another step I take is to “give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thes. 5:16-18). No matter how uncomfortable I am (such as when I have the flu or a stomach virus), I am always, always, ALWAYS thankful for my bathroom. I am thankful that I can use a toilet instead of having to walk out into the heat, cold, rain, or snow to use a smelly outhouse. I am thankful for running water, hot showers, and toilet paper. No matter how miserable, unfair, or uncomfortable my circumstances are, I can always sincerely give thanks for my bathroom, which is a great starting point.

Once I begin the process of thanking God for my bathroom, I have greased the wheels toward other things I am thankful for: my house, my cozy bed, that I can afford a house, that I have the ability to walk myself over to the bathroom, etc. Note how everything I have mentioned thus far centers around my own comfort. When I am feeling lured into a pity party, I am gradually being lured into self-absorption, so I find that things I can be thankful for that revolve around myself are the most effective in beginning the redirection process.

To be continued…

[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace crying next to a crying emoticon. Courtesy Bitmoji.]