Self-pity is an insidious thing and gets in the way of a person’s healing journey. Here are some of my musings about self-pity. I’ll add other posts about the topic in the days ahead.
Self-pity may result from self-centredness/self-focus in which a person is only able to see life from the perspective of the self. Self is at the centre of the universe, not God. In a way, self-pity is saying I’m the only one who is important and everyone else must take care of me. No one else’s needs are a consideration in any way. Self-pity blinds one to truth.
Maybe in a way it’s an emotional scrambling to prove that I have value and am worth consideration. Self-pity seems to spin out of something missing in childhood. Is it the little child’s attempts to get attention and validation? When the little child is wounded and there is no nurturing is one result self-pity? The child’s attempts to comfort the self? To give the self the attention it didn’t receive when it was needed and appropriate? Maybe. However, how is it that some people are full of self-pity and others aren’t? Self-pity may be disguised in many ways. The “woe-is-me” variety is a complaining, whining, “life is miserable” sort of thing. Is the strong silent type simply another form of self-pity — “I’m not going to let anyone near me again” sort of thing? Is this also self-pity? It seems possible.
Maybe it is that every way we seek to protect ourselves is a result of the self acting out of self-pity. All defences are self-pity based. Is this reasonable?
Some self-pity is impenetrable. Why is this so? After some healing, a person may have a better handle on when it’s happening but it can still creep up on the person because it isn’t always readily recognisable to the one who suffers from it.
Some self-pity is not easily recognisable. It may seem reasonable and rational and can take quite a while for it to be exposed. I have a suspicion that I am missing it a lot in the people with whom I pray making their healing journey longer. There are times when I think something is self-pity but it turns out not to be, and then other times when self-pity has been interfering and only as the person has identified it has it been possible to break out of the whirlpool and move forward with Jesus’ healing.
Then there’s also a religious spirit which can occur together with self-pity. That’s a hard one, a very hard nut to crack. Only God can break that one apart. There’s a self righteous justification and a deep belief that others are to blame for my pain and they must repent before I can be healed. (More about this sort of thing later.)