Self-Pity : The Downhill Road To Unhappiness

Self-Pity : The Downhill Road To Unhappiness

The very first line in “Road less travelled” by M.Scott Peck says this -“life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths”. He cites buddha’s teaching of the ‘Four Noble Truths’ and the first among them being that ‘life is a suffering’. He continues “It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult – once we truly understand and accept it – then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”

I read this way back in College when I probably just entered the 20’s. It was the time of rebelliousness, a time that I felt lonely even amongst a crowd, it was a time of immense self-doubt and self-pity. It was a time when I didn’t understand myself and felt that the world misunderstood me. It was a time of why me? why am the one to go through the pain in life? why am I the one to not find what I was looking for? why am I the one with a million restrictions? why am the one to be not happy? download (17)

So when I read the lines of M.Scott Peck. It was like a slap in the face, a wake-up call indeed. From then on, I have told myself, life is not meant to be easy, not with me or not on anyone. It might seem like someone has it easy, but then it is good to remind oneself that today might be the day of reckoning for their struggles.

When we wallow in self-pity, we are solely responsible for the unhappiness we are causing ourselves. The question we need to ask ourselves is if this is difficult life? What we could do about it. Also, look around and see there are people having it worse (even if it is not for similar issues) and just count one’s blessings and appreciate life for the less severity of one’s problems.

Also, we cannot be completely magnanimous with our problems, that we ignore them and brush them under the carpet.  They’ll always come back to bite us in the head, but we could do few things to assess our issues and see which path to (16)

  • First of all, acceptance that our choices have led us to the situations that we find ourselves in.
  • Proportioning the blame to all parties involved for the problems and also taking a large portion of it to oneself.
  • Worrying less and figuring out ways to get out. Or if not possible to accept them as they are. Here I find the apt usage of the serenity prayer.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,Courage to change the things I can,And wisdom to know the difference.

  • Finding all other things to do, people around you and little memories to make oneself happy. Being happy is not a default mode. One needs to work on the thoughts that they have, control the ones that debilitate and enhance or build on the happy, peaceful, calm ones.
  • Also, accepting that whatever is happening is part of a larger design of life. That you are part of a butterfly (18)
  • And if it people that bother you, what could you do, unhappiness begets unhappiness, don’t get sucked into someone else’s mire.
  • And if you cannot accept a situation on a principle. Think if can you can circumvent it ? If not, no one is keeping a tab on whether you accept or not. Only you know it. By accepting something if you are able to go past it. Then accept it.  Live today to fight tomorrow.

No one wants to be unhappy, yet most us take a second to think to answer when asked ‘are you happy?’ Why can’t we just all say happy even if it is only for the moment. The moment that we feel good that someone’s being concerned about us? little victories are better for the soul than monumental wins.

Another point is, it is good to crib about your situation just for once or twice. Crib about it, take it out of your system and let it go. Find a friend, record yourself cribbing your heart out, eat it out (not a healthy option, but occasionally), dance it out, just wear yourself out. Coz once you have accepted the situation. You are stronger by that minute.




In Pursuit of “A happily ever after”

In Pursuit of “A happily ever after”


Just like in fairy tales, does life have an “A Happily ever after”? Is finding the right person to be your partner for life the quintessential factor for a happily ever after? Is it guaranteed once you do find the right person?

It is, for the most part of it, a happily ever after. Not the version we would like it to be, but the closest life can give us, with all the struggles and learning. Happiness is momentary and transient.  It subsides to give way to calmness and peace. And burdening one person for your happiness is just not fair. Also, expecting all the share of your happiness to come from one person is a sure way to get disappointed.

The only person truly who can make you happy is YOU. Being happy is not a feeling that comes from external factors. It’s a choice and decision that one has to make. Today, if you decide to be happy, you will find ways to make it happen. This is my view on happiness, but off course the behaviour and personality of our partners do have an effect on us. After all, we are needy creatures – in need of love, compassion, appreciation, companionship. If we all weren’t needy we wouldn’t be getting married when clearly everyone says it’s a mistake. Yet we do, not because we think we are going to be the ones to have a great marriage, but we do so to have someone share our life and be witnesses to each other’s life journey.  We are simple human beings who want a validation of a life well lived through the eyes of our loved one.

So what happens after? Expectations build up. Expectations of constant expression of love, Expectations of appreciation and support. Expectation to accept oneself as they are. Expectations to have similar interests.

These expectations make us blind to what the person truly is. Everyone has a capacity to love and to support. These capacities are not in same measures as one expects. Understanding and accepting gives way to happiness.

Another point, we have parents, friends with different level of friendships, kids. Each of these relations makes us the person we are. And so happiness comes from all of them. Not just our partners. When one has a good heartfelt conversation with a friend, when ones parent shows concerns and gives the right advice or attention one seeks. When our kids do all those naughty and funny antics, when they are just our little happiness packages. They each have a part to play to add on to our happiness quotient.

The happily ever after is nothing but the hope we have for our future. Hope is the one human trait that lets all of us sleep and wake up to a better tomorrow.  To a better version of ourselves. To a better understanding of our partners. Always have hope on one another. One day it will all turn in your favour. One day. Keep the hope alive.

Do share your comments.