Please don’t feel sorry for me.

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“All my life, my parents said ‘Never take candy from strangers’. And then they dress me up and said ‘Now go beg for it’.” Rita Rudner

 

It’s easy to see someone who you feel is less than fortunate than we are and immediately feel sorry for them.  But what if you find out that your best friend had been living with chronic pain or a chronic illness.  Do you immediately feel sorry for that person?  Or you see someone in a wheelchair and your heart-strings is pulled at.  Is it pity or is it feeling sorry for them?  Whatever the case may be, feeling sorry for me isn’t how I want you to feel.  If anything, I want you to be proud of me.   The last thing I want is anyone feeling sorry for me.

Life is tough…….

My life may not be the same as everyone else.  Yes, I live with chronic pain and yes I have multiple illnesses.  But why is it that I don’t want you to feel sorry for me?  When most people look at me, they don’t see the invisible illness and pain that I live with on a daily basis.  I don’t see the pain and suffering you may be going through either.  But I don’t feel bad for you. I feel lucky to know you and you are lucky to know me.

When someone says that they feel sorry for me, I cringe inside. I feel like they are having pity on me for reasons that I have learned to live with.  I don’t feel sorry for myself and I know that my life can get to be pretty tough, but whose can’t? So I try to hide my pain that I have learned to live with.  I don’t want you to see it and immediately feel sorry for me.

What I do want is for you to be proud of me.  Tell me that I’m doing well and that you don’t know if you could do it too. Let me know that most people aren’t as strong as I am and that’s how I want people to see me.

Learning how not to feel sorry for someone.

When we see someone suffering, either physically or emotionally, most of us will have a strong desire to help them in some way. In fact, the better we feel, the more we’ll tend to want to help them. If only we could assist them in some way in feeling better, show them that they don’t have to suffer, teach them what it feels like to feel good. We feel sorry for people in pain, we feel empathy. But are we really helping them? Here are some ways not to feel sorry for someone.

  • Don’t focus on how horrible their situation is; don’t feel sorry for them. When you feel sorry for someone, you are seeing them as less than yourself. It’s actually quite condescending, if you think about it. You are, in fact, refusing to acknowledge that they are just as powerful at their core as you are. They have just as much choice in how they feel as you do, even if they don’t realize it. This does not mean that you shouldn’t help them if you’re inspired to. It just means that pity isn’t really appropriate.
  • Acknowledge their situation and pain briefly – just long enough to figure out what it is that you do want for them (usually the opposite). If they are ill, you want them to be well. If they are in pain, you want them to be happy, etc.
  • Picture them at their best. See them as happy, as whole, as healthy. See them as the powerful being that they truly are and give all of your focus to that.
  • If you take action, take it only from that positive point of view. Action taken from a high vibration is inspired action and will help to lift the other person out of their low-frequency. This kind of action may surprise you and others. For example, you may visit a friend in the hospital and instead of commiserating with them, sitting sadly at their bedside and agreeing with everyone that things are “terrible, just terrible”, you might make jokes and get your friend to laugh. You might do everything you can to forget “reality” and distract them from the current situation. You’ll do everything you can to actually make them feel better, even if just for a few minutes. Holding a picture of someone as whole and well and happy when the physical reality is showing you anything but that can be quite difficult at first, particularly with people that we care about. It’s often much easier to do this when you’re not around them. Practice holding them in that perfect light while at home, before you go to bed while meditating, any time you can think of other than when you’re actually with them. If you do this consistently, it will get easier to see them as perfect, healthy and happy when you’re around them.
  • Whatever you do, don’t let yourself get sucked into a complaining session with them. You are just adding to their lower vibration and lowering your own in the process. Just stay light and happy, allow them to complain if they must, but don’t join in.
  • Be prepared for the fact that some people will see your refusal to participate in a pity party as abandonment. “If you really loved me, you’d complain with me.” Of course, it’s nice to have your feelings validated, to have someone agree with you and join in on the complaining. But this isn’t helpful in the long run. All it does is help to perpetuate the current situation. So, even though they don’t realize it, they’re actually saying “If you really loved me, you’d help me to stay miserable.” When this happens, assure them that you do care about them, and that you want nothing more than for them to feel better. You just don’t believe that they will actually feel better if the two of you keep talking about how horrible things are. All you are suggesting is that the two of you take a little break from the misery.
  • Acknowledge that they have the right to feel the way they do. People in pain want to be validated, which you can do without joining in on that party. Don’t go in and tell them that they shouldn’t be sad or angry. “I can see why you would feel that way”, “Anger is a natural reaction to a situation like this,” or “It’s ok to be sad,” allows the other person to have their feelings. After all, you want them to pay attention to their feelings, so that they can then begin to deliberately feel better.
  • At this point, you probably won’t want to start explaining about vibration and frequency. They won’t be able to hear you. I’m also not asking you to go in and be manically happy when they’re in pain. This will be annoying and it’s probably not how you actually feel. Just keep yourself in a good-feeling place and gently steer the conversation to more and more positive subjects if you can. Talk about a friend who had a baby, watch a funny DVD or read from a book of jokes – as long as it will actually make them feel better.Don’t focus on how horrible their situation is; don’t feel sorry for them. When you feel sorry for someone, you are seeing them as less than yourself. It’s actually quite condescending, if you think about it. You are, in fact, refusing to acknowledge that they are just as powerful at their core as you are. They have just as much choice in how they feel as you do, even if they don’t realize it. This does not mean that you shouldn’t help them if you’re inspired to. It just means that pity isn’t really appropriate.
  • Acknowledge their situation and pain briefly – just long enough to figure out what it is that you do want for them (usually the opposite). If they are ill, you want them to be well. If they are in pain, you want them to be happy, etc.
  • Picture them at their best. See them as happy, as a whole, as healthy. See them as the powerful being that they truly are and give all of your focus to that.
  • If you take action, take it only from that positive point of view. Action taken from a high vibration is inspired action and will help to lift the other person out of their low-frequency. This kind of action may surprise you and others. For example, you may visit a friend in the hospital and instead of commiserating with them, sitting sadly at their bedside and agreeing with everyone that things are “terrible, just terrible”, you might make jokes and get your friend to laugh. You might do everything you can to forget “reality” and distract them from the current situation. You’ll do everything you can to actually make them feel better, even if just for a few minutes. Holding a picture of someone as whole and well and happy when the physical reality is showing you anything but that can be quite difficult at first, particularly with people that we care about. It’s often much easier to do this when you’re not around them. Practice holding them in that perfect light while at home, before you go to bed, while meditating, any time you can think of other than when you’re actually with them. If you do this consistently, it will get easier to see them as perfect, healthy and happy when you’re around them.
  • Whatever you do, don’t let yourself get sucked into a complaining session with them. You are just adding to their lower vibration and lowering your own in the process. Just stay light and happy, allow them to complain if they must, but don’t join in.
  • Be prepared for the fact that some people will see your refusal to participate in a pity party as abandonment. “If you really loved me, you’d complain with me.” Of course, it’s nice to have your feelings validated, to have someone agree with you and join in on the complaining. But this isn’t helpful in the long run. All it does is help to perpetuate the current situation. So, even though they don’t realize it, they’re actually saying “If you really loved me, you’d help me to stay miserable.” When this happens, assure them that you do care about them, and that you want nothing more than for them to feel better. You just don’t believe that they will actually feel better if the two of you keep talking about how horrible things are. All you are suggesting is that the two of you take a little break from the misery.
  • Acknowledge that they have the right to feel the way they do. People in pain want to be validated, which you can do without joining in on that party. Don’t go in and tell them that they shouldn’t be sad or angry. “I can see why you would feel that way”, “Anger is a natural reaction to a situation like this,” or “It’s ok to be sad,” allows the other person to have their feelings. After all, you want them to pay attention to their feelings, so that they can then begin to deliberately feel better.
  • At this point, you probably won’t want to start explaining about vibration and frequency. They won’t be able to hear you. I’m also not asking you to go in and be manically happy when they’re in pain. This will be annoying and it’s probably not how you actually feel. Just keep yourself in a good-feeling place and gently steer the conversation to more and more positive subjects if you can. Talk about a friend who had a baby, watch a funny DVD or read from a book of jokes – as long as it will actually make them feel better.

When you want to help someone, make them feel better if you can, but keep in mind that if you’re in very different places vibrationally, you may well just annoy them. Know that you’re benefiting them just by seeing them as healthy and whole. You don’t actually have to say or do anything. Sometimes there’s nothing you can do or say that will help. But you can always hold a vibration for the other person that they, in that moment of pain, cannot hold for themselves. We are all-powerful creators, and we are all perfect at our core, even if we sometimes forget who we really are. When you see someone who is in pain, you see someone who has forgotten who they are. Help them to remember or remember it for them. It’s the only real way to help anyone.

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