Is there a kinder way to stop feeling sorry for yourself? I've been exploring this.
Something I've been struggling with lately is jealousy. It's difficult to admit, but I've found myself jealous of everyone's success. When I see a woman that's pursuing her dreams successfully, I feel the resentment building up inside. When I hear about how she kept going and it eventually worked, I hear the whispers of "well what's wrong with you Leah?" inside my head.
It's tough. A few days ago, it was really tough.
So what do you do when this starts happening? How do you handle the tsunami of feeling sorry for yourself, even when you *know* that feeling sorry for yourself is a sure way to stay stuck.
I have a few ideas that worked for me.
1. Reframe Feeling Sorry for Yourself
First, it's important to reframe the idea that you are feeling sorry for yourself. If you are anything like me, a goal-getter, telling yourself (or someone else telling you) that you are just a complainer making things harder for yourself isn't going to work. It might piss you off enough that you jump into defense mode trying to prove that this isn't true, but that's a big gamble.
What it will most likely do instead is push you further into a pit of despair. It's the beginning of the depression spiral. You're feeling crappy and then you get mad at yourself for feeling crappy and then you get forlorn thinking how hopeless you are because you are essentially your own problem.
There's such a better way to say all of this. To be clear, there are some truths in what you are feeling in this spiral. But in the spiral, you make them mean something worse and that's why the spiral is not helpful. Staying OUT of the spiral and still being able to see these truths is what actually helps. You want to be able to be objective enough to observe yourself and find some answers.
2. Ask Questions
Asking questions of myself has always been what gets me moving again. Once I can see even the possibility of potential answers, the doors opened and weight lifted are enough to stir me forward.
This is what I do.
I ask myself what's triggering me. And then I ask myself what's causing that. And then what's at the root of that. And so on and so on until I get to an answer that I can do something about. That answer is usually rooted in me changing the way I'm thinking about something (which is one of the truths I spoke about above; but see how much more productive it is to get to it this way rather than through berating yourself?).
In this past instance, I used my Tarot cards to help me see to the truth of things.
First I asked why I was feeling so jealous of all of these women.
Backdrop, I've never been a jealous person. Since I've always had uncommon goals, I just didn't compare myself to others because we were on such different paths. Jealousy crept up over time as I began to notice my life not working how I intended while other people's lives were.
So I really wanted to see what was at the root of this. It was simple. I drew the 9 of Pentacles and on this card is a well-to-do woman looking very content and unbothered, tending her garden. This card generally symbolizes an independent woman - capable in business, successful, secure and happy. I want to be that and so seeing other women as that is a painful mirror.
So I asked myself, how I can make it a satisfying mirror? How can I see myself in those women? How can I act as if? What ways am I already that and how can I be more of that woman?
And I remembered that I have my vision book, I have my affirmations, I have my meditation and I have my choices. I have that answer already. I just need to keep putting it into practice and not judge the timeline.
Next I asked why it was so hard to shake the jealousy.
I drew the 3 of Swords and on this card is a heart with 3 swords through it.
Simple again. Heartbreak. My countless attempts at getting business ideas and businesses off the ground and sustainable has taken a toll. Things not going as you've hoped (especially when so much of your self worth is rolled up into those things) is heartbreaking. It *does* take a lot to get back up, pivot and move again. It *is* a little harder each time. It takes work to flip that and make it easier and easier each time instead. But it's possible.
And finally I asked what I could do to get myself moving forward again.
I drew from another deck and got Make a Mission Statement for Your Soul. Simple yet again.
That card told me to remember why I'm doing what I'm doing and what it means to *me*. When you stay focused on yourself, you don't have space to focus on what someone else is doing. It's the same advice that less sensitive people give when they say "mind your own business and keep your eyes on your own paper."
Basically, the ultimate advice in all of this was: Keep bringing it back around to *doing you* and keep figuring out what that means to you, every step of the way. Keep it focused on the journey more than the destination and keep yourself counting the metrics rather than the outcomes. That's where you can break the chain.
Leah Patterson is a transformation & wellness mentor, salsa dance instructor and green witch that provides women who identify (sometimes secretly) as living with high functioning depression and/or anxiety with the guidance they need to create an overall lifestyle of mind, body and spirit balance. She works primarily with dancers – professional, amateur and hobbyists – using holistic beauty, wellness, movement, and mindset as her tools of transformation, facilitating major breakthroughs and rock-solid self-empowerment for her clients. Visit her website www.leahpatterson.com to find out more about her and to schedule a complimentary Activate Your Power Session if you need help breaking through your barriers and doing the phoenix rise!