Olympic Sized Pity Pool
by Miles Patrick Yohnke
An old Cherokee Indian Grandfather was teaching his grandson about life.
"Inside each one of us there are two wolves constantly fighting," he said. "One of the wolves is positive and is filled with peace, calm, love and kindness. The other wolf is negative and filled with fear, anxiety, self-pity and self-doubt."
"Grandfather," said the boy. "If the wolves are always fighting, which one of them will win?"
"The one that you feed the most," said the Grandfather.
This is a wonderful Native American folk tale that is so true.
Self-pity keeps us inactive and many times we are discouraged early on by economic conditions, disabilities, contrarian parents, peer pressure, teachers or others. We develop a tendency to become bogged down in our feelings of pain and fear which don't serve any other function except to keep us in our own made pity pool.
From our lives experiences, we become world-class athletes with our feelings of pain and fear but these don't serve any other functions except to keeping us struggling to swim in our pool, often drowning in self-doubt and negative self-talk. Self-pity is a very powerful emotion.
Each one of us can find ourselves there from time to time and none of us are immune to it but that's okay. It just means that we are alive. That we feel.
Now it's okay to splash around periodically. But if you find that you're spending a lot of time training in your pool and it feels as if it has become an Olympic sized pity pool, it's time to get out.
Self-pity is a powerful habit. As the old saying goes, "Misery loves
company" (which would also make a great name for a bar).
Because this powerful feeling of self-pity evokes a reciprocal response from others, then doing laps in the pity pool can become a powerful habit.
As with all habits, if it is indulged in and well fed, it can become
tenacious and prevent us from choosing to climb out. Self-pity often masks other feelings, keeping us stuck within a vicious cycle of despair, rather than exploring what our pain is trying to teach us.
Learn to recognize, take charge of, and change your emotional reactions to painful feelings. Mostly, we learn the art of avoidance - also known as blocking, denial, projection, or resistance from the way painful feelings were denied us or avoided during our childhood.
It takes a steep learning curve to recognize your own resistance and to ask for help to uncover often deeply buried feelings. Learn to become aware of any negative behavior that you are modeling. Once we recognize that we have a tendency to deal with circumstances in this way, we can learn to detect when we are swimming in that self-made pity pool and learn how to haul
You most likely are reading this as you have signed-up to a self-help or inspirational website. This shows that your looking for betterment. That you are now reaching for a betterment of yourself. In doing so, we are able to change negative emotions into positive ones.
Adrienne Whitner writes: "Water is hot at 211 degrees but boils at 212, and thus is able to power a locomotive. That we are locomotives, our minds are the locomotives, and we must train and develop that 'one degree'. We are going from 211 (2011) to 212 (2012). That this 'one degree' can change the world!"
Now is the time to be kind, gentle and patient with ourselves as we open our minds to different and more vigorous ways of thinking and being. It is time that we give ourselves a red ribbon for questioning rather than swimming in our Olympic sized pity pool. That pool should be closed forever.
By Miles Patrick Yohnke
© 2012 All Rights Reserved.
About the Author
Globally recognized and award-nominated engineer, producer, writer, poet and founder and C.E.O. of 5 Star Productions, Miles Patrick Yohnke brings many years of experience to the music industry; including many awards in sales and marketing. If you are looking at developing your career, Yohnke offers consulting in person, by phone or via email. For more info, please contact him directly at: 306.227.6379 or email at: miles(at)5-starproductions.com.
Read additional offerings from Miles:
Performing without a Net
Think, Rethink, Challenge Yourself
For Those About to Bike (We Salute You)