I wish I could justify self-pity.
Wouldn’t life be so much easier if I could complain about the angst and cry about the hurt and rage about the injustice – and be perfectly entitled to it all?
I wish I could justify being offended.
Wouldn’t it be so comforting to break down in tears and receive all the sympathy I want? Or to just spill out the anger and frustration and pain without worrying about anyone else’s feelings?
I wish I could justify being crushed.
Wouldn’t it be satisfying to come down hard on those who have walked all over me with no apology, and know that I am in the right? To make them see the error of their ways, and to receive the repentance and reparation due me?
I could have my cake and smash it too in the face of blind prejudice and cool indifference and downright injustice.
I wish I could justify all of these things – but I can’t.
Slowly, oh so slowly, I am coming to realize that I can no longer justify reacting to such affronts. Because this means that I am only seeing one person in the picture.
And that is me.
To indulge in self-pity requires me to surround myself with mirrors so that my own hurt is all that is reflected in my world.
To bristle in offense means that I am allowing another person’s words, false or true, to dictate how I will wear my feathers – ruffled or smooth.
To live perpetually crushed is to deny myself the simultaneous pain and joy of healing.
If I am truly honest with myself, I will see that my attempts to justify self-pity and angst and even anger will never work.
Because if I justify these things, then I must also justify something else that is equally undeserved and unfathomable and freely dished out without being asked for.
If I justify these things, I must justify grace.
And that is something I could never do. Not when I, too, am so dependent on the very thing I don’t wish to extend.
So does this mean I won’t fight? Of course not! But my battle will be in the spirit of truth and love – not one that seeks to pamper my sweet little ego.
Have I got this all figured? Heck no. Am I likely to react with grace next time? Um… ask me next time.
I’m only human, but hopefully I’m a being who is learning and changing and gradually overcoming the petulant demands of self.
Maybe I will sit down, take a deep breath and just eat that cake.
After all, some self-indulgences are good, right?