There is nothing like someone else’s tragedy to bring some perspective to our woes.
Ever notice how you can be thinking you are having the worst day on the planet and the you find out someone just discovered they had cancer and suddenly PERSPECTIVE gives you a whole new outlook on your own measly problems?
When we make a habit of empathizing and feeling and doing acts of compassion, we can better keep a wider, world-view perspective. A broader prospective will always drive away self-pity.
I love the Compassion organization and we have some sponsored children. Yes we have their pictures on our fridge. But we also write to them regularly and pray for them everyday. My Compassion child Abraham lost his father a couple of years ago. So as a family we pray for Abraham who has no father. And when we receive their prayer requests we pray for them. But you know what is even cooler than that?! They pray for us! They always tell us that their whole family prays for us! Now that is a blessing.
When a child in Haiti who lived in a tent that he was allergic to for 2 years after the earthquake is praying for you to be blessed, you are blessed. When you young lady in Peru write that she is thankful for the rainy season to be over because their are many leaks in their roof and she is praying that God will bless me (in my 2 story suburban home), you are humbled, and you tend not to lose perspective about your blessings.
So whenever the ‘woe is me’ song goes through your head, do something for someone else. Even a shirt email, note or phone call is all it takes.
Psalm 111:4 He has made His wonderful works to be remembered; the Lord is gracious, merciful, and full of loving compassion.
Compassion as the antidote to self-pity is part of my strategy for Maintaining Good Mental Health