PARADOXICAL

The faith chronicles

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

 

Self-pity


Every time I find myself pitying my self, I remember the advice of T.V. Above lifting up your concerns to God, he said, the thing to do is ask the Lord to “just make me pleasing before Your eyes and everything will be alright no matter what the outcome of my problems would be.” You’d be surprised at how God will work on the plot and subplots of your sob story. T.V. was implying that what we need to do first is to let God be God. No ifs, no buts, no whys, no wherefores, just allow Him to be. He is sovereign. He knows what’s He’s doing. We are created for the sole purpose of adoring Him as God. Not that He’s insecure; He doesn’t need our praises for He is self-sufficient. Praising Him redounds to us, really; everything is really for our sake.

I’m a perfect specimen when it comes to self-pitying, I suspect the habit has turned into a gene. It’s hard when you grow up with your folks having tremendous expectations on you, and doubly hard when these expectations are not met, and triply hard when your contemporaries who looked up to you are now left wondering, “Whatever happened to you?!” Of course they don’t state it like it is, but any fool can read the subtext, if not their minds. It’s only natural and expected. We started on equal footing. No, I even had the advantage of higher scholastic rating. Now my peers are either successful doctors or happily married or both, in a good job or a business that earns well, while I am hunkered down over my workstation in a Third World city, slaving for a foreign employer for as long as I can remember - and still at it.

Who can blame me for feeling so defeated in life? Things I never expected came my way. I feel that at a very young age and without the motivation of both the joys of romance and sex, I have produced a huge family I couldn’t handle and for which I am not responsible. I couldn’t blame my parents, though, much as I wanted to. The hard times fell on the family and it was painful hell for all.

It was clearly an invitation to become a saint or martyr and I’m not willing to take it. Eventually, though, no matter how tremendous and undeserved I perceived my trials to be, I took it upon myself to carry my crosses. My thinking is, If not me, then who else will help my own family? It doesn’t help that there’s an unwritten rule that I carry the burden, being the eldest and eldest male in the family but, bitter as it may seem, I think I’ve learned to accept everything as God’s will, though I’m not sure if it is, indeed; I mean, what kind of God would want me to be miserable?

Now that I could see how my batchmates are doing well, and I’m not - based on the common yardstick of success I torture myself with - the pain is doubly, triply hard. It’s already impossible for me to feel contented and secure as it is, do I have to face the fact that others are doing so well? I am not just humbled to bits by all this, I actually feel punished by God. Then the unending questions of ‘why’ ensue. Why me? Why this? Why can’t I be like them? Why did it have to be like this? Am I entirely to blame?

Maybe I’m just being envious and proud. This defeatist routine, though, gets tiring through time like a rehashed script, and I ‘d realize that like worrying, pitying oneself wouldn’t solve any problem; it further aggravates the problem because it’s no longer just a matter of me being beleaguered by ugly circumstances; it’s a matter of me destroying myself. I’ve been to depression at least twice - perhaps because I allowed myself to - and now that I know better, I resolve to do everything at my disposal just so that I could contain it even before it becomes a monster that would gnaw at my soul, before attracting the devil and I become his possession. Perhaps owing to the fact that I was already in the Renewal, I’d realize that acceptance is the better path, and with acceptance comes an unemotional analysis of what can be done to alleviate my ordeal. Still, despite all of these efforts, I could end up frustrated yet again and begin to whirl and spiral yet again into the vicious circle any time.

Were it not for the proper attitude T.V. taught, I might have succumbed to deeper pits. He said that before anything else, before contemplating what needs to be done, or before lifting up anything to God, it is but proper to tell God that you desire to be beautiful in His eyes first, never mind what the world thinks of you. Like Mother Teresa said, “In the end, it’s between you and God, not between you and them.”

Just be there at prayer time and allow yourself to be a joy to your Creator. Why do we think God thinks along our terms and thinking, anyway? Who says God cannot send us certain sufferings for whatever reason? Just be there with Him in prayer where He’s waiting and trust that He will never leave us, that He knows we are suffering, and He’s all the more close to us for it. Nothing more, nothing less is needed if we let God be God.

6.24.2001


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