Victim or Self-Reliant Individual?
Everyone has a tendency to feel sorry for herself from time to time. Sometimes, we think it would be so much easier if someone would just step in and take care of us. Then, we wouldn’t have to work so hard at living. We could sit back, relax and enjoy life. No worries.
In reality, we each have a built-in desire to be independent, an innate desire to “do it ourselves”. It is evident at a very young age. As infants, we relied on our parents to meet our basic needs. We were unable to care for ourselves and it was our parents’ responsibility to do those things for us. As we grew, we naturally desired to be more independent. Have you ever heard parents describe their child as “going through the terrible twos”? This is because at the age of two, most children start to express a strong desire to do it themselves. It is a natural process in our evolution. Children strive for independence as they grow and parents begin to step back and allow their children to become more independent with each passing year.
As adults, we experience the yearning to be rescued. We want to be rescued from our health issues, our financial situation, career or relationship problems. We may even throw the equivalent of a temper tantrum in an attempt to make those around us feel responsible for our happiness. If others step in and do things for us that we could do ourselves, we may feel better in the short term, but eventually, we will begin to feel dissatisfied.
In the best cases, we realize that if we are to get healthier, make more money, have a better career or happier relationships, we have to take the initiative and do it ourselves. Those individuals don’t allow themselves to stay in a place of self-pity for very long. On the other hand, there are people who never come to the realization that when they allow others to do things for them that they are capable of doing for themselves, it actually impedes their healing and growth. Typically, the people who think they are “helping” , but are really doing too much, are doing so out of guilt or their own insecurity.
If you are experiencing a low-time in your life, reach out to family and friends for support and encouragement. Give them permission to tell you if you are wallowing in self-pity for too long. Accept help with things you are unable to do for yourself, but resist the urge to let others do too much for you. Look for people around you to whom you can offer support and encouragement. Get out of your own head. It has been my experience that uplifting others is the fastest way to lift my own spirits.