I felt the pity party closing in. I didn’t remember sending or accepting an invitation, but it felt as if I’d entered a room, closed the door, then the walls started closing in. I was aware of a couple things that could have contributed to it, none of it seem very significant. I felt myself struggling against the darkness, because I knew it would be a waste of my time. And it would zap my energy.
Sometimes we like our pity parties. Well, it’s not as if we have a great time at them, but we feel the need to temporarily step aside and be by ourselves just to feel the grief and disappointment of something. We invite a few close friends sometimes. But involving others in our pity parties does something to the dynamics, so we keep the crowd small. I walked outside, and the clouds seemed to hover close to the ground. No rain was falling, but the air was damp and heavy. It seemed like perfect weather for a pity party, only it had the opposite effect.
The pending rain put a damper on the party, as if it threatened to rain it out—wash it away. And that was a good thing.
I’d like to say it was that simple. There was a short shower, the sun came out, and everything felt better. I’d like to say the pity party officially disbanded. But that wasn’t the case. It crouched in the periphery ready to pounce if given the chance. Why share my pity party? It might seem odd, but I hope to encourage you.
I’m a mostly positive person. I’m a hopeful person. I’m a faith-filled person.
And I struggle sometimes.
I want you to know you’re not alone. Each of us struggles with different challenges and situations across many seasons of our lives. Our lives might not overlap in some of the specifics, but I have lived long enough to know that we can identify with each other on many basic emotions. We might not like to hear comments like, “Your response and feelings are normal” when we feel overwhelmed and down, because we don’t want to feel lumped together with people or don’t want to feel as if the misery we experience is commonplace and could become the norm for us. But we can benefit from knowing others can relate in some way.
I might not be available or willing to come to your pity party, because it’s hard to sit in someone’s chair, but I—and others—will sit beside you for a bit. God wants us to do life together, including the pitiful parts. I often think of the Scripture verse, “Be still and know that I am God” and want to express a slight variation:
Reach out and know there is a God.