I had a little wallow in self-pity the other day. Do you know what I mean? Nothing seemed to go right for me, however hard I tried. I’d nurtured three gardenia plants and, although all had had the same treatment, only one was producing flowers. I read a beautifully plotted book but my subsequent attempts to plot my own seemed a dismal failure. I had a pleasant but firm reply from a literary agent turning me down. Worst of all, I felt very alone and, it seemed, that no one supported the work I did. For a while I told myself: what’s the use of trying? You’re obviously doing something wrong to warrant these negative results.
Fortunately I managed to drag myself out of the mire of feeling sorry for myself and rediscovered the joy of everyday life. So I thought I’d pass on a few tips for anyone who finds themself withdrawing into the same state.
My body, my mind, me each needs support and things can get out of balance and one element can be neglected. It’s a good idea to focus and be gentle with each. The me part is the most difficult because my mind is the one part that is so busy it fails the others. I tell it to shut up and reason that it needs to be supportive. Me needs to surface, to look at the busy mind and the aging body and it’s me that gives the best hugs. It is through the me that I pamper my body, take it for walks and feed it healthy food. Even small moments of enjoyment during the day, like savouring a well-cooked meal, are positive experiences to be grateful for.
As for the mind: let it be more observational and quieter When you practice such mindfulness, thoughts of self-pity can surface, but you let them pass rather than allow yourself to dwell on them. Mindfulness lets you live in the moment and meet all thoughts with curiosity and openness.
Today the sun is shining and the two recalcitrant gardenias are showing signs of life. I’ve learned a lot from reading that book and will see if I can apply some of the writer’s techniques o my own novel. The problem of finding an agent remains one a hard nut to crack, but I shall go back to the drawing board and see if I can come up with an irresistible pitch. Most of all, I’ll let the me part take over tonight and just sit and enjoy the beautiful evening.