There is a proverb (said to be Indian or Jewish) which states ‘I was sad because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet.’ The point of course is no matter how bad you think things are, things could be worse. There are ways to break from feeling sorry for ourselves.
Our smaller complaints need to be evaluated for anything underlying that may be the real cause of our frustrations. Often when something is nagging at us, the small irritants of life can build until we reach the point of overreacting inappropriately. After an outburst ask yourself: what is really going on. Ask yourself if you are actually upset with the present mishap or is there a bigger worry you are having trouble facing.
Without a doubt some situations are more serious than others. Debilitating personal health and personal tragedies usually require more work and are harder to deal with than everyday challenges. No matter what you are facing, someone somewhere has faced or is facing the same or worse.
Ask your local librarian to help you research stories of survival and coping by others. You could very likely gain a totally different perspective on what you are facing when you read books such as The Hiding Place…the story of two sisters, Corrie and Betsie ten Boom, who coped with life in a Nazi concentration camp.
The Internet is another excellent source for reading and researching personal stories of survival. Take advantage of the opportunity to talk to those going through similar problems by reading and participating in self help groups on the Internet. Others can inspire and comfort you and you can in turn inspire and comfort others. Knowing you are not facing your troubles alone can help and you might be more inclined to speak more freely with those who can personally identify with what you are going through.
Always look for and try to find humor in your life. One thought that may help is to tell yourself ‘Don’t complain that you are not getting what you want, Just be glad you are not getting what you deserve!’ (Source unknown) By not taking yourself so seriously you take a giant step toward feeling good about yourself and not wallowing in self pity.
As you read the stories of others, you will find a commonality among the majority of those who struggled and overcame. Universally people have turned to or reaffirmed their faith in God. Their faith gave them strength and often clarified for them their purpose and meaning of life.
Bottom line is still this: Never take the good in your life for granted. Remember there is always someone who has it worse. When you become aware of another who has a harsher challenge remind yourself “But for the grace of God, there go I.” Say a prayer for them, and be grateful and humble for your blessings instead of wallowing in self pity. Personal stories of overcoming abound and can help you. Perhaps someday you will write and share and give comfort to others through your own story.