How to overcome self-pity?
See, you have already thought of overcoming it. When you thought, ‘I should overcome self-pity’, you are already one step out of it because you recognized that you are pitying yourself. There are many people who do not recognize that they are pitying themselves. They simply think, ‘I am this way’. But when you know ‘I am pitying myself’, then you are out of it.
There is no how to overcome self-pity. Do you know how to wake up? You simply wake up. When someone is sleeping, and you say wake up, they just wake up. They don’t ask you, ‘How do I wake up?’ They have already woken up. In the same way, if you recognize you are pitying yourself, you have already woken up. Come on, get out of it, that’s it. There is no poor me. You did something in the past and you are reaping the fruit of that action. You should also not pity anybody.
In the ancient times, if someone told the Guru, ‘Oh, I am suffering’, they would not care about it. If you suffer, it is because you did some wrong thing. It is your karma, finish it off. It may appear that the Guru is rude and uncaring but it was to stop you from self-pitying. It was to make you take responsibility for your actions. Otherwise we try to run away from our responsibilities and we pity ourselves, and others say, ‘Oh you poor thing, God has been so unkind to you. I am so sorry for you’. This is all ignorance.
Pity is ignorance, whether it is self-pity or pitying someone else. Everyone gets what they deserve. But this is higher knowledge, so don’t go and tell everybody about this. People on the streets will not understand. They will think you are very rude.
If someone is suffering, you cannot say, ‘It is your problem that you are suffering. You must have done something wrong’. It is true but better not say it. In your mind, you just understand it.
People go to the hospital because they violated laws of nature. You eat too much, you suffer a stomach ache, you get diabetes. You drink too much, you get liver problems. While someone is lying in hospital you don’t say, ‘You did this and now you are suffering’. No, you say, ‘Okay we will do whatever we can’, but never pity them.
In this universe, there is a cause and effect. For every effect there is a cause. There is a reason. If you get what you want, there is a reason. If you don’t get what you want, there is a reason. Nature is intelligent. Divine is intelligent. Self-pity is bad on the spiritual path. Do not pity yourself and do not pity anybody else also.
The difference between pity and compassion is that, when love flows into action, it is compassion. You can’t say, ‘I love you so much but I won’t do anything for you’. That is neither love nor compassion. Compassion is love plus action.
Pity is an attitude that shows regret and defies the laws of cause and effect, and the law of karma. Pity is ignorance. There is no point in blaming karma which is what you do in pity, and you show remorse.
Note – Its an excerpt of Sri Sri Ravishankar Guruji’s Art of Living discourses.