When Pity Parties Strike (& The One Ingredient You Need Most)

I’m not the creator of the pity party.

But I’ve thrown lots of them.

Here’s the truth: some days, life is really, really hard. There’s no getting around that. When the worst kind of days roll around, sometimes the best you can do is lay in bed & cry. Or eat a brownie. Or do both at the same time.

It’s okay to mourn the loss of things that used to be. Or things that will never be. It’s ok to lounge around after a day of frustrating meetings & pointless errands & hurtful encounters. I fully endorse chick flicks & chocolate bars (dark chocolate, always, please & thank you) after a hard break up. When life knocks you down, it’s okay to stay for a minute.

But it’s not okay to stay forever. Whenever I feel a pity party coming on, I pull out the tissues, the candy, the romantic comedy, or the sweatpants, sure. But the most important thing on my checklist? An expiration date.

All parties have to end sometime. With pity parties, I’ve come to find out that sooner, rather than later, is the best time. Just last week, I came home exhausted from a “roller coaster” day, emotionally speaking. I’d held in my tears for a good long while, but they started to fall as soon as I stepped through my own front door. I looked in the mirror and said to myself, “You 100% deserve to be sad right now. So get in bed, eat a popsicle, & cry. But when you wake up in the morning, the party is over.”

Even in my least favorite moments, there is so much joy to squeeze out of life. If a breakup or a conflict or an exhausting meeting is the worst thing that happens to me on a given day, good. I’m still redeemed & restored, loved & living. Staying down in the dumps is a bummer for everyone around me — & I’d rather be fun than fragile, most of the time. But even more than that, choosing to lie down in my negativity makes the the victim of my own problem. Like I said, life’s really hard. I can’t choose that. But I can choose how I respond to it, when it’s the best & when it’s the worst.

I bet I’ll host some more pity parties for me, myself & I over the years — but I’ll slap an expiration date on them before they even get started. It’s the only way to get back up, to shake that victim mentality that holds my heart back from joy & from freedom. Next time a pity party comes knocking on your door, I dare you to do the same. Grab that chocolate & extend an invitation to your hurting heart, one with an end date firmly stamped on it. And then rest easy, because calories don’t count at parties, anyway. 😉

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