Do me a favor. I want you to go up to that person in your life who you pity or who you are worried about and look them in the eyes and tell them the truth of your thoughts:
“I often feel so worried about you. I feel sorry for you because you’re so out of shape.”
Then, stand back and watch the result.
Don’t be surprised if you get some rage, anger, or hurt responses.
Don’t be surprised if someone punches you in the face.
I’d secretly be a little happy if someone punched you (without lasting harm, of course) because their punch would tell you something very important that you may have forgotten:
People are powerful. And they don’t want your pity.
Don’t know what to do when someone you love is struggling?
Start doing this: Start believing in their incredible power to change.
I’m so sorry you are overweight and out of shape? OR:
I believe that if you want to get healthy, you will. I believe that you are capable of making decisions for yourself. I believe you can not only get healthy but become incredibly strong. I believe your journey will teach you courage, empathy, and perseverance. I believe that when you get healthier, you are going to inspire everyone around you. You are strong. You are capable. You can be a powerful role model and force for change. You will make yourself proud.
I’m so sorry you are sad and depressed? OR:
I believe that all emotions are valid. I believe what you are experiencing carries deep and sacred knowledge for you. I know you will learn from this. I know you will take your time and that’s ok. I know you will come through this with a strong heart and incredible empathy for others. I know you will become a powerful voice in your family, work, and community. You will inspire everyone around you. You will be a bright, unstoppable voice for change. You will make yourself proud.
I’m so sorry you experienced this tragedy? OR:
I know you are experiencing something that is beyond your control. I have no idea what that is like for you. I want you to know that I love you so much. I believe you will take as much time as you need to take to give yourself care. I know you will find a foothold and eventually feel better. I trust your decisions. I am here to help if you need me. I believe in your ability to come back from this. To use your experience to learn and grow. To use your experience to deepen your love and connect you to all of humanity that grieves and mourns. I believe you will come through this as a powerful voice for change. You will make yourself proud.
Hey, boo: People don’t need your pity. They need your encouragement. They need your support. They need your love. They need you to believe in the best version of them – even when they don’t believe in themselves.
You know what’s coming. You know what I’m going to ask you next:
Are you feeling sorry for yourself?
Should I punch you in the face?
LOL, oh my goodness I could not. And I am totally kidding. I actually think it’s great that you feel sorry for yourself.
Yay! Self-pity! Time to get curious.
Why are you pitying yourself? Let’s get really interested in that. It is ok. Turn towards yourself, look yourself in the eyes with love and listen. Listen to what you need. Listen to what you want. Listen to what is important to you. What would make you proud? What would the highest version of yourself say?
Future you is saying this: You are a powerful person.
Wait a second… Are you a powerful person? Oh, you don’t think so? Well, I’m not worried. I don’t feel sorry for you.
Beautiful, gorgeous, courageous, sometimes worried reader: I believe in your incredible power to change. Now, go make yourself proud. Loving you out there. XO