Have you ever thrown a pity party?
Like a REAL one.
An ugly-cry, blame the world, curse your parents, rage, scream, resent, and regret till your heart’s delight one??
I highly recommend them.
I worry that people who don’t know how to throw a good old-fashioned pity party will remain identified with their pity because it will masquerade itself as “just how things are.”
And that’s a terrible place to live because that’s where shadow artists come from. Shadow artists are caught between “the dream of action and the fear of failure.” It basically guarantees you will stay stuck, and bitter, in perpetuity.
The only way to prevent that outcome is to get back into action. But you can’t get back into action until you’ve acknowledged your self-pity. Because ignoring it or pretending it’s not there makes it worse.
You can’t “get over” something you haven’t processed yet. It’s not how it works. To properly move on you have to acknowledge, feel, and process.
What that looks like is different for each of us.
And it helps if you don’t do it alone.
I have pity-party friends who I call when I am feeling very sorry for myself. I list all the reasons why I will never succeed and then I list ALL the people who are the exact same age as me who have Oscars and Grammys and IPOs, and how I’m washed up and should just go get a real job like a normal person.
Pity-party friends listen patiently while I drone on and on and on until I’ve got it all out of my system. By the end, I’m ready to start hitting the pavement again.
Which is why I’m such a fan.
But – this is important! Pity parties do not work if you overstay your welcome at the party. Some people don’t know when to call it and get stuck in their pity party for 40 more years.
You have to leave when it’s over. Even if you don’t want to. Even if you like it there. Even if you’re right.
(it’s the only way to graduate to the next stage, which I call: “So. What do we do now?”)
If you’re mid-pity party and beating yourself with the ole’, “I’m too old, I’ve missed my chance, why bother,” stick, I’d like to introduce you to Colette.
I’ll speak for myself, but when I pick up that stick it’s usually because I’ve fallen for the lie that the peak of my life is behind me. That “success” is for young, I’ve made too many mistakes, I’m washed up, it’s time to sober up to reality, and to stop trying to make fetch happen.
This is hogwash.
But sometimes I forget.
So, I have a pity party. And I remember Colette.
The woman is 106 and still playing piano.
Her first album came out at 84.
IT’S BEEN 20 YEARS SINCE HER FIRST ALBUM!!
We have so much time.
But, if you’re like me, you can’t really absorb that message until you’ve had a proper pity party.
So, save your soul and have a good ole-fashioned pity party. With some friends who know how to listen. And don’t forget to leave when it’s over.
PS: Colette says the only 3 non-negotiables in life are cheese, chocolate, and wine.
You can have the rat race. I’m going to hang out with Colette.
PPS: If you’re wondering who would make a good pity-party friend, I recommend you find a rabbit.