Sometimes I like to feel sorry for myself, and my wife just does not join in for that behavior. My independent Russian wife does not understand the idea of inviting others to a personal pity party. Well, this makes me mad, and I dig my heels further into feeling separate, alone, and like “nobody cares about me.” These things are interesting to me. Why am I mad at her, because she will not feel sorry for me? And is it wrong for me to be feeling sorry for myself at all?
Being mad is a feeling, it is not who we are, it is a feeling that comes over us and that we identify with for a bit of time. For me it is similar to an electric shock, it is a “feeling energy” that enlivens a particular part of us. Feeling energies can never be suppressed and will wreak havoc on our health if not allowed to move. The key is to recognize them and allow them to move in appropriate ways. As to feeling sorry for myself, it is a form of grieving, and grieving is real. It is important to grieve.
We do not have to be overly dramatic about the movement; the feelings move quite quickly when we allow ourselves to be aware of them. So, I can allow myself to feel angry and let that feeling move by screaming in my pillow, or screaming while I am alone in my car, or by staying aware of the anger inside while I am exercising, or even just by shaking my hands a bit. These are all effective ways of letting feelings move. But I do not have to put these feelings of anger on my wife, even though I want to. Aha! There is the real question, why do I want to?
Because I want my wife to see how hard my life is, how difficult things are for me, I want her to join me in grieving for my life, for the parts of my life that are missing or not as I would like them to be. But if instead, I release the anger first, I can let go of bringing my wife into the process and permit myself to grieve alone.
Knowing that grieving is necessary and allowing myself to grieve is a form of love for myself. Suddenly it is not just “feeling sorry for myself,” it becomes a cleansing of sorts. Grieving that I have a right to do, that has a purpose. Wholeheartedly grieving allows me to feel supported on my own, so there is no need to be angry with my wife because I am not asking her for something that I am not getting.
But I still have many other things I want from her and don’t get. Good thing I drive alone often.