When I think Pity Party I think Eeyore.
Eeyore is the lovable donkey character in “Winnie the Pooh”. Eeyore as lovable as he is, is the most dismal and gloomy of all the characters. Everyday is a new day and a new opportunity to throw a pity party for Eeyore and those of us like him.
A pity party is an instance of indulging in self-pity. It is a time of feeling sorry for yourself and whining endlessly about how crappy life is. It can be held in private or in front of others and may include a box of tissues and comfort foods such as chocolate, ice cream, cookies, candy some even involve the use of alcohol. What is a party without music? You may find yourself playing songs like “One is the Loneliest Number” or “All by Myself”.
You may be an Eeyore pity partier if you say or think things like “Woe is me”, “Good morning, if it is a good morning, which I doubt”, “It’s all my fault”, “I’m so dumb”, “My mistake…Again”, “I’m pathetic”, “Nobody cares”, “Nobody likes me”, and/or “I’m going to be old, alone and miserable”. Their version of optimism is something like “It’s snowing! And freezing! But we haven’t had an earthquake lately so I guess it’s okay”.
If the pity party is held with others in attendance who try to help you may say or think “Thanks but no thanks”, “I know you’re trying but that wasn’t really helpful”, and “No matter what anyone does everything is just all wrong”.
Perhaps the most well known question of a pity partying Eeyore may be “Why” as in “Why me?” or “Why Should I?”
I am a recovering Eeyore. I used to throw the best pity parties and eventually I stopped inviting people to mine because even when they weren’t invited they could tell I was having one and the would crash them. Ugh. That only added to the frustration.
I saw examples of people having pity parties even in the Bible. 1 Kings 18 the prophet Elijah challenged and took on 400 prophets of Baal by himself proving there was only one true God. Elijah was so on top of his game that in verse 27 he started clowning the prophets of Baal. He egged them on saying “Yeah! C’mon! Cry out! Your god um he must be in deep conversation and can’t hear you, or maybe he’s stepped out for a moment to relieve himself. No, no maybe he’s gone on vacation. Ha ha no, I got it, maybe he’s sleeping and needs to be awakened!” In the Very next chapter 1 Kings 19 Jezebel sends a message to Elijah saying “You’re a Dead man” and Elijah who had just proven God in the previous chapter, ran away and threw himself a pity party. Verse 4 of 1 Kings 19 tells how Elijah went and sat under a tree and waited to die. In fact the King James Version said Elijah “requested for himself that he might die”. Elijah asked God to let him die because he was done with life, he believed he had enough. Elijah laid down and waited to die and an angel touched him and brought him food and told him to eat. Elijah ate but laid back done again waiting to die. What was he going to die from? Obviously Not starvation because he ate. The angel touched him again the second time and told him to eat because the journey that laid before Elijah was great. Elijah ate the second time came to his senses and went his way.
Then there’s Job. We all know the story of Job he lost everything and in the end God gave him double for his trouble. And yes, yes Job did not curse the Lord as the devil expected him to. However Job sure threw a pity party and cursed everything else. In Job 3 Job curses the day he was born (v. 3) he questioned why he didn’t die from his mother’s womb (v.11) Job longed for death (v.20-22). And Job spends most of the book asking the question “Why me?”. It’s not until God shows up in a whirlwind in Chapter 38 that Job comes to his senses.
And the psalmists those men of God who contributed to the book of Psalms they definitely had their moments as evidenced by psalms such as Psalm 88 (v.3) “My life is full of troubles [so much so that] my life draws near to the grave.”
Pity parties are pitiful! While Eeyore maybe a lovable fictional character – in reality no one likes a downer. Pity parties are a waste of time, energy and imagination (yes most of it is all in your mind)! You become self-absorbed and self-centered and you can’t see the important issues outside yourself. As a result everything you do is affected and relationships can become damaged.
So what are some practical ways to Stop being such an Eeyore?
1. Change your attitude about pity parties
– Get fed up with feeling sorry for yourself. Pity parties are not helpful or healthy. Even if the food, alcohol and/or music makes you feel slightly better in the moment, afterwards the reality is that the problem has not gone away. No one likes a downer. No one likes having to repeat the same thing over and over again so that you understand.
2. Identify those things that cause you to throw pity parties
– Pity parties are often the result of things such as disappointments, frustrations, guilt, unforgiveness, and hurt feelings to name a few. Identify what exactly causes you to go to that place of gloom.
3. Take control of your emotions
– Your faith in God and in the expected end that He has promised you should sit in judgement of your feelings and not the other way around.
4. Refuse to dwell on negative things/reports
– Philippians 4:8 tells us to think about things that are true, honorable, right, pure, beautiful and respected. The truth is that God loves you. The truth is that this is not the end of the world or the end of your life. The sun is still shining there’s still hope for tomorrow.
5. If you have something against someone else, either go to them and get it out in the open or put it behind you
– Sometimes hurt feelings or anger or frustration are the result of our contact with other people and can be the direct cause of your pity parties. If we take some time to think about it we may realize that the issue is not as big as we are making it out to be and the only thing to do is put it behind us because love keeps no record of wrongs (1 Cor 13). However, there are times when it is necessary to go to the person and even then we might find that it was a miscommunication. The worst thing you could do is keep brooding about it. Either do something about it or get over it!
6. Be like David. Encourage yourself in the Lord.
– 1 Samuel 30:6 David was greatly distressed but instead of throwing a pity party he encouraged himself in the Lord. He didn’t wait for others to come and encourage him, he encouraged himself. Keep saying what you heard until you see what you say. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17). Speak those things that be not as though they already exist (Romans 4:17 ). Speak life. Remind yourself of your identity in Christ and keeping saying it until you believe it.
7. Be Constructive. Help those in need around you.
– Pity parties come to be a distraction. With the time that is wasted by having a pity party you could have been ministering to someone who is really in need. It’s not about you. The sun does not rise and set on you- your life is not all there is to the world. How can we be the hands and feet of Jesus in the world if we’re too busy having a pity party? People around us are dying – they are spiritually dying because they have no hope and they don’t know Christ. Take the time to take your eyes off yourself and your situation and look for those in need around you and help them.
I am a work in progress. What I need you to do for me is if you see me in a little pity party funk look do whatever you think is best whether shooting me a disgusted look or simply looking at me real sternly, shake me if you have to and say/Shout/whisper/SCREAM
“STOP BEING SUCH AN EEYORE!”