The best reason of all to stop feeling sorry for ourselves, is because God tells us:
Do not feel sorry; do not brood over the loss; do not sit down depressed; do not be silent; but, on the contrary, day and night be engaged in the commemoration of thy Lord in the greatest joy and gladness. (Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of Abdu’l-Bahá v1, p. 132)
Be thou happy; rest thou assured upon the favors of Bahá’, so that uncertainty and hesitation may become non-existent and the invisible outpourings descend upon the arena of being! (Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of Abdu’l-Bahá v3, p. 557)
The world needs us to focus our attention on action because:
. . . the time too short, the hour too perilous, the workers too few, the call too insistent, the resources too inadequate, for us to allow these precious and fleeting hours to slip from our grasp, and to suffer the prizes within our reach to be endangered or forfeited. (Shoghi Effendi, Messages to America, p. 101)
God wants us to get on with the tasks at hand and not to give in to it:
It is incumbent upon the friends to confront these difficulties with constancy and firmness, thankfulness and patience, unity and solidarity; to endure with fortitude these consecutive disasters; to traverse successfully these last remaining stages in their destined course; and to become neither restive nor disheartened on account of the hardships and exertions, the injustice and oppression that they are constrained to undergo. Let them at all times keep in mind the following clear and solemn warning recorded by the pen of the Centre of the Covenant and, with a tranquil heart, a radiant spirit, a steadfast purpose and a high resolve, watchfully anticipate the unfoldment and fulfilment of the Master’s utterance: “Beware the weeping of the wronged and orphaned children and the sighing of the victims of oppression, lest their tears should turn to floods and their breaths should turn to fire. (Universal House of Justice, The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 182)
God can’t bring His future to your present while you’re living in the past.
He urges you to grasp firmly the teachings of our Faith, the love of your family and many Bahá’í friends, to put the past behind entirely, realizing that it can do you no more harm; on the contrary, through changing you and making you spiritually aware, this very past can be a means of enriching your life in the future! (Shoghi Effendi, Unfolding Destiny, pp. 449-450)
Life is too short to spend any of it in self pity. There are certain tasks required of us:
Now is the time to roar like unto a sea and seek to ascend heavenward! If we desire to reach the apex of the Supreme Kingdom, we must unfurl our wings; if we wish to dive into the depths of the ocean, we must teach our limbs swimming. The time is short and the Divine Courser moves swiftly on; let us keep up and compete with each other and let us light a brilliant candle! (Abdu’l-Bahá, Baha’i World Faith, p. 354)
We’ll have plenty of time to wallow in the next world. We’ll even be able to complain to everyone who will listen:
Blessed is the soul which, at the hour of its separation from the body, is sanctified from the vain imaginings of the peoples of the world . . . The Maids of Heaven, inmates of the loftiest mansions, will circle around it, and the Prophets of God and His chosen ones will seek its companionship. With them that soul will freely converse, and will recount unto them that which it hath been made to endure in the path of God, the Lord of all worlds. (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 155)
You will never be victorious if you have self pity as part of your life. For example, when I was dealing with memories of my childhood abuse, I tried to arise to teach and serve the Faith as a way to defeat self pity, but my motivations were wrong. I was using service in trying to outrun the despair, so I always fell back into self pity. It wasn’t until I recognized it as a lack of faith, and a veil between me and God that I was able to take responsibility for it, repent, and arise to serve, motivated by love of God. And since I’ve done that, I am happier than I have ever been in my life, and I am grateful!
Can you think of other reasons why we should stop feeling sorry for ourselves? Post your comments here:
Other articles in this series: