Self Pity

"I never saw a wild thing

sorry for itself.

A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough

without ever having felt sorry for itself."

D.H. Lawrence


This poem has impacted my life and way of living markedly since I first stumbled upon it years ago. The imagery of a creature pure in nature living and dying with no pity. 

I do not know that you or I can honestly relate to this small bird and that is why it summons a deep intrigue within our guts. 

We can not relate because we have all pitied ourselves at some point (maybe even today). 

Imagine never knowing what it is like to feel sorry for yourself. Never second guessing your motives or feeling embarrassed by your expression. Never wishing for something you don’t already have. No more withdrawing from the opportunity to follow your calling. 

I observe the dimensions of nature constantly surrounding me. Birds effortless in their song, trees ever-reaching towards the source of their growth, and the deer grazing in community all without apology. 

These elements of nature may lack the consciousness to have the ability to feel pity but they are so singularly focused on the purposeful function of survival that they might not exercise the facility even if they had it. 

Nothing but an act of God distracts nature from it’s burgeoning progression. Even man’s development and commercialization of natural habitats has an impending sense of a losing battle. Nature will outlast us and our efforts. 

With inspiration from this poem I have set my mind to learn from nature and not submit to the luring temptation to pity my existence or circumstances. Mankind can so easily succumb to victimization and distraction. Being able to distinguish right from wrong can present quite a quandary when subjected to beings that have the luxury of selfishness. We can be so aware of the wrong in the world and how that personally has affected us that we become defunct in the overwhelm of realization. We become victims of our environments instead of purposeful contributors to them. 

I am unpacking these terms of the human agreement to hopefully locate the root of why we choose self pity when we possess more faculty than the beings that seem to not have time for such a choice. 

The human discernment of our stance in existence and what is right and wrong is the blessed responsibility of our consciousness. We must accept this responsibility and not let it become a weighted burden that drags us into a state of self pity. Our will is a powerful bastion that can become an internal weapon if not exercised. When we yield to apathy we grow a crop of pity. Self pity takes root in our refusal to acknowledge the neglect of our responsibilities here on earth as existential beings. We must acknowledge and uphold what is right and fight for these principles so that when circumstances brood to devalue our capabilities we are present enough to veto pities advance. 

I desire to be more like the bird in Lawrence’s poem. I long to resound within creation as harmonically as a crepe myrtle in bloom. With such an accepted understanding of my purpose that when presented with the choice to pity myself it is not even a consideration. No distraction can take root when we have accepted the responsibility of our purpose and are living in the mission of this call. When we are exercising our will and operating in purpose self pity is much more easily spotlighted as a fraudulent misconception.   

God created nature, and man within it, so that we might symbiotically glean wisdom from it’s purity. Nature is an example of harmonious cohabitation that thrives because not one of it’s constituents is feeling sorry about the occasion. 

How much more free and purposeful might our lives and endeavors be if we forewent self pity? God would not have placed us here if it were going to be one big reason to be sorry. 

I am determined to exercise my will and to decide to focus upon my purpose when self pity darkens it’s siren call.

Rhett NolandComment