Self: The Pity-Seeker

Compassion has enemies, and those enemies are things like pity, moral outrage, fear.
–Joan Halifax

The Pity-Seeker

This one is by far my most voluble Self.

He takes on the form of a child (my “inner child”?) and posits vivid scenarios in which I am subjected to harm or distress.

The resulting reaction of pity from onlookers or even the perpetrator is most pleasing to him.

He feasts on it, growing emboldened and conjuring ever more elaborate and tear-jerking evocations of pity.

He gorges on hopes unrealized and goals unmet, lending me the most abject visage possible to elicit maximum pity.

So ravenous is he that only the sight of the entire Universe pitying him/me will sate him…

…and perhaps not even that.


Rather than actively feeding him, I give him space.

I notice and observe him, neither supplying him with his latest pity fix nor chastising him for his addiction.

I recognize him as one voice/Self among many.

I treat him respectfully but dispassionately, just as with the other Selves.

In so doing, I honor him without fueling his delusions.

When given room to speak but no pity on which to feed, he soon grows weary and slumps back into his seat.

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