When Self Pity Joined Us for Dinner

Graphics and quotes tickle me on the inside when they instruct us to let go of all bad feelings we harbor and carry on like they're not there.   I like the Polish proverb that says: "Not my circus, not my monkeys!"

I never find it easy to shrug off those negative feelings whether it is my own drama or another's regardless of those cute memes and their powerful messages.  Honestly, I struggle.

When I felt like a target.

I looked forward to a friend's  invitation for my husband and I to join her for dinner in a fancy part of town.  I dressed for the dinner date carefully choosing the best outfit in my closet with just the right shoes.  Tom and I can't afford to dine in this kind of exquisite fashion and I imagined a wonderful experience.

Except, it wasn't!

Oh, the ambiance and wait staff impressed us.  I resisted the temptation to photograph my fancy dinner plate less they think I'm a classy chick who never gets a chance to go out like this.

Our friend seemed on edge from the beginning.  I felt uncomfortable like walking on eggshells.  We asked enough questions to analyze her negative mood and to help her climb out of the pit.  Her emotions were not clear to her either.

Honesty leads to victory.

Stuffing feelings down leads to anger and it doesn't stay stuffed.  It pops up in surprising ways.  In my friend's case, she opened a door to self pity that day and those distasteful spirits came to our dinner and tried to ruin it.

Tom and I decided not to take it personally.  However, our hearts weighed heavy on the drive home.   He broke the silence with a question.  Hey, do you want to go to the gym with me early tomorrow morning and then go out for breakfast?"

Sometimes, he says just the right thing.  I gave the man a high five.  We invited our friend to join us the next morning and after we all worked out together, we took her to our favorite greasy spoon diner that caters to the locals. The owner comes around to every patron with a pot of coffee in each hand and makes delightful conversation.  You can get an egg burrito special there for $4.99!  We always bump into neighbors, friends or people from church. It reminds me of a big dining room where invisible parents wait for you to come in so they can hug you and feed you.

"Better a small serving of vegetables with love
than a fattened calf with hatred."  Proverbs 15:17

So this is what I know:  negativity repels people but acceptance and genuine love attracts them.

I like the graphic that reminds me that it is my responsibility to chase after my own happiness.  When you personally know the Giver of happy, it's a cake walk.   


  1. Wonderful post! And I also love the "not my circus, not my monkeys!" :)

  2. First of all, i didnt recognize your new bloggg! It's so awesome to look at!

    I always tend to give back the negative emotions gve to me by people, i always have the tendency to fight back sometimes... when you realzed that you are a Christian, you will retrieve your hateful feelings and think again. Love, yes you are right, sometimes people just needs love. I remember a missionary quotation from one of my book readings, says "evil doesn't know how to respond to love". so love.

  3. I never knew that was a Polish saying!
    Love how you weave a your experiences into something I can practically see and touch.

    ... and now, I'm needing an egg burrito and invisible parents' hugs! (LOL)

  4. I never knew that was a Polish saying, but I've always liked it. Recently I saw a quote that said "But sometimes it is your monkey. Then what?" :)

  5. We're constantly told to get rid of the negativity around us. It sounds logical, and yet... people oftem misinterpret this message and find themselves living in a bubble, estranged from friends and even relatives.
    Your story has a happy ending as it includes also your friend, the source of negativity at the posh restaurant. You haven't 'got rid' of her, just changed the setting to something which made you and hubby happy, and that mood radiated to her too. Brilliant! Problem solved.

  6. I didn't realize that was a Polish saying (and I'm 100% Polish) but lately dealing with a situation within our family hubby has been saying "not my circus, not my monkeys". I'll have to ask him where he picked it up; I'm sure something he read, studies, etc. I think you made the best of the situation you were dealt with. You didn't let it affect you majorly and you showed grace to her by including her in your activities a day later.


  7. This is SO true! I think I would much prefer going to the greasy diner any day, anyhow. :) Sending much love to you, sweet friend.

  8. Thank you for this positive post. I love to read it :-)

  9. When we can turn a negative experience into a positive one, I'd say that's worth sharing.

  10. Self pity doesn't do much good at all, and it usually is a waste of time. I'm glad you and your husband made the best of it though! So sad that your friend couldn't enjoy the evening because of her struggles. But the wonderful breakfast the next day sounds like the perfect remedy to the difficult situation! And what a lovely restaurant to visit too :)

  11. Wonderful inspiring post Mary. I loved it. I was just telling a friend while at the hair salon, getting these roots covered, that some days when my feet hit the floor I purposely say, "TODAY GOD, I CHOOSE JOY". Let's face it, there is days that JOY seems to be found no where and especially when negativity surrounds you. I have a tendency to let the negativity of others bring me down at times but I am learning that maybe, the Lord is placing me in that position to be a positive for them. An encouraging voice, a lifter of their head. I love your post Mary. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  12. I love your positive^ness, and it comes forth from your blog title too, I just picture you with `piles of smiles` that you pull out of your pockets when you meet any situation!! Great quotes and so fitting that there is even a Proverbs about small servings with love, which goes so perfect with your post... Thanks you inspired me to open my book the Proverbs! Have a great day/ night! Blessings and Shalom!!

  13. Great post, Mary. It reminds me how powerful our gift of free will is. Love those quotes too. They reminded me of this one; "Hurting people hurt people".

    I'm up for a workout and a breakfast burrito!

  14. Here's another witness to those nasty spirits who don't stop robbing people of "joy". Glad that you were able to recover right away and even shared it with your friend. What a timely post to always remember the "positive" instead of the negative, knowing that all good things come from the Good Giver. So, I might as well drop a "Happy Father's Day" greeting to bro. Tom who was quick to slam that door to those "appetite and mood killers!". God bless you both and keep you strong!!! Hugs and prayers sister Mary.

  15. "Negativity repels people but acceptance and genuine love attracts them." Do you want to have more friends? Reach out in love even when you may be going through hard things in life yourself. Good reminder :) Visiting from Seeking God with Jamie.


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