Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ways to Make Yourself Miserable

Today's Elisabeth Elliot Devotional offers a few suggestions for making yourself miserable. I thought it was very helpful!

  1. Count your troubles, name them one by one--at the breakfast table, if anybody will listen, or as soon as possible thereafter.
  2. Worry every day about something. Don't let yourself get out of practice. It won't add a cubit to your stature but it might burn a few calories.
  3. Pity yourself. If you do enough of this, nobody else will have to do it for you.
  4. Devise clever but decent ways to serve God and mammon. After all, a man's gotta live.
  5. Make it your business to find out what the Joneses are buying this year and where they're going. Try to do them at least one better even if you have to take out another loan to do it.
  6. Stay away from absolutes. It's what's right for you that matters. Be your own person and don't allow yourself to get hung up on what others expect of you.
  7. Make sure you get your rights. Never mind other people's. You have your life to live, they have theirs.
  8. Don't fall into any compassion traps--the sort of situation where people can walk all over you. If you get too involved in other people's troubles, you may neglect your own.
  9. Don't let Bible reading and prayer get in the way of what's really relevant--things like TV and newspapers. Invisible things are eternal. You want to stick with the visible ones--they're where it's at now.
Aren't these great suggestions? I know I've tried a few over the years and found them to be quite effective at making me miserable. After reading this list, I came up with a few more:

10. Spend lots of time focusing on your appearance. Obsess over your hair, skin and clothing and assume others are looking at you as well. For an added benefit, do the same with your home.

11. After your time of confession during prayer (in case you missed #9) be sure you pick your sin back up and carry it with you the rest of the day.

12. Be sure to realize how much you have to do and how little time you have to do it. Don't delegate anything or say no, and always remember-- it's ALL up to you! No one can do it as well as you can!

13. Spend as much time as possible shopping. This will help lower your contentment factor considerably. Take your kids with you so they can learn this as well. (It's best to start young.)

14. Read all of the circulating emails and articles about possible illnesses, accidents and crimes. After all, it could happen to you. Don't forget to pass them along to every woman you know so she can worry, too. You're just doing your part.

15. Always be mindful of how you feel physically. Keep track of all of those little aches and pains. It could be something serious, you know. If necessary, research all of your symptoms online so you can worry effectively about the "worst case scenario" until you are properly diagnosed.

16. Think of someone you disagree with and rehearse past and future arguments in your head. Get just the right "comebacks" ready. After all, you want to be prepared!

17. Compare yourself with others. (Blogs are especially helpful for this. Women can now compare themselves with others on a global scale.) Be sure to contrast their shared "best" with your known worst. Tell yourself, "I don't cook/eat as healthily as she does," "I haven't run as many miles as she has," "I haven't scrapbooked as many pages as she has," "I haven't read as many books as she has," "I don't homeschool as well as she does," etc. This kind of negative self-talk always helps promote (and prolong) varying degrees of misery.

These are just a few ways to stay miserable, though this is in no way an exhaustive list. I'd love to hear your suggestions! :)


Linda said...

Brilliantly done Cyndi! It's amazing isn't it. When you see those things in "black and white" you can easily see the foolishness of them - and yet it is all too easy to get caught up in them.
Thanks for this great post.
Praying all is well.

Lisa said...

The word "foolish" comes to my mind as well.

Its eye-opening to look at that the opposite way. Thanks for sharing...its a good check-list for things to work on!

I think I'll start with comparing myself...to end both pride and discontent!

Cyndi said...

Good point, Lisa! Sometimes when the comparison goes the "other way" and we feel pretty good about ourselves and pride takes root. It just doesn't *feel" like misery at first...

Daisy said...

Wow and ow! What a perspective! Such an eye-opener, both funny AND convicting. Some of these are so convicting it's hard to add anything to it at this point! The humor takes the sting out of the conviction just a little bit -- enough for me to get beyond feeling embarrassed at how ridiculous I could get at times (yes, a number of ways on the checklist apply all too well!), repent and hopefully stop the misery BEFORE it happens!

I just love your blog!

Kelly said...

Thank you for this wonderful post! I am printing this one off for me files--such wisdom here.

Susanne said...

Thanks for the great post! I needed it today.