Compassion or Commiseration?

I realized I have been sending off a little “whoa is me” vibe lately.  I could sit here and blame being 39 weeks pregnant or I could take ownership of my little mood, examine my pattern, and choose to shift.   Today, I choose the latter.
 
In recent weeks, I have been seeking people to commiserate with me about how I am feeling physically.  My daily choices and behaviors have included texting friends who have kids and asking “ugh, how did you do this pregnant thing?”, “why am I so tired?”, “when will it end?”, “how soon after will I feel less swollen?”,”when will I sleep?”etc. The definition of commiserate is to express pity for someone or to lament them. I have been a pity seeker!  
 
In addition to seeking pity, I have also been giving in to others invitations to commiserate. When a loved one of mine calls to complain about anything—finances, health, relationships, busy schedules, etc, I have a choice. I could commiserate with them.  Or I could choose compassion.  This is a subtle difference but it makes all the difference in how it is felt. The definition of commiserate is to pity or to lament. The definition of compassion is defined as a deep awareness of someone else’s suffering.  Kindness is listed as a synonym.  Doesn’t compassion sound like something you’d want to receive rather than commiseration?
 
So today, I am “working on it” as we love to say in my family.  I choose compassion rather than commiseration. “Working on it” means I haven’t yet perfected being compassionate all the time in my roles as friend, sister, wife, business partner, yogi, BUT my intention has been set and my ship has set sail from the Land of Pity headed for the Island paradise of Compassion.  Maybe I’ll see you there.
 
Love, Lauren