Recovering The SelfA Journal of Hope and Healing


It’s Easy to Complain When Things Go Badly

by Evelyn Horan

Sometimes I fall into feelings of self-pity. It’s easy to compare myself with friends and people I admire. There’s always someone more talented and more organized, like Amy, who has a beautiful flower garden. She’s very talented with flowers, and she makes lovely floral arrangements for her home. It’s a skill I haven’t learned very well, especially when I try to keep my own house plants thriving. I seem to always over-water them, and they don’t survive very long.

Often, I should remember to be grateful most of my wishes weren’t realized. Earlier this week, I saw a special cooking pot advertized, and I wanted to buy it. When I told my neighbor, Alma, what I was doing, she smiled and said, “Don’t bother. I bought that pot and it’s hard to clean. Everything sticks to it.” Now, I’m glad I didn’t buy it.

I can recall when I’ve spoken a crossword to a friend or a loved one, or a time when my children have tried my patience. And I remember, when I had been enjoying my own good health, I forgot to visit my friend, Sarah, when she wasn’t well. I’m sure she would have been happy to see me.

When I enter into self-pity, I try to remember I have good physical and mental health, and a loving family. When I think of the good things in my life, I can easily forget my complaints. I know I am fortunate to be living in a wonderful country compared to many people in the world who are living in poverty. Some are daily afraid for their safety.

I should stop negative thinking and complaining when things seem to go badly. I should be thankful for all the good things I enjoy in my life.

I think I’ll begin having a happier and more grateful attitude  right now!

About the Author

Evelyn Horan is a former teacher/counselor. Her articles and stories have been published many times in periodicals for children and adults in both secular and religious publications. She holds General Elementary, General Secondary, Pupil Personnel, and also School Psychologist life credentials in the state of California. Horan is the author of a number of books including Aging Requires a Gentle Attitude. Learn more about her work at

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Recovering The Self is a forum for people to tell their stories. Individual contributors accept complete responsibility for the veracity, accuracy, and non-infringement of their reporting.
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