Feeling Sorry For Yourself? Beware of How Anger and Self-Pity Made Me Sick at Christmas

By Jennifer Elizabeth Masters

Mel, Adam, Me and Ariel, SouthPark CO

I discovered this past Christmas how we can keep ourselves vibrantly healthy with our thoughts of gratitude and conversely how quickly our health can be taken away when we get upset (angry or hurt) and take our health for granted.

“To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.” ~Buddha

I have not been sick in years. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I got a cold, the flu or anything. Focusing on how I feel in any given moment rather than on what others are doing is a large part of why I feel so happy with myself and my life. I know that being happy and grateful have been paramount in my healthy constitution. Daily meditation and being content with my life, fulfilled by my work all have contributed to my daily inner peace. 

What I am about to share is giving you inside information of both my life and how we create disease and illness with our thoughts and emotions. Putting these two things together could save you from serious illness and even cancer later on.

Karma is a part of my family she loves to travel with me

When I visit my children in Colorado, I drive. Why do I drive? Besides the fact that driving is enjoyable to me, I drive because I bring my dogs who are part of my family in my car. Karma is going on nineteen years old. Putting an old dog on a plane is both inhumane and inconsiderate. I won’t do either to her. 

Grand Canyon, Arizona

I also enjoy the drive across our beautiful country watching the change in topography from the beige sand and mundane landscape of the Mojave desert into Nevada, Los Vegas, Arizona, Utah then Colorado. 

I watch the terrain and weather change become rocky and breathtakingly beautiful. Driving is a moving meditation. I usually drive in the 1,000-mile drive in silence with occasional music when I feel fatigued. I am  always excited to see my family, so the drive is part of that experience.

I left home on December 13th so that I could help my daughter move from her apartment in Longmont where she had lived alone to Thornton where she and a college friend would share in the expenses. The trip from where I live in California with a stop in

Arizona to visit a client who just had a baby was 1,164 miles or 17 hours of drive-time. 

I stopped at the home I was staying at to unload my car and finally arrived at my daughter’s apartment in

Longmont, Colorado at 8:00 PM on the third day.

It was cold and snowy in Colorado when I arrived and didn’t warm

up for days. Ariel was totally packed when I arrived, but waiting on tape that I brought with me. As soon as I arrived in Longmont, I began taping up boxes so that we would be ready for the move the following day. It was after 11:00 PM before I was driving home to Boulder to sleep. To say I was already exhausted is an understatement. Ariel spent her last night in her apartment. 

On Friday, December 16th, I was up at 6:00 AM. I grabbed something quick to eat, walked Yoda and Karma and loaded them in my cold car my breath making little white puffs of condensation and drove about twelve miles to Ariel’s apartment.

We moved boxes around a little and dissembled her Queen-sized wooden bed frame so that it would fit through the narrow outdoor entryway of the girls’ new apartment complex. I found it hard to believe that we needed to do this, but Ariel insisted and for good reason. I left Ariel’s apartment with Yoda and Karma and picked up the U-haul truck in the cold. 

I waited in line for over an hour while others were processed for their rental trucks by the one young Irish man that owned the dealership. I left my car and attempted to arrange the dogs in the cab of the truck. Karma was miserable on the cold floor with little space to lie down. In another twenty minutes, I was back at Ariel’s apartment to load up.

Ariel’s boyfriend threw the U-haul truck door quickly surreptitiously causing a spill immediately of Ariel’s precariously placed belongings at the back of the truck onto the concrete sidewalk behind the truck. Her Brita water filter smashed and Ariel unleashed angry and ungrateful words onto Josh and then me. Ariel’s temper was short from her stress over the move and lack of money and I was exhausted from my trip. The combination of all three of our emotions led to a stressful emptying of the truck.

Yoda still a puppy with Ariel

I suggested that the dogs should be at least allowed to stay in Ariel’s bathroom or closet so they would be out of the way during the move-in as they were cold and uncomfortable in the truck. Ariel’s response to me felt unappreciative of the travel the dogs and I had just made. Ariel won. The dogs lost. Karma’s foot was bleeding from falling between the seats in the U-Haul. She wasn’t a happy first dog nor was I.

Between the cold and the stairs my knees took a beating carrying heavy boxes down two flights and then up three flights of stairs at the new apartment. 

Yoda was making his discomfort known in the cab of the cold U-haul truck. He had been barking for over an hour to get out of the truck. Even though I walked the dogs in a park before we began emptying the truck, he wasn’t happy sitting alone. 

Ariel didn’t want the dogs in the apartment until we had totally unloaded. Both girls moved in simultaneously with her roommate’s entire family present. Eleven people helping these two girls created bedlam for approximately three hours. I understood Ariel’s reasoning about the dogs, but they had already spent three days in the back of a car on our long journey.

David with Ray

I was exhausted by 2:00 PM when the truck was emptied, David, my middle son showed up just in time to see us closing the U-haul truck door and we flopped on my daughter’s bedroom floor sharing the pizza that I bought for everyone. David and another friend of Ariel’s put her bed together and got her television and couch set up in the living room. Josh left in a huff before David arrived.

Beautiful Colorado

David followed me as I returned the U-Haul to a local dealership and took me back to Ariel’s apartment, then Ariel drove me the thirty odd miles back up to Longmont to my icy cold car. I spent Friday night alone, all day Saturday alone and then went to Ariel’s old apartment to clean it from top to bottom early Sunday morning, leaving my dogs in Boulder. 

I cleaned the kitchen, oven, microwave, cabinets, pantry and in between the washer and dryer, the dryer vent while Ariel scrubbed the red, purple, green and various other hair dye colors from the tile and grout in her bathroom. 

I made three trips to Home Depot and The Dollar Store buying cleaning products and stove replacement parts that were forgotten. I attempted to match her carpet color that had burn holes (Colorado is a legal state to smoke marijuana) and to remedy the hair dye stains on her grout.

We cleaned for ten hours missing a party we were invited to as we weren’t done. Finally, at 8:00 PM we called it quits for the day. The burn holes in her living room and bedroom carpet from her recreational smoking remained. A $600 deposit hung in the

balance. I attempted to fix one burn hole in the living room without the aid of overhead lighting and gave up frustrated. I spent Sunday night alone.

Monday, Ariel was back at work and as I drove the 40 miles to Denver to meet with two of my long-term favorite clients, my son David called. My oldest son Adam and his girlfriend Mel landed at

Mel, Adam Jennifer and Ariel near SouthPark, CO

the Denver airport at noon. Instead of coming to Boulder to stay with me David asked if I minded if they spent the night with him in Littleton, Co. I said no problem. 

The next day, I was asked to be flexible again, changing my plans to accommodate their desire to stay at David’s another night, leaving me in Boulder another night alone.

I hired with Mel’s help a carpet installer to fix the burn holes for $125.00. I hired a carpet cleaning company and babysat and paid them. I spent most of the day Thursday back and forth from Home Depot, carpet stores trying to find the right carpet to match. I couldn’t. I spent tons of money, time and energy helping Ariel to get her apartment in shape for her walkthrough.
 I spent five days of my Christmas vacation working like a dog so that Ariel would get her deposit back. 

Mel and Adam spent two nights with me at the house in Boulder. David joined us in Boulder one afternoon and we all, expect Ariel who was working walked through the shops and ate copious amounts of sugary treats. I was astounded at how much sugar we consumed when most of us don’t eat it on a daily basis. We were mindlessly eating  sweets I feel because we were all together and sugar deprived!

I drove back and forth to Denver three more times and spent part of the afternoon shopping with my oldest children at an outlet mall. Shopping is one of my least favorite activities, but I did it for the family. That night we also fit in a trip to the Denver Botanical Gardens for their Christmas light show, which we all enjoyed in the snow. 

The exact time-frame doesn’t matter. What does matter is that I began to feel a combination of anger and self-pity. I had driven half-way across the country to be with my family and here I was was ~ alone. I love being alone. I enjoy my own company. However, I traveled 1,100 miles for days to spend time with my family. I could have stayed at home!

I could be alone in my own home in the sunny warmth of California! I didn’t need to be freezing my ass off in Colorado winter spending my money on an ungrateful little girl who didn’t seem to appreciate all I had done! I had spent very little time with David and Adam and felt unappreciated and angry. I sent texts to both Ariel and David that exemplified my emotional state.

I vented out loud in the kitchen to anyone who would listen. The dogs began to get nervous. My anger was coming from an old pain of being unappreciated. My kids loved me, I knew that, but in this moment I didn’t feel it. I felt undervalued and angry. I woke up Christmas eve feeling weird, out of sorts and uncomfortable.

Ariel showed up with a chip on her shoulder (not chocolate) and her Kitchen Aid mixer, to grudgingly bake for a party we were attending that night. We were both exhausted. Both of us felt angry. We both ended up shouting at one another and Ariel was ready to go home to her apartment because she felt terrible she didn’t have money for Christmas gifts.

A perfect storm of emotions, pain, suffering, self-pity created a toxic vortex for us both. That very night Ariel and I got sick we had similar manifestations of illness. My nose began to run, I sneezed and sneezed and felt a general malaise. I knew I was getting a sinus infection. 

Sinus problems: Irritation to one person, someone close. I was obviously irritated with Ariel. I felt undervalued, unappreciated and taken for granted. I had spent five days doing things for her, spending my money, time and energy and felt she didn’t care. MANTRA: I declare peace and harmony indwell me and surround me at all times. All is well. (Louis Hay You Can Heal Your Body)

Post-Nasal Drip: Inner crying, childish tears. Victim. MANTRA: I acknowledge and accept that I am the creative power in my world. I now choose to enjoy my life.

Colds Upper Respiratory Illness: Too much going on at once. Mental confusion, disorder. Small hurts. MANTRA: I allow my mind to relax and be at peace. Clarity and harmony are within me and surround me. All is well. (Louis Hay You Can Heal Your Body)

How To Choose Differently

I know how to move emotions and energy. I know how to clear myself. However, I was too stuck in my ego to clear myself. I was too stuck in my feelings of self-righteous indignation and self-pity to do all that I knew to do. I could have used my quick mood-changers. I could have breathed deeply and allowed myself to feel the feelings inside, I could have cried or breathed deeply and allow them to move through me. 

I could have taken a fast-paced walk out in the cold and asked Mother Nature and the trees to clear me. I could have taken an Epsom salts bath and meditated. But I didn’t. I was stuck in self-pity. No one was doing anything TO ME. I am not a victim. No one is a victim. I chose this. I invited all these events in. I watched as the illness began to engulf me. I wasn’t grateful in this moment. I wasn’t appreciating anyone else. 

Learning From Experience

We always have a choice. We can choose differently for ourselves rather than be the victim. When we reside in self-righteousness we lose love. From an empowered place we can heal ourselves. We can tap, sing, breathe, meditate and move the energy through us rather than revel in the pain and suffering and stuckness. Our negative thoughts and toxic emotions create disease and even autoimmune issues and diseases, I know I used to have Fibromyalgia and Epstein Barr and auto-immune disease. 

Away From Home

When we are out of our place of sacredness and sanctity of our own space we can feel out of sorts. I wasn’t in my home. I wasn’t in my sacred space. We have to be able to find a place where we can be safe to meditate and sit in silence. When we are exhausted we aren’t present. Pushing our bodies beyond where they are comfortable isn’t good either. I pushed myself too hard with the travel, seeing clients and then working physically, up and down stairs acting as a moving man. I was doing things I wasn’t used to. All of this created a perfect storm for me to witness how we create illness for ourselves. 

At home, I meditate twice a day most days. I sit in silence and have peace in my home. The last five days of my stay in Colorado I slept on the floor on an air mattress at David’s apartment with five other people plus five dogs and two cats. It was lovely to be together with my family. However, it was too much time without alone time for me. There was no place for me to meditate alone. It was far too cold to sit outside on the ground and meditate. Everyone needs silence. Silence allows us to regroup, center and be one with all that is.

I would love to hear from you. Did this article help you in any way? Will it help you recognize how we create disease and illness with our choices? Please share this with your friends and family!

~  ~  ~


Whoever has gratitude will be given more!

Join me in this 28-day challenge it will only take fifteen minutes a night.

I said PRIZES!

I thought I would sweeten the pot a little to give you something other than more money, better relationships, more success and happiness in your life – as if that isn’t enough. The point of this exercise is that nothing is impossible and magic is available to everyone. Couldn’t you use a little more magic in your life?

Here’s what you need to do if you choose to accept this challenge:

  1. Beginning today or as soon as you read this e-mail start noticing the good in your life. 
  2. Write down each thing that you are grateful for. If you want better health, be grateful for your vibrant health. If you want more money, be grateful for all the money in your bank account, in your purse or wallet, and on its way to you right now! The more gratitude, the better your life will become. Don’t focus on your outer circumstances. 
  3. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
  4. Write down the list of items each night before turning off your light and going to sleep. The thoughts of gratitude right before sleep will be indelibly imprinted on your unconscious mind bringing more good to you.
  5. Find a rock that will fit in your hand and place it next to your bed. I am using an amethyst that was given to me for Christmas.
  6. Hold the rock in your hand and say out loud after you have written your list the best thing that occurred today that you are grateful for. Each night the energy of this gratitude will expand the energy of this rock.
  7. Eventually, all you will have to do is look at the rock and feel gratitude!
  8. If you need some help refer to my blog or send me an email: [email protected]il.com

Send me an update once a week, or whenever something seems exciting enough to mention. Write down your successes even when they are small – like your cell phone provider gave you an extra day to pay your phone bill because a check hadn’t cleared with the bank holiday. That my friends is a great thing! Whether it seems big or small, write it down.

I wish you the best year yet!

Much Love,

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