It's not hard to get self centered when you are going through a major trial. Watching your husband's physical and mental health deteriorate rapidly from strong and intelligent to feeble in mind and body can do that to you. And most people would say you had just cause.
That's the way it was with me. No one blamed me if I didn't join in their excited little chats about what was happening in their world. I was in a different world, and what was happening to my husband was all that mattered. When my husband got so sick at home, I couldn't understand why the neighbors had their music so loud. Why weren't they more considerate? Or the little girls next door; how could they be so mean, breaking down my favorite flowers when I was already dealing with so much? Didn't anyone know that my husband was dying, in stages, right before my eyes?
I'm ashamed to say, I had my share of pity parties. The self pity, that I thought I had conquered long ago, slipped back occasionally, and I had to do battle. I knew it could ruin me if I let it, not just with red bloodshot eyes and a stuffed up nose, but with a gradual change in character. What benefit would my life be to others if I went around with a sour disposition? I would be of little use to my friends or family, or especially to my Lord.
I still cry sometimes, but now, instead of wallowing in self pity, I turn to the Lord. He understands my need to cry occasionally, but somehow it's a different kind of crying. I can tell Him how I'm hurting and ask for His strength, and He gives it. I always feel encouraged afterwards instead of feeling angry and ugly.
After talking with Him I begin to think of others again. As a Christian I am His follower. He is my example. I want His character.
He went through more pain and suffering than I could even dream of, but His thoughts were not for himself but for those around him. He washed their feet; He was concerned over their weakness, He wanted them prepared for what lay ahead; He prayed for them; He made provision for his mother: and then near the end of His cruel torture He asked for forgiveness for His tormenters.
As a Christian that's where I want to be. Christlike.
I want to be aware of the suffering of others. I want my life to count for something even in the midst of my hardest trials. I want to go through life sharing my smile with the sad and downhearted even as others have lifted me up by sharing my burden.