03/19/2013 01:20 am ET | Updated May 18, 2013

Day 19: 31 Days of Daily Inspiration From Brilliant Women

Daily Inspiration: Day 19 of 31 Days

"Self-pity in its early stages is as snug as a feather mattress. Only when it hardens does it become uncomfortable." -- Maya Angelou (writer, 1928-)

Yesterday I received some slightly depressing news. And, I must admit, I spent the day feeling rather sorry for myself. I stayed in bed (helped by the fact that I'm also currently sporting a rather hideous cold/fever) and moaned. I knew this wouldn't get me anywhere. I knew it wouldn't make anything better. I knew, in fact, that it'd only make everything worse. And yet, the pull of self-pity was strong.

Then my gorgeous, no-nonsense husband stepped in, with a few inspirational words of his own, to help me out of the hole. Yes, I'd suffered a setback in life, he said, but that certainly didn't mean I had to give up on that particular dream. On the contrary, he suggested, it was a sign I had to fight harder for it still. I called our two best friends who echoed his sentiments. I pulled myself out of bed and got to work.

Disappointments are a frustratingly common fact of life. My own life regularly doesn't meet my desires, but I'm lucky to be surrounded by people who gently poke me away from self-pity before I sink too far. I do the same for them. Self-pity is seductive, wrapping its soft arms around you until you fall asleep, and you must be strong against it. If you sink into this particular feather mattress for too long, you may never wake up.

Inspiration From Brilliant Women

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