Self-pity is defined as "a self-indulgent dwelling on one's own sorrows or misfortunes," real or imagined. Those who pity others usually desire the same measure in sympathy in return. Beware sympathy and its hooks.

In walking the Via Christa you quickly learn that self-pity is a loss leader in failure to redeem your misused soul substance. Incessantly dwelling on the wrongs the self has suffered creates a proverbial bog of despair.

Reading the Book of Job is an education in self-pity. Jeremiah lamented so loudly that he lent his name to the litany of woe, a "jeremiad." Elijah experienced some degree of self-pity, apparent in 1 Kings 19, where he wished to die rather than to face Jezebel's revenge and wrath. St. Paul often waxed poetic in describing his troubles.

Edna Lister on Self-Pity

"Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted." – Matthew 5:4. Your self-pity must become selflessness. – Edna Lister, Initiations, the Beatitudes, December 8, 1934.

A swamp represents intolerance, criticism, etc. Quicksand is a metaphor for personal self-worship, and self-pity. – Edna Lister, Devotion, the Bridge Builder, May 22, 1935.

Self-pity is pure selfishness. – Edna Lister, December 21, 1942.

Many must still work out old thoughts and inner and hidden pictures of self-pity. Search your soul and the secret rooms in your heart to make sure that you do not entertain unawares some hidden guest from the past. – Edna Lister, January 4, 1943.

Never let a cloud of loneliness or self-pity surround you. – Edna Lister, June 30, 1944.

In the great abyss, which includes all abysses between earth and the Source, countless thousands of descended creators lose their places and start to regress through self-pity, self-blame or resentment caused by enduring trials by fire. – Edna Lister, January 31, 1945.

Three-quarters of all clinical patients are suffering in the first three stages of self-pity, induction, comparison, and deduction. People induct ideas from the self, compare their own situations unfavorably and deduce that they are to be condoled. – Edna Lister, The Pearl of Great Price, April 13, 1945.

Self-condemnation is a form of self-pity. – Edna Lister, June 23, 1945.

Your path is narrow, sometimes with room for only one foot at a time. This is when doubts, fears or self-pity assails the conscious mind, when all hidden detriments will arise from the deeps of the subconscious. Lift them. Stop at once and raise your arms in surrender to the power of love. Let glory move in to possess every corner of your mind and heart. Let the glory of the Almighty move in and possess you! Light absorbs darkness. If there is darkness, the answer is more Light, more Love, more Power. This is always your first step. – Edna Lister, July 3, 1945.

When the test comes, do not think of the size of the thing for which you are criticized, think of the indication of what is under the surface. When your conscious mind can so forget the test, temptation and trial that the subconscious seizes on the criticism, it is counted as self-pity, self-pride, resentment, rebellion, intolerance or grief. – Edna Lister, July 11, 1945.

God never gives you a test you cannot win. If you do not win, you can pass the initiation on self-pity that follows. – Edna Lister, July 11, 1945.

A revenge motive is the root of self-pity, rebellion, resentment, frustration and pride. – Edna Lister, August 1, 1945.

Those who weep because they are so sorry usually do so from self-pity. – Edna Lister, August 6, 1945.

When you have lifted the past, you do not need to look back and analyze. If you mull it all over, after you lift it, you are probably indulging in the self. Then it becomes self-pity, self-blame, pride, self. – Edna Lister, August 6, 1945.

Do not pity yourself. You have not been treated any worse than anyone else. You must lift or cut off the anchors to the past. What would you think of a cowboy who found the carcass of a dead cow on the range, tied it to his lasso and dragged it wherever he went? Your past is the dead carcass you are dragging. Every time you go over it emotionally, it smells worse. Let the dead past bury its dead. Lift the persons who have despitefully used you. Everybody goes through about the same thing one way or another. Every soul must suffer to know God. It is the only way back to God. – Edna Lister, August 12, 1945.

As long as you can be offended in any way by anyone, then you stand in a pool of Light, stationary. When you are still letting self rule instead of soul, your cry under all forms of initiation is, "Lord, look into my heart and judge its purity" — instead of seeking the selfish appetitive soul cause of your self-pity. – Edna Lister, September 28, 1945.

The kingdom is open to you. When will it mean more to you than the so-called hurts of life, your self-made miseries and self-pity? To have the kingdom, you must let go of your self-made kingdom of darkness and of weakness, completely. – Edna Lister, October 4, 1945.

You lift revenge by lifting the soul — you cannot cut it out, pray it out or melt and dissolve it from physical form. Only love can melt its root of self-pity and blame for another. – Edna Lister, October 14, 1945.

Self-pity is corrosive. It is either self, or true love. If it is true love, it has no self-pity in it. – Edna Lister, May 13, 1946.

No self-pity can rule the soul for an instant without shutting off the Power lest it destroys the physical body. – Edna Lister, June 2, 1947.

Willfulness, pride and arrogance beget self-pity, which sticks and you must dig it out to enter the high place and stay up in consciousness. – Edna Lister, June 27, 1947.

Self-pity and grief deplete the body and old age creeps in. – Edna Lister, July 14, 1947.

Never allow emotions of self to creep in. Self-pity is the most corrosive emotion. – Edna Lister, November 12, 1947.

Watch self-pity, for it is worse than aggressiveness. If you wallow in self-pity, you are a mess. You do not dig yourself out of self-pity by wallowing in it, but by knowing it means nothing. It has no roots. You create it hour by hour. – Edna Lister, December 13, 1947.

At the time of a mistake or blunder, take instant stock, but do not dwell on self (self-pity) or what is happening; stay up in consciousness. – Edna Lister, January 8, 1948.

The law of decrees is "Ask what ye will," yet your decrees are subject to your deductions of self. Your deductions of fear, doubt, worry, rebellion, gossip, self-pity and false pride all dissipate the Power of your decree. You do receive exactly what you envision, minus your own — not God's — deductions. – Edna Lister, Fulfillment, June 6, 1948.

Under law, when you give up self-pity and enough other traits of self, you draw love to you, and as you become love, you attract more love. – Edna Lister, Getting or Letting, Self or Soul? June 27, 1948.

Self-pity is a hangover from a martyr's hair shirt. – Edna Lister, November 14, 1950.

Self-recrimination is self-pity. – Edna Lister, November 19, 1951.

Comparison can lead to jealousy, conscious or subconscious and ultimately to self-pity. When you go down the pole in pity for your poor little self, you begin making excuses: "I have not done it well because —" Give up the "because." – Edna Lister, June 2, 1952.

When you misuse law, you breed self-condemnation and hydra-headed self-pity. – Edna Lister, Seven Churches of Revelation, November 25, 1952.

Self-love thinks only of self and its relationships. It names each weed in its garden of opinions and prejudices, and like nettles they sting with jealousy, hatred and anger. These are the little bloomers of self-pity that grow until they take over the garden. – Edna Lister, The Living Chalice, December 7, 1952.

Love is Light. It is the best element in the universe, yet its Light is gossamer and you may bear it without a burden. Grief, sorrow and self-pity taint love with weight. The heaviest of these emotions is self-pity; it is the heaviest weight in the world. – Edna Lister, Prayer, the Soul's Aspiration, June 7, 1953.

Don't bother with guilt. All guilt complexes are rooted in self-pity. – Edna Lister, June 15, 1953.

Self-pity gnaws at the nerves. – Edna Lister, October 25, 1953.

Sympathy is the switch of self-pity, a sign of weakness. Compassion is strength. – Edna Lister, Your Life's Goal, May 30, 1954.

When you allow self-pity to enter, it tears to pieces all your lines to family and loved ones. – Edna Lister, June 1, 1954.

Self-pity is love of self, and taking offense is only loving "little me" so much. – Edna Lister, July 23, 1955.

Hair shirts of self-pity consist of invisible desire body substance lowered just above the hardened crystallized state. When the Father attempts to take it away, do not grab hold or it causes a physical reaction of shingles; it prickles, itches and sticks like a thistle. – Edna Lister, August 15, 1955.

"Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." - Matthew 6:33. Open a new account tonight in heaven. You can draw on all you put in, minus your deductions. You do receive what you ask for, minus the service charges for fear, doubt, blame, self-pity, rebellion, resentment and hurts. - Edna Lister, I'm a Millionaire, October 30, 1955.

Slavery is bowing to a master or an enemy, such as fear, doubt, old patterns or old ideas. People can be slaves to opinions, prejudices, pride, hatred, anger, self-pity, food, drugs and drink. – Edna Lister, Religious Slavery or Freedom? November 27, 1955.

Hurt and disappointment follow when you make demands that others cannot meet. The result of this demanding, expecting attitude is always self-pity, which in turn makes the physical body a miserable hovel of aches and pains. – Edna Lister, Eternal Youth, 1956.

Self-pity always produces tears that form a mist about the individual indulging in this negative emotion. The mist grows thicker with time and one can spend years wandering in a valley of tears without finding the way out. – Edna Lister, Eternal Youth, 1956.

One thought of self-pity and you lose contact with God. To wallow in self-pity about how hard life has been makes you a chronic spiritual invalid. – Edna Lister, April 14, 1956.

Self-centered love is always too busy, too tired, too hurried, too self-satisfied. Its chief hallmark, self-pity, is nothing more than a sentimental love for self. – Edna Lister, Nourishing Love, May 13, 1956.

Loving is the art of agreement and cooperation. You conquer self-pity the same way. Go off and weep alone while you must, but do not bother others with it. – Edna Lister, Nor Shadow of Turning, July 15, 1956.

Some people dramatize the latest negative thing in their lives by reliving it until they build a new monster vibration that is worse than the first. If you forget to lift a situation, the subconscious, full of self-pity, recreates the negative and creates a new subconscious conflict. – Edna Lister, Nor Shadow of Turning, July 15, 1956.

Half the world is self-hypnotized, spewing out negative self-pity and prejudices. – Edna Lister, Go Preach the Gospel, July 22, 1956.

Muscles symbolize your ability to act. Self-pity causes both flabbiness and muscle contraction. – Edna Lister, Metaphysical Correspondences, August 31, 1956 [Fifty-eight different physical conditions cause muscles to contract.]

The only negative expression of love is a pitying love. Wash negative people clean. Grab them and put them on a cloud to consume the darkness. – Edna Lister, The Light, Your Expression, November 4, 1956.

No sight in the world is more ludicrous than one who is lost in self-pity and martyrdom. – Edna Lister, February 5, 1957.

When you let a line sag by pitying your self, others stumble over it. – Edna Lister, February 28, 1957.

Brain cells become dull with atrophy under self-pity and martyrdom. – Edna Lister, September 5, 1957.

When you erect false gods of self-pity and rebellion, you do not permit God to send the Power through you. – Edna Lister, September 30, 1957.

Let the laggards lag, the weepers weep, let the ones who pity themselves pity themselves while you climb. – Edna Lister, November 3, 1957.

When you turn from Light, you are in the valley of the shadow of death. The gate is self-pity: "I am all alone. No one loves me. No one understands me." - Edna Lister, God as All the Little Things, November 24, 1957.

You cannot entertain a personal hurt without self-pity, blame, criticism and condemnation, because it is to the self. If you have those taints, they will rise to the surface. – Edna Lister, December 16, 1957.

The tonal quality of your voice must be perfect, carrying no whine of self-pity. – Edna Lister, December 19, 1957.

Self-condemnation is twice as dark as condemnation of others since it turns off the Power to your creations and those you are helping, leaving them to flounder. No one bothers with self-condemnation unless he thinks himself better than the average and too good to do anything wrong. You make mistakes as you climb, you blunder, you fall back in self-pity. Nevertheless, keep climbing and holding fast to your Power-line and hold your lines of Light and responsibility to the world. Self-pity is the most subtly damaging of all the sins you can commit. – Edna Lister, March 7, 1958.

Rationalization is applying the faculty of reason to physical laws to understand information about people or situations. Criticism and condemnation are the greatest corrupting factors in rationalization, which focuses on pride, self-pity and imagines "enemies" to blame, criticize and condemn. Most people call their rationalization analysis but analysis imagines no darkness of emotions or suspicion. – Edna Lister, As I See God, June 1, 1958.

Forever is a measure of time in space, the duration of an intensely-lived experience. Your "forever" is a torment when you dwell in self-pity or resentment. – Edna Lister, The Revelation, June 10, 1958.

Each, through his tears of self-pity, creates his own vale of tears. – Edna Lister, As I See the World, June 15, 1958.

Prayer is spiritual brainwashing and only through prayer does anyone's mental life change. Quickly brainwash yourself whenever you begin to feel "pure," proud, self-pitying or complain about your family and the world — if they would be good, you would be happy. Self-pity and grief cause resentment. – Edna Lister, Brainwashing, Inc., October 19, 1958.

Giving an adversary the first and last words is easier than to argue or persuade. Adversaries include self-pity, pride and resentment. What quantity of time and quality of response do you give to a silly remark? In a year's time, what does it matter who said what? Declare it good no matter what it is. – Edna Lister, Constancy in Obedience, October 26, 1958.

When you compare your life to that of anyone else on earth, you covet, which provides the basis for self-pity, martyrdom and repudiation of personal responsibility. – Edna Lister, Ten Commandments and Beatitudes, November 4, 1958.

Most prayers are merely demand checks presented at the window of God's Bank to cover our needs or for strength. You collect from God the exact amount left to you after your deductions of resentment, rebellion, self-pity, pride, griping and grief. – Edna Lister, Joy, Invincible Power, November 17, 1958.

Law is exact and only harsh when you turn your back on it in pity for your self as having too many burdens. To pity the self as being given too many lesson-problems, consumes the answer in one swallow. – Edna Lister, February 23, 1959.

Each has an unconscious and instinctive phase of mind that responds to the seasons. You dictate your own season — spring, summer, fall or winter — when you ascend and descend in consciousness. During your fall and winter seasons, your desire, vitality of life and consciousness recede to subterranean depths. You bury yourself and have a grand time wallowing in the trough of self-pity. Some people live through four seasons a day! – Edna Lister, Realization, May 3, 1959.

Subconscious mind is like a garden full of weeds — hatred, coldness, rebellion, selfishness, jealousy, self-pity, resentment — that you can change into beautiful flowers of tenderness and love. – Edna Lister, Realization, May 3, 1959.

You are "off the beam" when you hold a grudge, pass judgment, pity self, speak or act negatively or deny the Christ principle, which is breaking the law of being alive, alert and aware, misusing the Holy Ghost. – Edna Lister, The Pioneering Mystic, May 5, 1959.

When we, the Elect, stop weeping tears of self-pity, we will erase tears from earth. – Edna Lister, Transfiguration, Resurrection and Ascension, May 19, 1959.

Free the thing you have been so you can return to your true place. Put all enemies — fear, doubt, self-pity, critical attitude — on a cloud continent of Light and free them. – Edna Lister, February 4, 1960.

You have power to change color. When you move up from self-pity into praising God, the colors of your aura change. – Edna Lister, Your Measure of Power, June 12, 1960.

Self-pity is always begging God to set aside responsibility so you can get by for nothing. If you find yourself embroiled in trials by fire for life, it is the same lack of responsibility. – Edna Lister, December 29, 1960.

When you ascend under a high sacrifice of self, you can under law choose the way you will go. The first choice is to hold to that high point of contemplation, which is full illumination, despite the world, the flesh and the devil. The other choice is to want credit for this saintly sacrifice of self to do what in merely your clear and only possible duty — to demand credit and so sink into the morass and quicksand of self-pity, frustration and that hopeless attitude of "What's the use? It isn't my fault. They can't blame me for doing it. I'm hindered because —." Eliminate the because. When you make this high sacrifice, you are invited to step onto the path of the ascending creator gods. To forget self is the Path of Destiny. To deny ascension with even a tinge of self, you fall back into the abyss where the path of fate travels. – Edna Lister, January 29, 1961.

The only way to conquer is never to allow the self to think of the past or to pity itself. – Edna Lister, May 30, 1961.

You have free choice, and must have room to expand under free choice. You create an area of freedom around yourself the size of your giving in prayer. This creates a wall that no outer vibration can penetrate, unless you open a line of criticism against another. No one can enter or break through the wall unless you open a valve. Nothing can push the wall in on you. This is your base of operations. Outside interference can enter on your rebellion, irritation and resentment. Self-pity and self-righteousness run the race to breech the greatest hole in the wall. – Edna Lister, September 7, 1961.

Your spiritual lifeline moves along your attention-line. When you pay attention to self, you notice aches, pains, lacks and needs. You have a miracle of needs. Your whole life then flows into "need molds," which are full of holes, such as self-pity, and are always empty. You are using God's life, but everything leaks out. – Edna Lister, The Soul's Exaltation, November 13, 1961.

Don't pity yourself no matter how it hurts, no matter what comes. – Edna Lister, Song of the Lamb, December 17, 1961.

There is no easy way to ascend. When you allow self-pity or thoughts of self to take over even briefly, the way grows ever harder, ever steeper. Conquering becomes almost a nightmare in some places, for every detrimental pitfall corroding self-pity has made must be filled so it cannot trip you to the bottom again. When you desire to conquer, it is like being lost in the forest, you walk the same path, falling into the same ditches until desire for ascension becomes your soul's burning motivation and determination. – Edna Lister, March 27, 1962.

Self-pity, pride and martyrdom give self the credit and honor. Then your vibration dies down to death. Psychologically, you must lance your inner boils. – Edna Lister, Honor Above All, April 8, 1962.

Light is sent through you at your highest point of consciousness. When you stop fussing about what's coming next, Light pours through first to pay the debt. Use Light to clear the trouble instead of cursing fate in self-pity, then God can extend credit to cover the debt. – Edna Lister, Heaven, a Place to Fill, April 10, 1962.

Loneliness and self-pity are the greatest challenges on the Priest Degree. – Edna Lister, Heaven, a Place to Fill, April 10, 1962.

No one can set aside the greater conflicts the appetitive soul hugs. If he lives by the sword of fighting, he will die by the hour. The more he blames, the more he pities the self, the greater the suffering. – Edna Lister, March 25, 1963.

You invoke the supreme Power with your words. Man has passed from the shadowy influence of the Piscean Age of emotional tears and the desire to escape from life, into the Aquarian Age of greater Power. No reason exists now for anyone to allow the Piscean vibration to influence them materially or emotionally. No one needs to be an escapist fish, who cries and pities himself. True, you may weep about humanity at times, but only in compassion or joy.

It does no good to pity the masses or to challenge God by asking why He permits war, illness or tragedies. Why complain when you may work for the world's masses at night with the Heavenly Legions? Your spoken Word releases Power, and God moves in when you say, "Let Light fill him." This is your work with God. The Christed Age requires servants who release undiluted spiritual Power, not almost-hardlys. – Edna Lister, The Rebirth, June 9, 1963.

Past repudiation, resentment, rebellion and self-pity generate blame. – Edna Lister, September 5, 1963.

Under lack of repentance, you sink into self-pity and run from yourresponsibility to earn your way. – Edna Lister, November 8, 1963.

"Thou shalt not covet." – Exodus 20:17. When you compare your life to that of anyone else on earth, you covet. This is the basis for self-pity and martyrdom. – Edna Lister, The Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes, April 21, 1964.

Self love is "too tired, too weary" and too self-satisfied to be in the right place at the right time. Self-pity is weightier than lead, the heaviest burden on earth, and always collapses under its own weight. – Edna Lister, Appreciation Is a Love Affair, May 16, 1965.

Nonresistance has two phases, unresisting or irresistible. Being unresisting is being a weak worm, a doormat, one who hardly dares to breathe for fear of offending. Such a person has no life of his own at all. Self-pity takes over and leads to martyrdom. – Edna Lister, What Is Nonresistance? May 23, 1965.

Indifference, lukewarmness, self-pity and grief dilute the Power you can release. – Edna Lister, June 16, 1965.

Blame is the breeding place of self-pity. – Edna Lister, Truth as Practical Common Sense, November 28, 1965.

It takes longer to heal brain cells atrophied by self-pity and blame than anything else. Nothing is deadlier. – Edna Lister, January 27, 1966.

The staunch soul can conquer anything of earth. Weakness does not hold you back in your climb, but taking time for self-blame and self-pity does. – Edna Lister, March 4, 1966.

As you ascend, recording angels note every hurt, every struggle in the Book of Life, even when you are selfish or filled with sorrow or self-pity. You are credited with learning your lessons to whatever degree you have attained. – Edna Lister, October 20, 1966.

People stumble because their eye is on appearance, so they step into the pitfalls of self-pity. – Edna Lister, October 20, 1966.

Self-pity liquefies brain cells; self-will hardens brain cells. – Edna Lister, All Healing Comes from Beauty of the Soul, May 16, 1967.

Negative thinking and emotions of self-pity, anger, resentment and fear cause an explosion and train wreck on the outer. – Edna Lister, Let Your Light So Shine, November 24, 1968.

Self-pity is the boring worm that eats at the heart of responsibility. – Edna Lister, June 19, 1969.

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Treatment for Self-Pity

Pull in your abdominal muscles, pull the magnetic current up to your sternum and use it as a sheath, holding the abdominal muscles tight. You must open the door of Light at your crown. This heavy magnetic current is impervious to any darkness of evil. You do this when you want to conquer something in yourself, self-pity for instance. Inhale, drawing in, put your hands up and say, "Let there be Light," so you will not descend on self-pity. – Edna Lister, June 18, 1959.

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Stories That Illustrate Self-Pity

How Israel Earned Forty Years in the Wilderness: Then came the children of Israel, even the whole congregation, into the desert of Zin in the first month: and the people abode in Kadesh; and Miriam died there, and was buried there. And there was no water for the congregation: and they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron. And the people chode [quarreled] with Moses, and spake, saying, Would God that we had died when our brethren died before the Lord! And why have ye brought up the congregation of the Lord into this wilderness, that we and our cattle should die there? And wherefore have ye made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us in unto this evil place? It is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; neither is there any water to drink.

And Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they fell upon their faces: and the glory of the Lord appeared unto them. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink. And Moses took the rod from before the Lord, as he commanded him. And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also. And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them. This is the water of Meribah; because the children of Israel strove with the Lord, and he was sanctified in them. – Numbers 20:1-13.

The Rich Man: No Compassion but Plenty of Self-pity: There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; and in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. – Luke 17:19-31.

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Edna Miriam Lister
1884 – 1971
The original Christian Pioneering Mystic,
Platonist philosopher, American Idealist, Founder, Society of the Universal Living Christ, minister, teacher, author, wife, and mother.

Edna Lister

Self-pity is a soul taint.


The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV). Public Domain.

Merriam-Webster, “Self-pity.” Dictionary. Accessed 13 Sep. 2022.

Related Topic

See also Black Pearls