When Jesus referred to the second great commandment, “ Love your neighbor as yourself” ( Mt 22:39), he could have reworded it : “ Be as welcoming of yourself as you are welcoming of your neighbor”.
When is the last time you fully welcomed yourself into your own heart?
Most of us hesitate to do this…
Having self- compassion does not mean self absorption. “ Loving ourselves points us to capacities of resilience, compassion, and understanding within that are simply part of being alive.”( Sharon Salzburg). Self- compassion implies giving ourselves a worthy share of attentive care. This includes body, mind, and spirit...Self- compassion also includes being kind and comforting to ourselves when we are hurting...means staying with our self in times of trouble, pain, and grief…
“Self- kindness involves more than merely stopping self-judgement. It involves actively comforting ourselves, responding just as we would to a dear friend in need. It means we allow ourselves to be emotionally moved by our own pain… With self- kindness , we soothe and calm our troubled minds. We make a peace offering of warmth, gentleness and sympathy from ourselves to ourselves, so that true healing can occur.”( Kristin Neff, Self-Compassion)
People who faithfully offer compassion to others often neglect to do the same for themselves...We drag ourselves to work when our bodies feel miserable. We push on to attend a social gathering even though it would be better for us to stay home. We feel deep sadness but shove it aside...we just suffer through the flu or a chronic illness, maybe even blaming ourselves for not feeling well. And if we pray for others, do we also pray for ourselves?..
“The training ground of boundless compassion is in all the small moments in which you meet the painful and difficult within your own life that you are prone to deny or reject.”( Christina Feldman)
A fundamental truth rests beneath the practice of self- compassion :We are good. We are worthy of consideration and comfort. We deserve our own respect. Jesus was speaking to every person when he taught, “ I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” ( John10:10).
Have you ever 3xperienced compassion fatigued or burnt out? If yes, how did this occur and what did you learn from this experience? If no, what did you do that prevented this from happening?