“How can I learn to forgive myself?  should I?”

The more I live, the more I discover the importance of self-compassion.  I have been pondering this for the last year or so, and for me, it’s an ever-expanding field of inquiry.  There is a lot out there in the world of research as well as from the perspective of other faith traditions like Buddhism.  But what does the Christian faith have to say on this topic?  The journey has sparked several questions for me:

  • If the Bible says that God’s comfort (2 Cor 1:3-6)  is ever available to me in an unqualified way, why does it often feel so hard to access?
  • How can I forgive myself when I have hurt someone else?  Should I?
  • Why are the voices within me so brutal toward me?
  • Is there some part of me that believes that self-criticism is helpful?  Is it?
  • Can I extend compassion to others if I cannot do so for myself?
  • How do I change these long standing patterns?
  • How does the Christian faith see self-compassion?  What do we see in the stories of women in the Bible?
  • What role does perfectionism play in lack of self-compassion?
  • What is the cost of a lack of self-compassion?
  • How do guilt and shame play into lack of self-compassion?

My hope is to use Fridays to explore this topic with you. I hope you come along, adding your questions and insights!  Here are a few voices that I plan to include on the journey:

Brene Brown. Brene is a shame researcher from the University of Houston who talks about self-compassion being critical to our compassion for others.

Kristin Neff Kristin is a compassion researcher from the University of Texas. For a of self-compassion, listen to this watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Tyl6YXp1Y6Mwatch?feature=player_embedded&v=Tyl6YXp1Y6M.

You can also take a test to rate your self-compassion.

Join me next Friday and we will begin to explore self-compassion by looking at the stories of a few women in the Bible and the topic of self-compassion and authenticity.  In the meanwhile, please, add your questions to the journey.



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