Self-compassion and friends

sunset

 “…through the door of my friend’s compassion for me, self-compassion came and softened my heart...” It was a simple note really, a text I got this morning from a dear friend:  “Thinking of you this morning- sending a little love your way.” Surprisingly, that short, thoughtful text message stirred up a great deal of unexpected emotion in me. You see, what was not said, but clearly understood, is that she’s sending me love because she knows how much I need it right now.  She is familiar with my … [Read more...]

Self-compassion and self-advocacy

beauty

“It is hard to extend compassion to ourselves when others are not doing the same.”It is hard to learn to actively offer compassion to ourselves, to advocate for ourselves.We are given so many messages that say we are supposed to wait for others to discover our needs and find the compassion and courage to advocate for us.And we are fed so many messages that say we are over-reacting when we speak our genuine pain and suffering because it may not look like the pain and suffering of tho … [Read more...]

Self-compassion and regret

IMG_0487

"I have learned from wiktionary that regret is just intense grief"I’ve had more than one run in with the painful emotion of regret this week.I said some unkind words of judgment that I wanted to take back shortly after they came off my tongue. I unnecessarily criticized a very valid approach in a conversation with a colleague because I had another strategy. I remained silent when I should have spoken up as my husband and I were considering a sales pitch…. We bought the product and bo … [Read more...]

Self-compassion and insight

sunset

"when I am safe for myself, doors of insight tend to open."As I have said often, my optimum life pace is about 30-35 mph.  I don’t know why it helps me to express it in mph units, but it does. Now, that’s not my maximum pace, just my optimum pace, the speed at which I can be most present to my life, making forward progress but not missing the freedom to take in and enjoy all I see along the way.  This is also the pace at which my traction is greatest, where all my strokes count, where risk an … [Read more...]

Self-compassion and unconditional love

oregon wet

“...will we dare to grow up… into the one who extends the unconditional love and deep compassion of Jesus to ourselves?”I have recently been re-reading The Return of the Prodigal by Henri Nouwen, a thoughtful book reflecting on the story of the prodigal son through the lens of Rembrandt’s painting of the same.  Nouwen places himself inside each of the characters in that story and offers some wonderful reflections on the love of God.The part of the book that has caught my attention this we … [Read more...]

Self-compassion and limitations

Georgia

"The moments when we meet our limitations are often the times when we struggle the most with self-compassion."It has been an exciting week in the Davis household.On Tuesday, we welcomed our first grand child, Georgia Lynn Burleson-Davis.  Isn’t she beautiful? Though 3 weeks earlier than we anticipated, her birth went marvelously well and her parents are taking spectacular care of her… so my husband and I are trying to support them in their many sleepless nights with meals and a few ho … [Read more...]

Self-compassion and not-so-easy small choices

pool party

One of the challenges of learning the spiritual practice of self-compassion is that it most often comes to us in the shape of not-so-easy small choices.Think of Mary of Bethany who courageously chose to sit at Jesus’ feet to learn... And stayed there even when her sister complained bitterly. Think of the woman with the hemorrhage who hoped beyond reason, bravely and illegally entered the fray of the crowd, and reached out to touch the hem of the Rabbi believing she would be healed... And t … [Read more...]

Self-compassion and resistance

camellia

"We tend to believe that we welcome compassion; that the world could never have enough.  At the same time, we often resist compassion,..."She was my first introduction to these thoughts on our resistance to compassion.  I have to admit that every time I read the words of this early review of my most recent book, My Own Worst Enemy, I still flinch. “Out of everything that I disagreed with the most in this book I can't complete this review without stating that adultery is NEVER okay. Yo … [Read more...]

Self-compassion: sorting guilt and shame

the vine

“Self-compassion is an extension of Jesus’ compassion…” In my life and work, one of the most helpful pieces of Brene Brown’s work is the way she distinguished guilt and shame. Guilt says: I’ve done a bad thing. It is behavior focused.  It is positively correlated with healthy change. Self is not threatened so it does not need to be defensive. Shame says: I am bad. It is personhood focused.  It is positively correlated with self-destructive behavior. Self is threatened so often goes into defens … [Read more...]

God’s love: the source of self-compassion

yellow rose

“Self-compassion allows us to access a safe space of love and belonging in the midst of our imperfection because it is sourced in a Love beyond ourselves.” My own journey toward self-compassion began with a simple observation from a passage of scripture I’ve known for a long time:Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we our … [Read more...]


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