Do you need to practice self compassion?

The last 48-hours took me by surprise. I found myself caught up in some ingrained patterns and habits of response. As I was making holiday plans with my family, I fell into trying to please some people, and accommodate others. I lost balance, and before I knew it I wasn’t seeing clearly what was really right before me. With the grace of awareness, and the ability to discuss the situation with people I trust, the situation resolved and plans were made that everyone could agree to.

However, now that the external situation has resolved, I am finding myself with the need to tend to my interior state. As I sat quietly in prayer this morning before work, I had such a calling to give myself compassion. I’ve been listening to Dr. James Finley, psychologist and spiritual teacher, speak about the spirituality of healing. 

Finley teaches that “what we touch in love will dissolve in love.”  He invites us “to touch the hurting place with tenderness.”

During the holidays, tender places in us might get touch. How can we bring compassion, which is God’s infinite love and mercy, to ourselves–and then extend it to others?Give yourself some slack–this is a practice my husband and I practice at times of stress. We don’t make excuses for each other, but we intentionally try to not treat ourselves or each other aggressively. 

Notice your self talk–is it judgmental? is it harsh? is it self critical? Just notice it, and and see if you can be easy with yourself, and change the tone to one of generosity, kindness, self love.

Can you let God touch your hurting place? Finley teaches that it’s not enough to stand outside the door and hear the child in you calling out for help–we must go into the room; pick up the child; hold her. Can you comfort her, and give her unconditional love, which is God’s outpouring of compassion for us? Perhaps that’s what Christmas is all about!