If you’re reading this message, it’s safe to say you’re part of the ADRA family. This means that you probably don’t hesitate to step up and share your compassion with people in need around the world, as well as your family and friends.
But, what about you? Do you practice the same compassion for yourself?
Showing yourself compassion doesn’t mean being selfish or always putting yourself first. It might just mean learning to give yourself forgiveness or ensuring that you have the rest and nourishment your body needs even when it feels like you can’t slow down.
There are endless reasons why you should always show yourself compassion, but here are three of our favorites!
- You are God’s child and He made you in His own image. You may need to go back and read that again. God made you, He chose you, and He died for you. He loved you from the very beginning, and that love continues through every good and bad day, through every triumph, and through every misstep and bad decision.
When you find yourself falling a little short on self-compassion, remember the words of Psalm 139:14: “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (NIV)
You were intentionally, wonderfully made by God. Never doubt that.
- We have been living through heavy times. You may be as tired as we are of hearing the word “unprecedented,” but don’t discount what we have been through over the last couple of years and the toll it’s taken on you.
We have lost loved ones, jobs, and the security of normal life. Millions have suffered the effects on their physical health, and many, many more have felt the effects on our mental health.
Even if you haven’t been hit as hard as others by the pandemic, we are still experiencing a collective trauma. So, why is there an expectation to be as productive as ever (or even more so?)
We know that family responsibilities don’t just go away when we need a break and most of us are not in a place to ask our employers to expect less of us at work, but we are all in control of what goes on in our own hearts and minds.
Treat yourself with the same kindness and grace that you would extend to a dear friend—practice turning off that critical voice in your head and show yourself a little forgiveness when you feel that you have fallen short.
- You will feel the difference. Showing yourself compassion goes beyond developing a more positive mindset. It can also extend to taking care of yourself physically and spiritually.
It can be difficult at the best of times to step back and make sure we’re caring for ourselves, and when we’re busy and stressed, it might feel downright wrong! But trust us, taking care of your well-being holistically will impact you and those in your life, as well as help heal the world for better.
If you return to the idea of how you would treat a friend with compassion, imagine how you could encourage them to find acceptance and understanding in their busy life. What would you suggest? Get fresh air, go for a walk, make time for reading your Bible, eat nourishing food, have a good laugh, make rest a priority, talk to a trusted friend or doctor, and pray. Great advice for a friend … and for you.
We are so grateful for the compassion you continue to share with ADRA and those we are blessed to serve together. This holiday season, we pray that you show yourself that same compassion every day!