Compassion: Part 1

Written by: Meaghan Heighway, LMHC-P

“A moment of self compassion can change your entire day. A string of such moments can change the course of your life.” (Christopher K. Germer)

Everyone speaks to themselves daily, but most of the time it’s not a conscious decision. How we choose to speak to ourselves can have tremendous power – and what if we were unwittingly using that force incorrectly? First, we need to become aware of the potential we hold within ourselves to speak truth or fallacies. Second, we need to become consciously aware of what we are in fact telling ourselves – over time, and at crucial moments. Finally, we can alter the continued course of our lives if we choose to embrace the thought track and action plan of self compassion. This three-part series will unpack what self compassion is, and how wielding it effectively can help our lives become much more effective.
Each human soul holds amazing potential. From the very beginning, we are made in the imago Dei, or image of God: “Now let Us conceive a new creation—humanity—made in Our image, fashioned according to Our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). From our conception, we were created to reflect God’s Divine nature and His awesome Personhood. While this can seem daunting, it also reflects implicitly how we can choose to speak to ourselves about our innate worth. We may initially feel intimidated, exclaiming, ‘But who am I, to reflect God?’ While that is an understandable question, another way of responding to the incredible responsibility God has given us could be: ‘How amazing God is, that He loves me and put so much potential within me. I’ve done nothing to earn it and yet He sees me as precious and of great value.’
God gave human beings staggering potential, and part of that potential is that we have the capacity to fashion wonderful things – including our thoughts. Philippians 4:8 tells us, “Finally, brothers and sisters, fill your minds with beauty and truth. Meditate on whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is good, whatever is virtuous and praiseworthy.” To remind us of this also affirms that we have the capacity to do so – we can make deliberate efforts to direct our thoughts towards what is compassionate and breathtaking. This further reflects that we are made in the image of God, innately designed with the ability to alter our mindsets.
However, often we have become so entrenched within a mentality that we aren’t even aware that another way is possible. This isn’t something to put yourself down for – we all unconsciously build ‘scripts’ from the time we are very young, and often aren’t even aware of the need to change because it’s something we’ve always known. This will be expounded on more in the second part of this miniseries, where we unpack how to identify our inner scripts and start to develop awareness of how to change them for the better. For now, consider the possibility that every one of us has a God-given potential to do amazing things, and that with His help that can be achieved over time.
In conclusion, consider that while we have great potential, we can’t change ourselves by ourselves – and fortunately, we don’t have to. Philippians 4:6 – 7 reminds us, “Pray about everything. He longs to hear your requests, so talk to God about your needs and be thankful for what has come. And know that the peace of God (a peace that is beyond any and all of our human understanding) will stand watch over your hearts and minds in Jesus, the Anointed One.” Begin considering what you’d like to change in your way of thinking, by bringing it before God. Not only does this strengthen our relationship with Him, it also reminds us that we are not alone and that change is possible. While you mull over what it means to have amazing potential, have compassion on yourself and remember that God is with you as you walk through this life journey.

(All Scripture references are from The Voice translation.)

Disclaimer: The information contained in this blog is intended to educate, inform and entertain. This does not represent psychotherapy, therapeutic assessment, or any other form of therapeutic intervention. This should not be used as a substitute for consultation and treatment with a licensed mental health professional. If you have questions related to the material contained in this site please contact CCM or a licensed mental health professional of your choice.

 

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