What is it like to show compassion to ourselves? I find it easy to have compassion for those of you who have been sexually assaulted, but most of the time I feel like I should just get over it. It is so much easier to empathize with others than ourselves. We are so hard on ourselves, but especially because of what we went through.
We tend to lead toward perfectionism. Wanting to do everything above and beyond. Except you know what? We are imperfect people. Ever since Adam and Eve sinned in the garden man has not been good.
Like today I lost it. I have been battling with the doctor’s office over a bill they sent me. A visit that should have only been a copay ended up costing me over a hundred dollars for one swab. I was furious they didn’t inform me when they did the test. I have been trying to get them to see reason as to why they need to inform people of the cost before giving the test. However, the insisted on arguing and I bought in. Easily. It does not take much for my anger to rise.
I tore them up one side and down the other ending up in tears once off the phone. Mad at myself more than them. I do not want to be that type of person! How disappointed God must be with me! I’m so tired of being angry and taking it out on others! I am the worst possible person in the world! Those were the thoughts I had.
Not compassionate at all. I did not take into account anger is a secondary emotion. It comes up because of something else. What was really happening was I felt just like I used to. I had no control over the situation and I felt trapped. Both of which are things we feel deeply from sexual assault.
I’m still berating myself for my anger episode, but as I write this I’m also reminding myself I’m imperfect and broken. We all are. We wouldn’t need Jesus otherwise. And thank goodness for Jesus. Without Him we would be hopeless. There would be no forgiveness for my anger or other sins and no hope to hold onto.
Except there is, and beyond that there is compassion. Our God is a compassionate God. It is written all throughout the scriptures of the compassion God has for His people. Psalm 103:8 says, “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.” Aren’t those words soothing to your soul?
They are to mine. Not only is He compassionate, but gracious, loving, and unlike those of us who are human slow to anger. I’m so thankful He is.
So where does that leave us in dealing with ourselves? Would God want us to treat ourselves any less than He does? No, He wants us to be as compassionate with ourselves as we are with others. We are all His children.
We just have to remember we are in a marathon not a sprint. Healing takes time and no matter how long it takes we won’t ever be perfect. Which is okay. So when you lose your temper, don’t finish your list, can’t get off the couch, or just don’t feel you’re adding up to enough…be compassionate with yourself. We are in the process of healing. Remember what you have been through.
If you get stuck and don’t know how to be compassionate ask God to help you. He is the ultimate example of compassion and love.
Help me stop trying to be perfect and accept my imperfections. Allow me to be able to show compassion for myself and what I’ve been through just as you show compassion for me. Thank you for loving me.
© 2019 Susan M. Clabaugh. All Rights Reserved.