Mercy Also Means Self-Compassion

Dear Reader:

For many people, isn’t self-compassion the hardest gift to receive from ourselves? Aren’t we more comfortable showing mercy and compassion to others…but suddenly, awkwardly, uncomfortable when others are doing for us or we for ourselves?

The Fifth Beatitude says: ” “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy” ( Matthew 5:7) In other words Jesus expects the giving and receiving cycle to go round and round…so if we suddenly don’t want to receive from others…the circle falters.

And then, what about having mercy on ourselves, self-compassion and forgiveness? Even tougher situation, right? Why is that… I wonder? Why are we harder on ourselves and less compassionate?

Kelly Rae Roberts wrote this personal, short meaning behind the title painting:

THIS. This is something I’m still trying to get the hang of, but every time it gets just a little bit easier. Let. Yourself. Off. The. Hook. We are so hard on ourselves. Compassion is everything. Especially if we can not only GIVE it to ourselves, but ALLOW ourselves to receive it. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for… We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.

I love that last statement (We are the ones we’ve been waiting for“)….it reminds me of the ‘trash coming from our hearts’ observation in yesterday’s post. If we can take time to separate ourselves from the busyness of life and give some thought to our deepest inner feelings (through God’s directions)…we discover that much of life’s troubles stem from within…not from beyond.

In my summer book selections I have slowly begun to recognize a familiar pattern. Old family secrets, cover-ups, and life times spent in guilt and self-recriminations (over some wrong-doing that happened in the past) ruins lives. Not just the lives of the guilt-stricken…but the innocent lives of the loved ones who surround them. If the matter never reveals itself or comes clean….generations of loved ones can be affected.

If the secret, no matter how grief-stricken the situation…had been revealed….generations of those to follow could have started their lives afresh with a clean slate. Even the wrong-doer could have found the peace that comes with God’s grace…that allows us to finally let go and accept our own self-compassion and mercy.

Unforgiveness (towards ourselves or others) leads to a ‘festering’ of negative emotions that eventually stifles our personal spirituality…our relationship with God.

Psychologist  Kristin Neff was the first person to measure and operationally define the term “self-compassion.She describes self-compassion as kindness toward the self, which entails being gentle, supportive, and understanding: “Rather than harshly judging oneself for personal shortcomings, the self is offered warmth and unconditional acceptance.” In other words, being kind to ourselves in good times and bad, in sickness and in health— and even when we make mistakes.

“Having self-compassion means being able to recognize the difference between making a bad decision and being a bad person. When you have self-compassion, you understand that your worth is unconditional.”

So until tomorrow….Let us always remember when we show mercy, compassion and pardoning to others…we are preparing ourselves to be able to self-administer the same compassion, mercy, and pardoning to ourselves..thus cleansing the wrong-doing and righting our lives through God’s grace.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

I got my latest Gerber daisy planted today on the side yard under my office window…I hope it is going to like its location

I love finding fun, little peek-holes to view a certain part of the garden from a different perspective…sometimes a rotted board or space between a board allows just that beautiful scene.






About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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6 Responses to Mercy Also Means Self-Compassion

  1. ambikasur says:

    ”Unforgiveness (towards ourselves or others) leads to a ‘festering’ of negative emotions that eventually stifles our personal spirituality…our relationship with God.”
    I’ve been there Becky… Nailed it again this time… This is where God comes in search of us and make broken things beautiful for His Glory


    • Becky Dingle says:

      God never stops being there for us….I realize now that every time I have felt distant from God that it is me who dropped His Hand…never the reverse.


  2. you are so right about practicing mercy for ourselves, forgiveness and compassion-all so difficult-but oh so liberating-and it is fair really. This post made me say I love you to myself! I am so glad I met you.


  3. Becky Dingle says:

    Exactly…we are perfectly imperfect!


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