I recently received “Give Yourself a Break” in the mail and immediately read over half of it. It is wonderful. Kim Fredrickson’s book about self-compassion explores God’s compassion for us from a balanced perspective that includes both truth and grace.
Compassionate self-talk has been shown to calm the threat-detection system and allow us to be more understanding with others. Kristin Neff is an expert in self-compassion. Her research found that “people who can first give themselves emotional support and validation will be in a better position to be giving, accepting and generous to their partners.” She also found that “people who nurture self-compassion have better overall psychological and emotional health, experience less anxiety and depression, are more motivated to achieve their goals.” (Randall, 2013)
Here is a little taste of a book packed with wisdom, words of grace, and practical ways to apply self-compassion:
“As children we’re taught to treat others the way we would like to be treated. But as adults, we often need to turn that old maxim around. We’re good at showing compassion to other people – but many of us have trouble showing that same compassion to ourselves.”
“Self-compassion is absolutely essential for healthy, balanced living. It provides huge benefits including emotional resiliency, stress reduction, contentment, and healthier relationships. Without it we are vulnerable to the opinions of others and find it difficult to deal with and let go of our mistakes. It is tough enough to go through a difficult situation, especially when we think we had a part in creating it. It is another kind of torture to never be able to let go of self-criticism and blame… God’s heart is tender toward us in our suffering, frailties, and mistakes. He is our perfect example of balancing truth and grace. He knows we are but dust and is merciful (Ps. 78:38-39).”