“We can respond to our pain with the Samaritan part of ourselves, a part that unexpectedly exceeds expectations and comes to our own aid. Our past experiences and current struggles may make it difficult, but we are capable of showing up to care for ourselves. Jesus points to the one who is least likely to extend mercy as the example of showing mercy. Sometimes we feel like the least likely candidates to help ourselves, unequipped and overwhelmed. But locating compassion for ourselves within ourselves can carry us a long way toward healing.”
Never lose sight of the strongest, wisest, and most compassionate part of yourself.
We are complex, surprising, and stronger than we think we are. But there are times when we feel like the more impulsive, weary, and vulnerable parts of ourselves are calling the shots. We may come face to face with something within us that feels insurmountable. Many of my clients feel the frustration of wishing they could more quickly change certain behaviors or tendencies within themselves. I can relate to that feeling when I reflect on my own journey.
The parts of ourselves that we most want to change are the same parts of ourselves that need loving attention from us. They are the parts that ultimately can become our greatest strength, when we embrace rather than deny or distract ourselves from them. Don’t be afraid to sit with discomfort, to ask the difficult questions, and to work through your questions about yourself with those you trust. And as you do, locate your best sources of wisdom. You may feel uncertainty about the future, stress regarding an unforeseen obstacle, disappointment in a relationship, or a lack of control over some outcome in your life. But as you sit with whatever leaves you unsettled, gravitate toward those who make time to listen, those who energize and support you. Take care of yourself, whether you feel like it or not. Read and listen to uplifting books and music. Pray or meditate. Return to what you know works. Jesus commends the one who shows compassion. Let’s show compassion, both for ourselves and others.