Have you heard the term “self compassion”? Apparently there’s been loads of scientific research done on this concept, with many papers and reports written on the topic. In a nutshell, the idea of self-compassion is being kind to yourself in both thought and action.
As women, we are so good at extending compassion to others. We take care of sick family members even if it means we don’t get a minute of sleep. We forgive a coworker who makes an error, even if it increases our own workload. We’re gracious to someone who’s having a bad day, offering words of encouragement and even gifts of chocolate. But when it comes to being compassionate to ourselves…that’s another thing! We judge ourselves harshly when we make mistakes, work when we’re sick, and take on more than is humanly possible. Why don’t we extend to ourselves the same compassion that we offer others?
Today’s the day to turn that around! If your cup is empty, you can’t fill someone else’s. And as ministry leaders, if we’re not taking care of ourselves—physically, emotionally, and spiritually—we have nothing to offer. We need to be kind to ourselves in these areas or we’ll be lacking when we try and show compassion to others.
It’s easier to talk about and even agree with this concept than to do it. But you are valuable. You are worth taking care of. In case that’s hard to believe, remember that Jesus gave his life for you. Have a little compassion—for yourself!
Amy Nappa, former and much-loved the Champion for Women’s Ministry at Group Publishing in Loveland, Colorado.