By Kelsey Klepper

It seems to be so much easier for me to be kind to others and to show more compassion towards complete strangers than to myselfOkay, except maybe when my toddler has been pushing me all day, then it’s difficult for me to consistently find my compassionate voice. I can be so critical of myself: the way I look, my achievements, my knowledge, my parenting, my relationship with Jesus . .  Can anyone else relate to this? Maybe I can offer more grace and compassion toward others because it is written over and over in the Bible.

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30-31).

Then why do we find it so difficult to be compassionate toward ourselves? If we are meant to be kind and loving to others, then surely we are meant to be kind and loving to ourselves as well. 

Here is some good news about self-compassion; we can change the way we talk to ourselves. We have the choice. I’ve done it. I know you can too. My inner critic voice has slowly gotten quieter over the past couple of years, and my compassionate voice has become more dominant. It definitely didn’t happen overnight. It’s been a process of relearning how I can speak to myself with a voice of gentleness and kindnessDoes that mean I’m no longer critical of myself at times? No. I still find that it’s easier to be kinder to others than to myself. But I’m choosing self-compassion much more often than I used to, and that’s a step in the right direction.

A few things that may help you start using a more compassionate inner voice: 

• Speak kind words when you’re looking in the mirror. You don’t have to love what you see, but you can start accepting your body for what it does. Maybe it’s, “my belly grew my children,” “my legs allow me to move,” “my nose allows me to smell dinner every night when I walk in the house.” It’s starting to believe your body is good and does good things.
• Speak kindly when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Instead of saying, “I have too much to do. I can’t get this done. I’m a failure,” look at your list, prioritize it, be realistic about what is manageable that day, and just do that. You’re not super woman, and you don’t need to be. Also, taking time to write down all of the things you actually did accomplish in the past few days may help put things in perspective and help you speak to yourself from a place of gentleness. 
• Carve out some time just for yourself each day or week. You deserve it, and tell yourself that. Do something that fills your cup and makes you feel good, rested, or energized. Read a book, go get a latte, go on a walk, take a nap, snuggle your dog, turn up the song and dance . . . 


More kindness to all, but please let’s not forget that we also need to be speaking kindly to ourselves every single day. 



Instagram: @kelsklepper