Give Yourself a Compassionate Break!

 

Are You Too Hard on Yourself? 

Do You Have Trouble Showing Yourself the Same Grace and Understanding You Offer to Others?

Most likely you’ve never been taught to handle being an imperfect human in a healthy way

It’s been two years since my book, Give Yourself a Break: Turning Your Inner Critic into a Compassionate Friend was released. What a blessing it has been to publish this book and get to know so many friends all over the world who are pursuing a compassionate relationship with themselves.

You may not know the back story of how I came to publish this book

I didn’t want to. I was a busy counselor and had the privilege of teaching future master’s students to become therapists. I loved what I was doing, I didn’t want to do the hard work to write a book.

But…God kept nudging me to do so

I finally said yes, under duress. I knew how much others needed to learn how to be compassionate with themselves. I also knew how important it was to integrate self-compassion with our faith.

As a counselor, I saw first-hand how hard people were on themselves when they failed, made mistakes, made poor decisions, or couldn’t foresee the future. What they needed was a concrete way to develop a kind and compassionate relationship with themselves. They needed to learn ways to care for and relate to themselves the way God does…with love, grace and truth.

As a counselor, I worked with my clients to be compassionate with themselves as they worked through things in their lives. Over time they grew emotionally, spiritually and relationally. They began to understand themselves, care for themselves, and talk to themselves as they would a good friend who was struggling. This began a life-changing process of turning their inner critic into a compassionate friend.

If you’re like most people, sometimes you can be your own worst enemy Click To Tweet

Most of us are used to showing compassion to others, but often have trouble showing that same compassion to ourselves. We often say things to ourselves we would never say to a friend.  This lack of compassion and negative self-talk can have a devastating effect on our lives.

Most of us learned to handle our mistakes, sins and mess-ups by doubling down…by trying harder…by being hard on ourselves as a motivator to not mess up again! Sometimes we try to deal with our shortcomings by denying they are even there.

The problem is these strategies don’t work for the long term. No one achieves long lasting growth by being hard on themselves. We might see some short-term success, but in the end our inner critic takes over…holding us to standards we would never apply to others. No one grows by ignoring problems and hoping they’ll go away.

We employ these strategies because we simply don’t know what else to do

We need a way to deal with our faults that doesn’t beat us up or ignore them. We need a way to care for those God has given us, while also caring for ourselves. God knows all of us mess up, make mistakes, sin and do things we regret. This reality is no surprise to Him. He has made a way to reconcile with Him.

We need a way to reconcile with ourselves!

There is a way, and it has been my privilege to share that way through my book, CD’s and blog.

Thanks to all of you for your generous support to me on this journey over the last two years. You have been such a blessing to me. These last two years have been such a blessing to me professionally, and such a devastating time health-wise.

But God knew

He nudged me to write Give Yourself a Break, before I became seriously ill. He prodded me to go to my one and only writers conference where I met the editor who offered me a contract to write this book. This was four months before being diagnosed with breast cancer. It was one year before being diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, a terminal lung disease I got from the chemo and radiation treatment for breast cancer.

I had to close my counseling practice, but God set me up to have a ministry I could have from the comfort of my easy chair. I just keep putting one foot in front of the other, hanging onto Jesus. The encouragement from all of you, my family and friends has kept me going, as well as the good relationship I have with myself.

I wanted to celebrate this two year anniversary with you!

If you are struggling with your inner critic, and don’t know how to be a compassionate friend to yourself, it’s not too late. Your life will be so much easier and settled with a compassionate friend on the inside.

Besides my book, I also have 2 recordings that can help you learn how to speak to yourself with kindness & compassion.

Many blessings to you my friends…and Thank You!

I’d love to hear from you!

How have you seen yourself grow in being a compassionate friend to yourself?

Please share on social media or via e-mail with others who might benefit

Click the pictures below to listen to some samples on my two compassionate recordings.

Compassionate Self-Statements and Self-Soothing Exercises www.cdbaby/cd/kimfredrickson  

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9 thoughts on “Give Yourself a Compassionate Break!

  1. This is a milestone in so many ways, and I celebrate YOU and all that you have accomplished and battled with abiding faith the last two years. You are an amazing inspiration to me and to countless others. Your ministry is relevant and powerful and changes lives. Thank you!
    You are loved, you know!

  2. “How have you seen yourself grow in being a compassionate friend to yourself?”

    ―Oh my, sometimes it all comes together, the grace and truth, the compassionate inner self-talk. . . .Taxi comes 30 min. late, grace and truth + compassion. Miss my plane, grace and truth + compassion. Miss a court filing (no small thing), grace and truth + compassion. Nearly get by a truck on the exit ramp, grace and truth + compassion. I say: “Aleea, remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” and “Aleea, be kind to yourself. Remember that when you abuse yourself, you will experience the anger, regret, and apathy of your inner bully, as well as the depression, anxiety, and insecurity of your inner victim. ―Whatever you do, be kind to yourself.”

    But other days, especially if the pace gets above a certain level, I will blast myself: “―Aleea, where is your cell phone???” “―Aleea, where are those documents!!!” “Why can’t you stay organized??? Didn’t we have this talk about staying organized!!!!!” “―Aleea, you would lose your head if it were not screwed onto your body!!!” (―My mother said that to me all the time. Things my mother said to me are deeply recorded, even deeper because of constant hitting.)

    I don’t know how many times I have worked through “Give Yourself a Break: Turning Your Inner Critic into a Compassionate Friend” and listened to the wonderful Compassion CD and all the talks: Self-Compassion in the Counseling Office, et. al. . . . .On that CD you say that “God desperately loves us.” That always shocks me. I think, “God desperately, I mean, d-e-s-p-e-r-a-t-e-l-y loves me! —that is really so wonderful!!!” Now, how do I consistently believe it? I can’t just start believing that I am, say, Joan-of-Arc. . . . So, here is the way I look at it: God cannot be disappointed in me because I have no way of surprising Him. He is not temperamental, touchy and violent (―like my mother when I was growing up) because that would make Him human like me. He is never surprised by my actions. Instead of disgust, He reaches out to pick me back up so I can start over and over and over. He is patient and kind. Anyways, I delight in the fact that He knows my heart, because that means I know that He knows I always want a deeper relationship with Him.

    . . . My counselor says that part of me really does trust God but part of me doesn’t because of the childhood abuse. She says we view God like we view our parents. In fact, she did her Ph.D. on that (How people view God and why.) . . .So, for me, it is like: “Lord I believe, help my unbelief.” On good days, I start out one step at a time. I decide to trust Him for one little thing, and before I know it, I find out He’s trustworthy for lots of things. . . On other days it is like. . . “Aleea, what is the matter with you!” (my mother’s voice), . . .And yet I understand it: If God is going to write our stories, He’s going to first need our pens (our trust).

    . . .And Kim, what I have learned from you is to have the courage to love myself like I always wished someone would and always remember to give myself the kindness, compassion and consideration I would easily give to others. . . . spending less time filling out my personal scorecard and more time being kind . . . to myself. I still hold myself accountable professionally and personally (the truth part), but, on good days, there are no toxic emotions inflicted upon and towards myself (the grace part). I treat myself with love, care, dignity and make my wellbeing a priority. . . .Even if it still feels selfish and self-indulgent on some days.

      1. Thank you so much Kim, much love and prayers —always!
        . . .You have taught me, what could *never* before be taught! . . .When I first read your book, I went back and studied all those Bible texts, very carefully. Finally it hit me: that I forgive insults, love my enemy in the name of Christ, that must surely include myself!!! I am the enemy who must be loved too; the enemy that is in need of long-suffering instead of calling myself “Raca, (‘worthless’ ’empty’ Matthew 5, et.al.)” and condemning and raging against myself. . . . I myself stand in most need of the alms of my own kindness. —Or, I just say: Love is an inside job! —A truly compassionate attitude towards ourselves (―internally, in the factory of ourselves) is the only way to have it for others. If we get it right *internally* all that cycles out into our worlds (externally), even if others behave negatively or hurt us. Only the development of compassion and understanding for ourselves (*ourselves* internally) can cause us to have real compassion for others *externally*. . . .It is the reverse logic that God always seems to use: The way right is left; the way up is down; the way to save your life is to lose it completely. . . .Evil does its worst, but God takes it as the actual raw material by which to bless people. —Turning even the greatest evil into the greatest good. . . .That is really hard stuff to process. —It’s almost unbelievable, —but that’s Christ for you!

    1. Aleea, You’re incredible! I’ve so appreciated your beautifully honest thoughts and reflections over these past two years. May God continue to help you believe a little bit more and more every day! Roberta

      1. Thank you Roberta, that is so kind. You say of Kim “I often listened to your recordings and was lulled into peace by the gentleness of them. I’m now able to speak to myself with kind acceptance and through practice, I’m Improving at offering myself encouragement through the rough patches.” —Me too!!! We have to allow ourselves to be loved by the people who really love us, especially ourselves *internally* —the person who really matters. Too much of the time, we are blinded by our own pursuits of people to love us, people that don’t, while all that time we waste the people who do love us have to stand on the sidewalk and watch us beg in the streets! It’s time to put an end to this. It’s time for us to let ourselves be loved. . . .But no amount of external love can ever replace the internal compassion and love we need to give ourselves. When someone really loves you, the way they talk about you is different. You feel safe and comfortable. That’s what we must be to ourselves. . . . .Our task, it seems, is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within ourselves that we have built against it. We have the ability to show real love to others when we truly, compassionately love ourselves first. I now see how owning our own stories and compassionately loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do. . . .I only accept others mistakes and flaws to the degree that I accept my own.

  3. Kim, You, your book, your words…your constant encouragement has been life-giving!! I remember telling your friend, who recommended the book, that it was filled with pages of kindness. And, it is! Thank you for your devotion to teaching. I’ve had the privilege of being schooled in self-kindness and compassion by you. Circumstances forced me to grow. Self-compassion eased my pain and suffering. I often listened to your recordings and was lulled into peace by the gentleness of them. I’m now able to speak to myself with kind acceptance and through practice, I’m Improving at offering myself encouragement through the rough patches. Thank you for blessing me and others and thanks to God for nudging YOU!
    Many blessings to you Kim!

    1. Thank you so much Roberta! So appreciate your lovely encouragement. It does my soul good to know my efforts have helped you so much. I know you’ve done a lot of hard work to put all you’ve learned into practice. You are so worth it!

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