“Practicing self-kindness flows over to extending kindness to others”- Unknown.
Often the loudest voice we hear is our own – yours may be quiet, moderate or loud, but it can be powerful and persuasive in both negative and positive ways. Because of its repetitive nature, your internal voice has the potential to mold and sculpt your consciousness, making it seem like reality. For instance, if you think or say you’re not enough, you are likely to live this out in many aspects of your life, which will prevent you from experiencing the abundant life God promises.
The enemy uses your internal voice to reinforce lies you may have learned early on in life. Is it possible to differentiate between your internal voice and what God says about you? The main difference is that one brings life and the other brings death. Lies and false beliefs can be so paralyzing that you may miss hearing from God and experiencing His goodness.
Researchers studying self-kindness/compassion suggest we experience greater insight, mental clarity, increased motivation, energy and self-esteem, decreased stress and more regulated nervous systems as a result of practicing self-kindness. Kristen Neff, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Human Development, Culture, and Learning Sciences Educational Psychology Department, The University of Texas at Austin says: there are three components of self-compassion:
- Kindness: Fierce encouraging and loving self, versus self-judgment.
- Common humanity: Knowing we aren’t alone and can receive support by connecting with one another.
- Mindfulness: Leaning into truth, kind words spoken over ourselves and others are good for our overall health versus over-identification
Can you imagine what life may be like if you embrace kindness and what God says about you? He says you are “fearfully and wonderfully made, His masterpiece, a chosen one.” Embracing and manifesting these words will help you change your thoughts, perspective and as a result, your daily reactions and interactions with others.
Is it time for you to tame and/or silence your internal voice? I wonder if, for the next twenty-four hours, you could take time to pay attention to your thoughts with the plan to reduce negative self-talk and align your thoughts and words with God’s truths about who He says you are to Him? If you choose to embark on this practice, you may experience resistance – this new self-kindness practice may feel like learning a new language.
Experiencing kindness along with God’s grace activates His answers for your life – it’s a simple yet powerful act which will flow out to being kind to others as you are kind to yourself. The simple act of placing your hands on your heart or giving yourself a hug can offer comfort. Telling yourself you’re human and have been through a lot is also an act of self-kindness.
Allow me to speak this prayer over you – Lord help us to believe we are who you say we are. Help Your voice be the loudest voice in our lives and speak your will into our lives as you desire kindness for all of us.