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Compassion for Our Inner Selves

Today’s Reflection

STRESSFUL LIVING is life in a state of prolonged, unhealed woundedness and unfed hunger. Obviously we all have occasional times of stress, but this does not become stressful living unless we ignore the signs and warnings of our bodies and emotions.

If ignored or mismanaged, these prolonged periods of unnurtured fatigue and pain can lead to the closing down of our emotional responses, which is the condition known as burnout. It is a survival reaction. Often when people say they are suffering from burnout, they are really experiencing extreme symptoms of pain and fatigue that can be healed if faced in time. As long as we are hurting badly and caring deeply, we are not yet burned out.

Part of the spiritual life is to become sensitive to the signals our bodies and feelings give us that healing is needed. The deeper Christians grow in compassion toward others, the more important it is that they face their inner selves with compassion. It seems to be a spiritual law that sooner or later we treat others as we treat our inner selves.

Prayer, Stress, and Our Inner Wounds

From page 16 of Prayer, Stress, and Our Inner Wounds by Flora Slosson Wuellner. Copyright © 1985 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Spend time thinking and praying about the statement, “sooner or later we treat others as we treat our inner selves”. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

1 Peter 2:9, NRSV

This Week: pray for retirees. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.

This week we remember: Julian of Norwich (May 13).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2017 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA


{ 11 comments… add one }

  • Jill May 11, 2017, 4:03 am

    My take on this is – I am pretty good at noticing when my reservoir is running dry – and I know I will not be able to live and love appropriately until I refresh and replenish myself. I try to be very aware when my unspoken comments become sarcastic and/or cynical – this is a sign that I need to recalibrate.
    This time of the school year – I am feeling pretty tapped out. I think I mentioned earlier this week that I am looking for a time to get “away” – maybe a state park an hour or so away – and spend the day in nature, without concern for time…it seems like a wonderful idea – I wish it could happen today.
    Grateful that I said “yes” to myself – and “no” to a social activity yesterday after school. I was able to come home right after school, spend some time in the kitchen making a favorite dinner, and took a walk afterwards – it was warm and pleasant. Grateful, too, for more down time at school – opportunities to read – this gets me ready for summer. Went on-line last evening and requested 3 books from the library. My mom makes me a booklist throughout the year – so that I can have good reads for summer.

  • robert moeller May 11, 2017, 4:12 am

    Thankful for a surprise gift of fresh fiddleheads yesterday. Bills are paid. Progress with job interviews. Praying for a job offer, retirees, Anneliese, adult children.

    Yes, we should treat others with the same compassion with which we treat ourselves, noting that some times we are hard on ourselves and that is not the type of compassion we should share. Love your neighbor as yourself.

    May you experience the love of the Lord today and always.

  • Betsy May 11, 2017, 6:56 am

    I like the phrase that we should begin to treat others as we treat our inner selves. Everyone has some level of stress in their lives, I try to be gentle in my interaction others; sometimes just a smile or kind Word in passing can touch someone in a positive way.
    Thankful for a final meeting and lunch with my Women’s Bible study group as we break for the summer. We have studied the Book of John, and I’ve seen Jesus’s walk in such new and loving ways through the study. Praying that I can continue with study on my own as I bridge the gap until we start up in the fall.
    Please lift up my brother-in-law once more as his condition deteriorates. My sister is hopeful,yet prepared for his continued decline as she faces some legal end of life issues with him. My sisters and I are prepared to pack up and go to her when we are needed. Thankful her sons ar close by to give her support.
    So grateful that I can come here and “talk” with my UR family!

    • Andrea May 11, 2017, 10:53 am

      Keeping your brother-in-law, your sisters and you in prayer. May God’s love surround you all and give you strength and comfort.

  • Lou May 11, 2017, 7:36 am

    We are “called out if he darkness and into his marvelous light”
    Praying for all of the UR family and your families this morning.
    Prayers for my mother as she has a cardiac procedure this morning – it has been a long week for her in the hospital –
    God be with her – I know she feels afraid.
    But yet yesterday she was comforting me- what a Mother she is. Comfort her now Lord- prayers for all mothers as this Mother’s Day approaches.

  • Carol May 11, 2017, 7:58 am

    Although I don’t like some things about myself, I do accept myself as God has already accepted me I dont believe you can treat others differently than how you treat and see yourself. Impossible!

  • Julie May 11, 2017, 7:59 am

    I am constantly under stress in my home and have been told that taking time for myself is selfish and aa hardship for my husband.
    Prayers for Lou’s mother, Betsy’s brother-in-law and Robert’s job search and all who visit this warm and loving community
    thank you all for allowing us to be open and honest about our lives

  • Andrea May 11, 2017, 9:53 am

    Yes I have experienced it to be true that self-care is important. At times that became obvious only after I reached the point of feeling burnt out, in circumstances where I had no choice but to keep going. Retreats at Christian retreat centers helped me find the sustenance I needed, sometimes a silent day-long retreat with spiritual direction, sometimes a programmed weekend retreat, a couple times a retreat lasting a week. Each time, I came away with a strong spiritual renewal.

    Now, being retired, I am fortunate to have time to take care of myself as well as to give time to others and to causes that I care about. Still, I find it challenging to take care of myself and to know intrinsically that it is okay to take care of myself.

    I pray for all retirees, that their needs be met materially as well as spiritually.

    Wishing all a blessed day.

  • Tony May 11, 2017, 3:40 pm


  • Tony May 11, 2017, 3:43 pm


  • Linda Marie May 11, 2017, 8:20 pm

    Thank you so much for pointing this out. Sometimes I ignore how I’m feeling, but I’m usually very aware when I’m mistreating others. I will be using this as a reminder to take care of myself.

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