The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.” ; ~Lamentations 3: 22-24
Practicing self-care and self-compassion are often hard for us. We often think we should do more and be more. And especially for those who are not working right now, there might be a tendency to think that big things should be accomplished. We have heard the stories of genius writers, musicians and scientists and all they accomplished during a time of pandemic and isolation. We may think of all the things we should be doing, be it projects around the house, painting or fixing, spring cleaning, yard work. Maybe we think we should keep moving forward with a writing project or take that online course. Maybe we want to walk every day and lose that ten pounds we gained over winter. These expectations can be motivating or they can be overwhelming and defeating. Another approach is to practice self-care and self-compassion.
God’s mercies and God’s compassion are new every morning. That is remarkable good news for us. God shows great compassion and love. This is the hope that the writer of Lamentations holds onto in the midst of great suffering and hardship. God’s faithfulness endures. God has compassion. God hears us and listens to our prayers. God is there for us in our times of trouble. God saves us, raising us up to new life by our baptism into the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Our sins are forgiven, we begin anew. There is new life, new hope, and new possibility. If only we could be as compassionate with ourselves as God is with us.
Let us breathe deeply in prayer to God, asking for God’s help as we live through this time of pandemic. Let us receive the grace that God offers, knowing, trusting and believing that God has made us worthy to receive it. With the grace and freedom that God gives us, we are free to choose our days, to accept that one day may look different from the next, and to live and breathe through it, doing what we are able to and choose to do in each day and letting go of the rest. In this way, we can begin to practice self-compassion.
God of compassion, aid us in looking at ourselves the way You look at us. Help us to be as compassionate with ourselves as You are with us. Open our hearts to receive all the ways that You want to nurture and sustain us in this life and in this time of pandemic. Strengthen our faith and guide us in these days, for we ask it in Jesus’ name. Amen.