God and Sexual Assault

Learning Self-Compassion

For yourself.

One thing I have found hard to learn over the past 10 to 12 years is self-compassion. As I started to remember all that happened to me I was severely depressed and after I lost my job had a hard time doing even a simple task at home.

I had no energy or motivation and I simply didn’t care if the bathrooms were clean anymore. Let the cat’s fur build up on the carpet. What did it matter anyway? I was told by my family and even one counselor I sought to “get over it because that’s what adults do.”

It wasn’t until I found my current counselor did I begin to learn that you don’t get over it. Recovering from trauma is a hard and long process. It has taken me many years with my counselor to start to learn to do what he does for me. Have compassion for what I’ve been through and am dealing with getting better.

He asked me the other day again how Jesus would act toward me. It makes you stop and think about Jesus’ character. He was a compassionate man who cared about the hurting and sick. He would eat with the “downcast” people labeled by society. Ultimately giving His life for ours. Would a man (God) like that treat me harshly and tell me to get over it?

Would He expect you to not spend time recovering from trauma? I think He understands better than we do what we’re dealing with and what we need as we recover. So, when I think about that I realize how hard I am on myself.

This past Sunday was Mother’s Day. A painful day for me and for others. I was entirely unmotivated and could have cared less about anything. I didn’t want to do anything at all so I sat and vegged in front of the TV.

I told my counselor I didn’t understand why I was so down and not motivated and he replied, “Really you have no idea why Sunday was hard for you?”

“Oh, well, yeah it was Mother’s Day but that shouldn’t have made a difference.” I said to him.

So, he proceeded to tell me that I should have more compassion for myself and what I’m dealing with. The grief and loss that comes up. Those alone drain you.

I’m trying to be better about it, but it is hard as I’m sure you know. The world is hard on us and we in turn are hard on ourselves. Next time you find yourself saying you should “get over it, move on, or be able to do what everyone else is”, remember you are recovering from trauma and the grief and loss that goes with it. Think about how Jesus would treat you and if you’re stuck send up a prayer to Him for help.

May you show self-compassion to yourself as you continue on your journey of healing.



On a side note: I’m considering starting a Facebook page where I post encouraging verses, songs, and memes and where you can share my blog posts if you wish. Shorter encouragement more often, but this blog will continue as well. I’ll let you know the address when I have it up and running.

© 2020 Susan M. Clabaugh. All Rights Reserved.


Susan is an author and speaker who loves to share her journey of God's redemption and encourage others as they look to God. As a former elemetary teacher with a passion for teaching, Susan also owns her own tutoring and consulting business where she empowers students and parents in reading. Susan lives in Lee's Summit, Missouri, with her adorable and grumpy Persian cat, Mia.

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