Inner Battles, Outer Grace: Cultivating Self-Compassion in a World of Comparisons

Don’t compare

Your insides with other people’s outsides.

I heard that said in 12-step rooms of recovery, and it’s stuck with me over the years.

Don’t compare your insides with other people’s outsides.

And how true it is.

We tend to beat ourselves up and see the areas in which our lives seemingly don’t measure up.

And then find examples of people who have it seemingly all together.

And then punish ourselves for not being more like them.

We either hate them for it, or hate ourselves for it, or both.

And what we will never know is the way those people also struggle with the realm of principalities which demonize them as well.

We only have access to our insides,

Not theirs.

Our dreams and secret fears.

And this is why cultivating compassion becomes paramount in our battle to uplevel our existence and reach for our dreams.

Compassion for others in understanding that no matter how great someone else’s life appears,

They are subject to the very same battleground for the soul’s salvation than we are.

And we will never know the secret chambers of their hearts or psyche,

Where from their deepest fears spring forth.

And if by chance they really were beyond all that,

Then on the level of the ego, they really wouldn’t exist at all.

So again, there would be nothing to compare.

But in the realm of a dream’s pursuit,

Having compassion for yourself is even more important.

As a tool to battle resistance,

Or for the tumultuous and long journey ahead.

Compassion for yourself,

When you fall short.

Along with an innate understanding that you will fall short,

And more than just once.

You will be overwhelmed,

And sure that you aren’t doing it right.

You will want to give up and be void of inspiration and void of course.

These things will happen along the way.

And if they don’t, then consider yourself some kind of superhuman.

But controlling ourselves and our behavior over an extended period of time,

And attempting to change that behavior towards the betterment of our lives and the lives of others,

Is the hero’s journey for a reason.

Meaning it’s a hero’s journey because it’s a heroic thing to pull off.

Because it’s a rare thing to pull off.

And it’s rare because most don’t have self-compassion.

They begin a program of change,

And fall short after a few weeks (if they make it that long),

And then beat themselves relentlessly and cave into the demons of the mind.

Reach for cheap dopamine-inducing behaviors to escape and feel good.

And here’s the thing,

Demonic principalities

(Which is what we are fighting),

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12.

They get amped up when we make a break for it.

When we try to escape the confines of our old world.

They don’t remain neutral in response to our attempt.

They come with more intensity and punishment when we fall short.

They punish us for getting ideas above our so-called station.

And so when you fall short,

They beat you up in severe ways,

Making escape even more difficult.

They can’t compete with compassion though.

Compassion is their kryptonite.

Imagine your inner dialogue filled with compassion when you fall short.

(Not using it as an excuse to fall short on purpose,

Mind you.)

But rather understanding in advance that it will happen so when it does,

You understand that you aren’t off course at all.

That in fact, this is the course.

Days and maybe even weeks of missing the mark,

Of seemingly being adrift,

Don’t mean you have lost the war.

Perhaps a battle, yes,

But not the war.

Compassion means letting go of perfectionism,

And understanding that within a moment of falling short,

Comes an opportunity to overcome.

To get back on course,

To self-correct and investigate the triggers

That threw you off your game.

Return to God in prayer and silence,

And reapply his divine armor.

Begin again,

From here.

And to the voices which catastrophize and

Say that you’ve blown it and that you’ll never make good,

And you’ll never overcome,

Smile at them and simply say,

“Yeah, yeah, yeah,

I’ve been expecting you.”

Compassion for self,

And paying attention to self-talk,

Go hand in hand.

“From the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled; with the harvest of their lips they are satisfied.

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

Proverbs 18:20/21.

The tongue,

Or our words define our lives.

Our inner dialogue,

Or self-concept is reflected in so-called reality.

But the primary reality resides in the conversation we are having within,

And at all times.

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.” Proverbs 23:7.

For as he thinketh, so he is.

I hear people call manifestation a demonic practice.

Christians will often throw it into the realm of the new age,

And leave it there.

But the Bible is clear about the power of

Our words and inner dialogue to shape our lives,

And our own responsibility to guide and direct that inner dialogue to the degree that we can.

And while we don’t really have the power to control every thought in our head,

Where we have power is the ability to observe ceaselessly every thought in our head.

And in the light of presence (or God),

Amend them along the way.

To disallow negative trains of thought to run rampant and overwhelm,

To create depression and anxiety,

To allow anger to linger,

Or judgement and condemnation to ever take hold.

All of these things will bubble up.

All of these things will make an attempt to overcome us and our dreams for a higher vibration.

They will all come.

Even Jesus was tempted by evil.

Even he had conversations with demons within.

We don’t have the power to obliterate their influence altogether.

But through the power of observation and attention, we have the ability to

Cut them down at their knees.

The armor of God is built by the power of our attention.

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

2 Corinthians 10:5.

This basically says it all.

We demolish arguments against God

(Self-defeating inner dialogue)

By holding every thought captive (through the power of our attention)

And making it obedient to Christ

(Aligning our self-talk with our highest ideal,

Creating a fulfilling and abundant life,

Rooted in the service of others and the betterment of mankind in general).

It’s a very simple concept.

Even matter of fact.

And who would argue it, really?

Beyond religious prejudice/resistance.

Most, I think, would love

To build

An existence according to these ideals,

Framed in religious talk or not.

But when we do frame it in the religion of Christianity,


Get the tremendous benefit of not having to wage this war on our own.

The demons we are up against are beyond our ego’s ability to fight them alone.

An army of demons will defeat a man or a woman standing alone every time.

Ours is to hold every thought captive,

And from there, lean on our faith,

And surrender the battle over to God.

We then have his army behind us.

And one by one, we see the

Demons disappear.