Learning to “Try Softer” and Grow in Self-Compassion (Aundi Kolber)

Do you have trouble showing yourself compassion like Jesus does to you?  Are you your greatest critic? Do you feel like you’re being selfish or wasting time and energy to be kind to yourself? Do you live from the template that you’re not enough and you’re unlovable? Do you acknowledge your experiences are valid or do you minimize or numb the pain?

When I first read about a book called Try Softer by Aundi Kolber, I knew I needed to read it, especially when I read:

“I want you to begin to develop a new awareness of your story and your wounds so you can attend to your pain with the same tenderness God does.”

To be honest, I don’t treat myself with the tenderness and compassion God does. Do you?

Aundi Kolber, a trauma therapist, discovered she never really learned how to hold the pain of others without internalizing it, because she had never really processed her own trauma. She just kept white-knuckling her way through, leaving herself exhausted and overwhelmed.

Trying softer means to become more attentive to our bodies, minds, and spirits so we can give each of these parts what it needs to heal. Trying hard to dismiss or deny our trauma will only have detrimental effects to ourselves and others. It’s in acknowledging the reality of our pain and learning to process our stories that we become more of who God designed us to be.

Aundi helps us to understand the complexity of our God-created brains and how God designed our bodies and minds to work together to process our stories. She equips, empowers, and encourages us to connect to our truest self, to move out of anxiety, stress, and survival mode into a life of connection and joy.

“In Try Softer, you’ll learn how to:

  • Know and set emotional and relational boundaries
  • Make sense of the difficult experiences you’ve had
  • Identify your attachment style―and how that affects your relationships today
  • Move through emotions rather than get stuck by them
  • Grow in self-compassion and talk back to your inner critic

Trying softer is sacred work. And while it won’t be perfect or easy, it will be worth it. Because this is what we were made for: a living, breathing, moving, feeling, connected, beautifully incarnational life.”

I’m only into the fourth chapter of this book as I have to take it slowly, so I can process all I’m learning. And sometimes I need to put it aside for a while, because it’s not always easy to discover deep, buried layers that still need more healing. At the same time, I am fascinated by how God has wired our brains to process trauma.

Some of my favorite quotes so far are:

“There are truly times when the best, healthiest, most productive thing we can do is not to try harder, but rather to try softer: to compassionately listen to our needs so we can move through pain – and ultimately life – with more gentleness and resilience.”

“Like the ever-elusive quick fix, ignoring, pretending, or numbing something doesn’t usually resolve our pain.”

“When we deny the reality of our experiences, we don’t become more of who God designed us to be, but less.”

“When I understand why my brain is reacting the way it is, I become empowered to validate the underlying need and then work on changing the situation.”

“We are not defined by our best days or our worst days. We are His beloved.”

“You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in Your bottle.
You have recorded each one in Your book.”
Psalm 56:8
“The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.
The Lord is good to all;
He has compassion on all He has made.”
Psalm 145:8-9

He Knows My Name
by The McRaes

May Roundup of Hope Resources


ABCs of Jesus’ Love

(Visit this page for more verses!)

❤  Holy Love 
“The angel replied,
‘The Holy Spirit shall come upon you,
and the power of God shall overshadow you;
so the baby born to you will be
utterly holy—the Son of God.’

Luke 1:35 TLB

cutecolorsj7

Hope Harbor

💞  Articles/Blog Posts That Inspire Hope and Healing 💞

💞 Hard Times? How to Hear God’s Song Louder Than Any Hard Times – Ann Voskamp’s guest post by Aubrey Sampson – “In a world full of hate, abuse, and game change, God doesn’t avoid or ignore pain. He sings a louder song over it. And He invites His hurting people to sing with Him.”

💞 It’s Okay to Process Your Loss – Dolly Lee shares about learning self-compassion toward our hurts. To God, suffering is suffering, and He doesn’t compare one to another. – “When we don’t deal with what is inside us, it tends to result in other harmful attitudes and actions.” 

💞 You’d Never Know It From Looking At Her – Alia Joy shares honest truths about the hidden pain of mental illness. – “Sometimes it’s hard to be the one in line for your antidepressant, or anti-anxiety meds, or in my case all of the above with an added antipsychotic to control my bipolar disorder. Sometimes we don’t want a consult, we just want a connection. We just want to know it’s ok. We just want to know we’re not alone.

Nature Retreat

“The more often we see the things around us –
even the beautiful and wonderful things –
the more they become invisible to us.
That is why we often take for granted
the beauty of this world:
the flowers, the trees, the birds, the clouds –
even those we love.
Because we see things so often,
we see them less and less.”
Joseph B. 

Again, some awesome pics from my brother. 🙂 Thank you, John!

Yes, Big Bertha is really the name of this cactus!
Cactus Wren’s Home
Cactus Wren’s Nest
Great Horned Owl
Great Horned Owl Facts

cutecolorsplant1c

Quotes

❤ How radically must we rework our own self-image if we accept ourselves as loveable – as deeply, passionately, and unconditionally loved by God?” – Antony Campbell

Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is illusion.” – Brennan Manning

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” – Albert Einstein

cutecolorsbutterflyline


Thank You
to anyone and everyone who
recommends links, quotes, etc.

signature3

New This Month: Links, Quotes, Books & More

whatsnew

cutecolorsbutterflyline

“Real influence is a quality of the soul
that enables others to feel at home with us —
more loved, comforted, accepted and known –
because we feel at home with God. As is.”
~ Bonnie Gray 

cutecolorsplantline1

 

bearreadingbook

Books

 Pure Eyes, Clean Heart: A Couple’s Journey to Freedom from Pornography
by Jen & Craig Ferguson

pure eyes clean heart“In this candid account, Craig and Jen Ferguson share their personal story of the shame, anger, and hopelessness associated with Craig’s porn addiction. It threatened to destroy their marriage until they discovered how drawing close to Christ could lead them out of the pit of sinful habits, unhealthy responses, and personal despair toward true recovery. Marked by biblical and practical guidance for addressing the heart issues that lead to addiction, Pure Eyes, Clean Heart offers encouragement and hope to those who struggle—or whose loved ones struggle—with the lure of pornography. Includes Scripture-based prayers, discussion questions for couples, and other helpful resources.” (Amazon Review)

I found out about this book at A Heartening Life: Mending a Marriage. I haven’t read it, but it sounds like it gives hope to those who need healing because of pornography invading the home.

Breathing Room: Letting Go So You Can Fully Live by Leeana Tankersley

breathingroomBreathing Room is a beautiful release of self-condemnation, a discovery of the rest that comes when we offer ourselves some space to breathe. Vulnerable and winsome, Leeana Tankersley shows you how to stop breathing yourself up, how to be radically on your own team, and how to truly experience grace. If you’ve been putting on a strong front and yet are secretly coming apart, you’ll find in these pages a trusted friend.”

Just a few snippets of wisdom from this book:

  • “This was the beginning of something for me, the reality that breathing room was available when – and only when – I faced the very thing I didn’t want to face.”
  • “The toxic voice is the dark voice of scarcity, while God’s voice is the voice of abundance.”
  • “The pressure’s off when we can ingest – with compassion and acceptance – our God-image and our dirt-self, our brilliance, and our brokenness.”
  • “The inner bully says, There isn’t enough grace out there for you.
  • “When I practice being not God – nonGodly – I am trusting God’s God-ness.”
  • “God is unfolding a work of beauty in us, but the beauty is made from castoffs, throwaways, reclaimed, even broken pieces.”
  • “My job is simply to allow myself to feel all these events – to let the crash happen – and not be in charge of forcing it all back together again.”
  • “Christ saves us when we cannot save ourselves. Christ comes and sits with us when we cannot get ourselves up off the floor.”
  • “Faith says, I will let myself be led by a power that is higher than I am, by someone who can see what I can’t see from here.”

 

cutecolorsplant6b

Hope Harbor

Alcoholics Anonymous 

“If you are concerned with a drinking problem, wish to learn more about Alcoholics Anonymous or want to find A.A. near you, we can help you.

Alcoholics Anonymous is an international fellowship of men and women who have had a drinking problem. It is nonprofessional, self-supporting, multiracial, apolitical, and available almost everywhere. There are no age or education requirements. Membership is open to anyone who wants to do something about his or her drinking problem.”

Mental Health Ministries   

“Mental Health Ministries is an ecumenical, interfaith outreach through the California-Pacific Conference of the United Methodist Church. Our mission is to educate faith leaders and lay persons for the purpose of decreasing the stigma associated with mental illnesses in our faith communities. Providing resources to faith communities to develop a mental health program appropriate to each congregation is the important first step in the inclusion and support of persons with mental illnesses and their families into the life of that community. Our mission is to give voice to those who have suffered in silence and to enable faith communities to begin the process of reaching out and providing compassionate care to those affected by disorders of the brain.”

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – Center for Disease Control and Prevention Information

“Chronic fatigue syndrome, or CFS, is a debilitating and complex disorder characterized by profound fatigue that is not improved by bed rest and that may be worsened by physical or mental activity. Symptoms affect several body systems and may include weakness, muscle pain, impaired memory and/or mental concentration, and insomnia, which can result in reduced participation in daily activities.”

 

Nature Retreat

“We need to find God, and He cannot be found in noise and restlessness.
God is the friend of silence.
See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence;
see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence…
We need silence to be able to touch souls.”
~ Mother Teresa

“I go to nature to be soothed and healed.
And to have my senses put in tune once more.”
~ J. Burroughs

 ➺ HubbleSite Gallery – “Spectacular pictures of stars, galleries, nebulae, and more. Picture album spreads the universe out before you in its dazzling complexity.”

 ➺ Patrick Zephyr Photography – Galleries of a variety of nature photography from close-ups of jumping spiders, insects, amphibians and reptiles to peaceful landscapes and waterscapes 

 ➺ Macro Photography and Wildlife Photography – Macro images of insects and other small, beautiful creatures and photos of birds, wildlife, and other nature landscapes and skyscapes

cutecolorsplant1c

Quotes

❤︎ “Hope is the silver shaft of sun breaking through the storm-darkened sky, words of comfort in the intensive care unit, the first spring bird perched on a snow-covered twig, and the finish line in sight. It is a rainbow, a song, a loving touch. Hope is knowing God and resting in His love.” ~ NLT Life Application Study Bible: Zephaniah introduction

❤︎ “God changes caterpillars into butterflies, sand into pearls and coal into diamonds using time and pressure. He’s working on you, too.” ~ Rick Warren

❤︎ “I want to share my story, and I want to know yours. I believe with all my heart that sharing our stories, the real, ugly, broken ones, is one of the most powerful things in the world, because to share our story we must first accept it. We must own it. We must stop running from it or shoving it into the corner when company comes over. To share our story is to admit that we’ve been changed.”
~ Anna White in Mended: Thoughts on Life, Love, and Leaps of Faith

 

“May hope replace your despair,
May healing embrace your brokenness,
May freedom break your chains!

 

Signature