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Learning to Be Kind to YourselfSample

Learning to Be Kind to Yourself

DAY 3 OF 4

Finding Freedom in Confession

When I hear the voice of the inner critic, I have to pause and consider there is validity in the critique. I consider whether I hold responsibility for wrongdoing and whether there is anything I need to do to make it right. 

When I spoke harshly to a friend one too-early morning, I needed to apologize. I did, and we were later able to laugh about it as a sign of sleep-deprivation and stress.

I can be prone to judging others. When I notice myself lapsing into these negative (and sometimes unfounded) thoughts, I can practice self-kindness. I say things to myself like: Thank you, God, for allowing me to see this. Forgive me. Help me to continue to grow more in this area. Then, hopefully, in that moment of confession, I can let it go. 

I make my confession knowing that God is ready to offer forgiveness. St. Julian of Norwich wrote, “Our courteous Lord does not want his creatures to lose hope even if they fail frequently and grievously. Our failure does not prevent him from loving us.”

One of the meaningful aspects of the liturgical tradition for me is having a time for confession each week. In many churches, this portion is in a kneeling position—which I find to be a helpful engagement of the body with the spirit. We can pray this prayer on our own as well as in community as we name our sins before God, express our sorrow over them, and ask for God’s help to do better. 

Practice: Use the words from The Book of Common Prayer to make your confession and to be reminded of God’s grace..

Most merciful God,
we confess that we have sinned against you
in thought, word, and deed,
by what we have done,
and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved you with our whole heart;
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. 
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. 
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
have mercy on us and forgive us;
that we may delight in your will,
and walk in your ways,
to the glory of your Name. Amen.


Day 2Day 4

About this Plan

Learning to Be Kind to Yourself

Many of us are troubled by a stream of negative thoughts. But Scripture offers hope, beauty, and comfort. This four-day reading plan points the way to greater self-compassion as we learn to see ourselves through the eyes...


We would like to thank InterVarsity Press for providing this plan. For more information, please visit:

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