From Critical to Compassionate: 10 Ways to be Kinder to Yourself and Others

Critical: Better late than never.

Compassionate: Better now than never.

Critical: That was stupid of me.

Compassionate: I learned something from that experience.

Critical: Stop telling me what to do. 

Compassionate: It will be a beautiful thing when you trust God to direct my life.

Critical: That’s crazy! How did you ever come up with that?

Compassionate: You have a unique perspective.

Critical: You’re wrong!

Compassionate: Hmm. Interesting. I don’t see it that way, but you may be right.

Critical: I’m really dumb.  

Compassionate: I’m a human being with a unique combination of strengths and weaknesses.

Critical: You’re kidding me! She did that?!

Compassionate: She must be going through a rough time right now.

Critical: I already said what I thought. I can’t change my mind now.

Compassionate: I am on a journey of growth. I see things differently than I did before.

Critical: I can’t face those people again after what I did.

Compassionate: Seeing them reminds me I’m glad I can make healthier choices.

Critical: I can’t do that.

Compassionate: I may not have a natural talent, but with practice I’ll probably get better at that.

Shaping the Dough

“Mom, this is not working,” my son stated as he tried in vain to get the small round ball of dough to fill the pizza pan.

“It will work,” I replied. “You just have to be slow and gentle with it. If you push or pull it too hard or fast it tends to go back to its original shape. But if you gently and repeatedly work with it, sooner or later it will spread out like you want it to.” Then after a pause, “Oh, wow! I think there is a life lesson in there for me somewhere.”


My son rolled his eyes…and groaned.

“Oh, brother! A lesson…. Why do you always look for the moral to a story? ‘Oh, that was a good movie – it taught about this or that,'” he said mimicking me. “Why can’t you ever just watch a movie for entertainment? Why does there always have to be a lesson?”

And then I smiled. Yay!! Someday when he thinks back on his childhood, he’s going to remember… there was a lesson. I’m sure over the course of the next 10 years this momentary feeling of success will frequently slip from my mind. But for now, I’m going to bask in it.