I started reading a new book called God's Voice Within by Mark Thibodeaux. I got it last night and am 70 pages into a 230pg book. There's so much I want to share about this book, but today I loved this passage particularly:
Often, in the ordinary moments of my day, I act in a way that is inconsistent with my true self. I say something inappropriate; I ignore someone who is trying to reach out to me; I overreact; I gossip; I avoid important work; I yell at the cat. If I stopped and reflected on it a moment, I'd probably say to myself "Wait a minute. This is not me. What is going on here? If I scratch beneath the surface, I may discover some desolation lurking beneath. It could be psychological, emotional or spiritual desolation or more likely some combination of these.
He then goes on to explain that simply naming the desolating factors beneath is the beginning of getting free from them.
The book is an exploration of how we are moving towards consolation or desolation. Very simply, consolation being things that bring us deeper into faith, hope and love. Drawn into peace, tranquility, great desires, transparency and a sense of God's closeness. Desolation moves us into restlessness, agitation, boredom, apathy, fear, worry, secrecy and we feel a dearth of faith, hope and love.
Compassion for yourself is a large component of being able to pause and assess yourself in the moments that Thibodeaux identifies above. Linking those behaviors to desolation within us - be it emotional, spiritual, psychological or a combination of those things. And to have the patience to stop yourself and examine where it is coming from and what is driving it.