Our Inner Compassion and the Prodigal Son

by | Spirituality, Spiritual Awakening, & Exploration

Greetings, beloved seekers of the sacred.  I felt compelled to embark on a transformative exploration inspired by the timeless parable of the Prodigal Son and delving into the spiritual insights offered by this parable.

The Prodigal Son unfolds as a profound story of redemption and the boundless mercy of a compassionate Father. Each character in this timeless tale represents facets of our own spiritual journey – a journey marked by departure, recklessness, and ultimately a triumphant return to the embrace of divine love.

Let’s take a look at all three characters involved: The Father, Prodigal Son, and the Eldest Son.

Seeking Independence

The Prodigal Son’s initial departure mirrors our own yearning for independence, a desire to explore the vast landscapes of life beyond the confines of familiarity. We can reflect on our own personal journeys of departure, acknowledging the moments we ventured into the world in search of meaning, purpose, and identity.


As we resonate with the Prodigal Son’s descent into recklessness and poor choices we can examine the depths of our own spiritual wayfaring. We have no idea what compelled the Prodigal Son’s decisions, his past or present.  His, like ours, is a journey often marked by missteps, indulgences, and the profound realization that the allure of external gratifications is a fleeting source of fulfillment.

The Prodigal Son’s brokenness that has him searching for external validation in the belief that his recklessness can meet those needs. The Son’s inability or unwillingness to understand another’s side and intentions as the Son did with his Father. The separateness we create when we vacate “home”; to flee where we might overlook our blessings in search of what we believe will be something better, something external. The unwillingness to listen to our own inner voice, our Holy Spirit, our Third Eye, the Universe, the Great Spirit, God, our Higher Power, all because we are too busy listening to something far more seductive. Led to a place where we doubt our own self-worth and believe that we need to earn acceptance and adequacy to be an acceptable human-being.

And yet the Father let the Prodigal Son go – even at the risk of losing him, even knowing the risks and heartache that would go along the son and remain with the Father. And the Son left, and he sought, and too proud he stayed and judged himself, feared judgement from others, feared condemnation from others, feared disappointing other’s expectations. Our willingness to wallow in worthlessness, in self-pity, in shame and guilt and brokenness, all while having conversations in our head with people who aren’t there; long imaginary dialogues wanting to be heard and seen and loved unconditionally even though our self-talk tells us we are not worthy.


The pivotal moment of the Prodigal Son’s return unfolds as an illustration of divine mercy and boundless love. We witness the embrace of the compassionate Father, a symbol of the unconditional acceptance that awaits us when we turn inward, seeking solace and redemption.  We all seek to receive compassion, validation, a connectedness to ourselves and others.  Acceptance. To be celebrated. To have connectedness instead of separateness. To receive…forgiveness, healing, restoration, renewal. Evidence that we are worthy, that we are loved, and that we matter. Our past forgiven and erased and celebrated today for who we are.

The Presence of Pride and the Victim Mentality

The reaction of the Elder Brother has us look within ourselves – the part that struggles with judgment, comparison, the feeling of not being treated fairly, and pride. Through introspection, we unveil the aspects of our own journey where we may have harbored resentment or failed to celebrate the redemption of others; where we lacked mercy and compassion for ourselves and others. Bitterness. Resentful. Unforgiving. Judgmental. Of ourselves, of others, allowing these toxic feelings to steal our joy and our peace. And how do we heal? Focusing on ourselves, being accountable, accepting that the only thing we can control is ourselves. And being grateful for what we have and who we are and even the lessons life has taught us.

Celebrating the Return

The joyous banquet that unfolds in the parable signifies the spiritual celebration of redemption. Can we too celebrate and embrace the transformative power of forgiveness, compassion, and the understanding that our return to the divine is met with exuberant rejoicing?  Can we too believe that we are worthy? Can you find gratitude in the abundance that is yours today? Abundance of stars in the sky and grains of sand. Abundance of blades of grass and leaves on trees. Abundance in all the possibilities available to you today.

Spiritual Reflections

Let us embrace the wisdom of the parable, inviting our own spiritual reflection into this parable and into our lives. How can we navigate the landscape of our own inner prodigal? What aspects of departure and return beckon our attention? How can we be more like the Father and less like the Elder Son?  What can we learn from the Elder Son? 

As we journey through the parable of the Prodigal Son, may we discover profound insights that resonate with the echoes of our own sacred narratives, and remember to write those narratives in the spirit of peace, joy, love, and compassion.

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With blessings and light,