For a few weeks, I’ve been trying to write a post about Grace. I have about 5 pages of word vomit talking about grace and what it is and why we need it. But it took my mother being in town for me to find a little… I found some with her. We found it together. I asked for more from her, and she asked for more from me.
Grace (n.) – an attractively polite manner of behaving
Synonyms: respect, finesse, tact, politeness, courtesy, gracefulness
Respect (n.) – a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements
Synonyms: esteem, admiration, reverence, honor
Understanding (adj.) sympathetically aware of other people’s feelings; tolerant and forgiving; having insight or good judgment
Synonyms: compassionate, sympathetic, tender, kind, patient, merciful
Mom and I have had our differences. We have a history of not communicating. We choose to be “nice” instead of honest. We judge. We dig. We exhaust.
I imagine these problems won’t go away, but I hope there is a clearer line of honesty, grace and communication.
Grace starts with communication. Grace is expressing a problem and leaving the problem and the emotion out on the table so that the two of you can discuss it. Maybe you don’t solve anything – maybe there’s no way it can be solved. But as long as both parties are heard, that’s what grace is. Grace is shoved away when we blame and point fingers. Grace is gone when there is a lack of respect. Grace is gone when we become hard. Grace is gone when we choose not to understand. Grace is gone when the shame and the guilt start to creep in.
Grace is realizing that, even though you think that someone leaves a mess on their bedside table just to spite you, perhaps their mess doesn’t have anything to do with you in the slightest. Perhaps it’s just how they are. Perhaps it is to spite you. Perhaps it is to spite someone else. But you’ll never know unless you open up this line of graceful communication.
Grace is stress-eating an entire bag of potato chips when you know they’re not good for you, and not feeling guilty.
Grace is recognizing your stress next time, and choosing to handle it differently.
Grace is treating your body with kindness.
Grace is telling someone that they’ve hurt you. That you’re aware that your hurt comes from a long line of hurting, but that it still hurts and you don’t know how to change that… and still not giving up.
Grace is hearing someone tell you that they’re sorry.
Grace is hearing someone tell you that you’ve hurt them too.
Grace is telling someone you’re sorry.
Grace is getting a workout in when you need one. It’s hearing your body tell you that you need a release.
Grace is taking a week away from the gym when you need one. It’s hearing your body tell you that it needs a break.
Grace is laughing when you need to.
Grace is understanding that other people go through your same shit. It’s not different, but it is… because it’s someone else.
Grace is crying when you need to. Sometimes it’s a tear, sometimes it gets ugly.
Grace is respecting.
Grace is personal.
Grace is forgiving.
Grace is understanding.
Take a deep breath. Close your eyes. Find some grace for yourself. Find some grace for your surroundings.