I made it one of my goals this year to focus on embracing grace.
What does this mean exactly?
Well, it means that I am trying to be better at the things that don’t come very naturally to me. Patience, for instance, is a huge one. I want things to happen in my time and when I plan them, and it irks me to the core when things don’t go according to schedule. It means that I am trying to think more about my words before I say them, and not only that, I am trying to deliver them with more tact and consideration. I am trying to get better at considering others’ feelings before my own, and to not rush to conclusions.
Embracing grace means maintaining my positivity despite stressful circumstances. It means controlling my temper when I want to let the anger fly. It means smiling instead of shutting down, and listening instead of cutting someone short. It means making time even if I do not have it. It means making an effort to be more accepting that things will come as they will and all I have to do is not completely lose it in the process.
This is, at best, a work in progress.
It isn’t exactly convenient to maintain grace all of the time. In fact, at most times, it’s incredibly inconvenient. It isn’t the easy choice and it isn’t the comfortable one. It’s trying and frustrating and exhausting because life is trying and frustrating and exhausting.
However, if I give myself some space to reflect upon the last few months, I begin to see that slowly but surely I am getting better at handling things with a just a teensy tiny bit more grace. And if I take even more space and look at the me from a year ago? Wow is that a change. Situations that use to reduce me to a heaping pile of sobs now barely ruffle my feathers. I require less time to recover from the shock of needing a new plan, and am better at adjusting my end goals to fit the current situation.
Realizing that I am handling myself with just a little bit more grace than I did yesterday? That’s encouraging.
As I get older, the challenges I face only seem to get bigger and more complex. Honestly, sometimes I do not know if I can go forward with one more day. Problem-solving, time-managing, enduring…I am only one little human. I am only capable of so much and wouldn’t you know it, life keeps dishing it out.
However, conquering each new challenge shows me that I can and will overcome. It shows me that I am capable, no matter how impossible it seems. No matter how much I doubt myself, history has shown that everything will be okay in the end. If I am capable of doing something, then I think at my most basic level, I am capable of employing more grace while I stumble through it.
So, I am trying. I am trying to remember that I since I have no choice but to persevere, because giving up is not an option, that I may as well choose to simultaneously put grace at the forefront. I am giving myself pep-talks, refusing to reduce situations to inconveniences, and accepting that I can do it. Whatever challenge it is, I can come out on top, and maintain a certain amount of dignity along the way.
Still working on the patience. Still working on the understanding. Still working on the grace.
And that’s good enough for me.