For some reason, the topic of grace has been on my mind for weeks. And situations in my life keep coming up to stir my thoughts on the subject and remind me of its value.
I am a seeker of grace. I long to emanate just a bit of its essence and to be blessed by its abundant mercy and love. And I’m instantly affected by those who view it’s worth with disregard or mockery.
And so I’ve been thinking about what it means to embody grace. Whether we always achieve it or in what form we embody it doesn’t matter, grace doesn’t demand perfection, it just demands mindfulness. The goal is to be aware of it, seek it, value it, embrace it, and avoid those who try to rob you of it.
What Grace Is to Me…
❃ Understanding the impact of words.
“Bruises mark the surface, words sink in deep.” No name
So many people take for granted the impact of the words they use. And so they name call and condescend to get their desired result. I’ve been subjected to this quite a bit myself. No matter what the intentions are, words hurt and words stick. Those little sound waves penetrate deep into the soul.
Never allow someone to belittle you with words. If someone has your true best interests in mind, they’ll speak to you with love, with respect, with grace… Belittling is the method of the power hungry, the ego-driven and the manipulative. Someone coming from a place of good intentions and love will never include belittling in their delivery.
Similarly, if we don’t treat others with harsh words, why should we do it to ourselves? Embodying grace shouldn’t only reflect from us externally, we could all stand to be a bit more graceful with ourselves as well.
❃ Treating others, no matter who they are, with respect.
“The true measure of a man is how he treats
someone who can do him absolutely no good.” Samuel Johnson
It doesn’t matter who someone is, what they’ve achieved in life, or what legacy they were born into, treating others with respect is the minimum standard we should all live by. And when others aren’t treating you with the respect you deserve, you have the power and the right to not let those people into your life or mental space.
Like most of us, I’ve been through so many walks of life, from public schools to private, from bad neighborhoods to mansions to hipster-hoods, from corporate america to the spiritual woo-woo virtual playground, and it never ceases to amaze me how there is always someone who defines their existence by making those around them feel less-than.
We all have insecurities, which cause us to not operate at our highest level, but treating others poorly is a sign of a consuming ego, and at it’s essence, a lack of grace. Love yourself enough to know that you always deserve to be treated with respect. And then wish those people the best.
❃ Forgiveness, of others, of you
“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of
throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned.” Buddha
Anger and resentment are the quickest and sneakiest robbers of grace. They swipe it from our auras like a pickpocket from a tourist. I’ve seen what anger and resentment can do to someone, and I’ve seen what it’s done to me in the past. They rob us of the grace we deserve to receive and the grace that is ours to embody.
Practicing the art of forgiveness is one of the hardest yet most spiritually healing things we can do. Forgiveness can liberate you from pain, anger, grudges, and negativity leaving a wide open space for love, beauty, happiness, gratitude, and abundance. Forgiveness does not mean forgetting or allowing a harmful pattern of behavior to continue. It means moving forward with a free spirit, a spirit that knows its worth and the value of its grace.
❃ Always saying thank you, always
“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought,
and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” G.K. Chesterton
This one is a bit of a personal pet-peeve. I spent many years working as a lawyer at a corporate law firm where “thank you” was not part of the office culture. Weekends were given up, vacations canceled, endless nights at the office, deals closed without a glitch, and hardly a thanks. It wasn’t any particular person’s fault, it was simply the culture.
How easy is it to say thank you? It’s almost mindless, yet it’s value is immeasurable. When you don’t thank someone, you’re coming from a place of entitlement, of disregard, of apathy for that person and all they’ve given up, time they’ve lost, effort they’ve expended to help advance the job, the cause, the whatever. I remember how low morale was in my office, for years. And the saddest part was that it could have all been cured by infusing into the office politics, a culture of thank you. Nothing serves a company better than motivated employees, it’s a win-win.
Since then I’ve made it a point to always, no matter what, always thank someone for the sweet thoughts they’ve sent my way, the kind deeds they’ve done for me, the littlest of things I’ve hired them to do. Always start with thank you, then go from there.
Why is grace so important to me?
Well, I have a secret, a little gift that I’m not quite sure what the purpose of is. I seem to see people in aura’s; I see their inner grace, their ego, their anger, their sadness, their joy, their essence. I don’t have too many gifts, but I do seem to have an acute emotional radar detector. A useless gift perhaps, but one that I’m just beginning to embrace. A gift that fostered my love for animals who radiate nothing but purity, even the aggressive ones. A gift that leads me to surround myself with the most loving wonderful people I can imagine.
“Beauty without grace is the hook without the bait.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
My husband has been telling me for years that I see right through people because I can never accurately tell if they’re physically attractive or not by any standard way. If someone has a beautiful essence, I simply see them as beautiful. Their aura seems to shout at me. Shouldn’t that be how we’re all judged anyway?
I don’t always live with grace, I can lose my temper, see the negative, and hold a grudge at times, but then I forgive myself, try to understand why I’m so upset, and try again. And that’s okay, there’s grace in that too.
There are so many other qualities of living gracefully, the list could go on and on. But these are some of the highlights for me.
What is grace to you? Where do you find or seek it in your life?
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