Give Yourself Grace
Wow guys, we’ve finally made it. We are in month 11 of 2020. What a long stretch, huh?
This year has been…insane, unexpected, uncharted, so many words to put there. We’ve all gone through a lot, whether you lost someone to corona or you personally had it and have recovered. Perhaps corona hasn’t even touched your life that significantly, but life has thrown you other curveballs. The point here isn’t to compare your triumphs and tragedies to others, but instead to focus on giving yourself grace.
What does that mean exactly? What is grace? According to the dictionary, grace is elegance or beauty in a form, as well as favor or goodwill. How many of you get up each morning and look at yourself in the mirror and see a human who deserves grace? Who is elegant and beautiful in their own way? I’m willing to bet that not many of us do that. I know I don’t. First thing in the morning my hair is a mess and I don’t feel very elegant or graceful as I’m stumbling around still half asleep.
Now let’s look at the other half of that definition. Favor or goodwill. So if we were to give ourselves grace, how would that look? To me, it would mean, speaking kindly to ourselves, rather than being cruel. Our inner voice can be just as mean as the worst bullies we’ve ever encountered. That nagging voice can harp on everything we dislike about ourselves and build it up. Every time we make a mistake, it can come in unannounced, focusing on other times you’ve messed up and calling you a failure. It can look at your life and compare it to others who didn’t have the same path or journey as you and point out all the ways you fall short. I know because so often I don’t give myself grace.
I hold an extremely high standard, and I don’t often treat myself the way I treat others. Think about it. If your friend is having a bad day, what is your initial reaction? To reassure him or her that everything will be fine, when we have no way to know, and to tell them it wasn’t so bad and to not be so hard on themselves. You’re extending them grace, you’re telling them that they’re human and that these days are bound to happen. But if you have a bad day, do you do the same for yourself? Do you remind yourself that you’re still human too and all humans make mistakes? That no one is perfect? Not many of us do, which is a shame.
How we speak to ourselves is as important as how we speak to others. We show others grace in their lives in every single day, it’s one way we can help build each other up. We encourage, we cheer, we support, and we show general kindness. If you’re just a mean person, this doesn’t apply to you and you need to work harder at being nice ;)
Amazing changes can happen when you look at yourself as beautiful and imperfect and deserving of grace. If everyone else around you can fall short sometimes and not be where they want to be without it being a big fail, so can you. If everyone else can embrace their imperfections and know that those are what make them unique, then you can as well.
I challenge you to start giving yourself grace. Don’t beat yourself up over small mistakes, especially if they won’t matter in 5 hours. Don’t make yourself feel small about your flaws, focus on the fact that someone loves you for having them. Give yourself the grace that you so willingly give out to others and watch how your life changes.