Giving and Receiving Grace
Just when it was beginning to look like the pandemic was over and we could see the light at the end of the tunnel; that light began to dim with the variants of Covid increasing the number of cases and we realized it was not over.
In my work as a life coach, I talk with people about how they are and how they are coping within a world that no one has experienced navigating. The more conversations I have, the more I realize that we are all still struggling in one way or another. It was better than a year ago but we can’t deny that we are forever changed and so is our world. People are quitting their jobs at an all-time high to re-evaluate how they make their living and how they are choosing to live. There is more unrest and violence in our world because I believe people don’t know how or don’t have the capacity to cope with the things going on around them. Every day I see the stress and anxiousness of people trying to navigate this new world we are in.
I don’t know where your struggles lie in your relationships or your own feelings of unrest, but I do know that we have the ability to offer grace at every opportunity.
Webster’s defines grace as: “Unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification”. In other words, we act or speak in a way that is favorable and pleasant, bestowing an act of kindness on someone whether it is deserved or not.
In Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach, we learn that “grace is a direct intervention on our behalf that circumvents the laws of nature -time, space, cause, and effect.” It is a spiritual intervention and a demonstration that here is a force greater than us, working on behalf of ourselves and others.
Grace is available to all, simply by asking for this day’s portion of grace and being willing to soften the lines between us and offer understanding and kindness to those we come in contact with.
In every action or interaction, we have a choice in how we can respond. We can either use that choice to defend ourselves or offer grace to the person or situation in front of us. It might be a simple gesture to smile or ask how someone is but if we get out of ourselves long enough to do that, we might make their day. Maybe it is extending empathy to a relationship we don’t understand or maybe agree with, but kindness offered can never hurt.
But what about the times that we need grace? This is a reciprocal exchange, if we offer it, we must be willing to receive it. It begins as being compassionate to ourselves when we fell short of our own expectations, forgiving our negative thinking, or being kind and gentle with our hearts.
We each can hold grace like a healing balm for our hearts as it opens the door that transforms our lives and relationships. Moving into a heart-centered way of allowing us to feel what we may not be able to see, to see ourselves as God sees us.
I would invite you to extend grace to yourself and someone else today. It is a gift to give and to receive. We each hold the key to peace and joy, use it to open doors to a grander vision for yourself and others than you ever imagined.
As we move into the busiest time of the year, I wish you magical and grace-filled days.