As I consider Christmas, and what I’d give myself if I gave myself gifts, I consider grace. The word
New year. Resolutions. Goals. Thoughts as to what I want to change. The word, again, comes to my mind.
Give myself grace. I am not perfect. I am a person.
Over and over I’ve come to that in 2017. I am a very human, person. I am not perfect. Someone reminded me, nicely, of this during a recent conversation. I have reminded myself quite often, not always so nicely(!), as of late. I am going to make mistakes. I am going to be stressed at times. I am going to do dumb things. I will have some regrets. I will forget some things that were important to remember. I will mess up. I will not always be the mother I’d like to be. The friend. The coworker. I will sometimes fail to be true to myself. Sometimes be a bit lost in what I’m supposed to be doing with my life. Sometimes fail to meet my goals.
While that sounds negative, perhaps, I don’t mean for it to be. I mean for it to be my positive realization that I am capable of allowing myself to be. Who I am. And that means, once again, I am fallible. I make mistakes.
I am hard on myself. Not everyone who knows me knows that. It’s actually become, in my opinion, a bit of a badge of honor to proclaim oneself a perfectionist. I don’t think I’m necessarily that. But I expect a lot of myself. And I can easily get down when I envision all I’ve failed to accomplish. When I compare. When I launch into my thoughts and hopes. I realize I am far from who I’d like to be. Yet I’m reminded. Over and over. I need to give myself grace.
I tell others the same. They should give themselves grace. Relax. Understand who they are.
I struggle with being enough. That’s a confession. I often, very often actually, feel I am not enough. Not so much that I don’t do enough. But that I am simply NOT enough. Not smart enough. Not attractive enough. Not determined enough. Not tough enough. Not strong enough. Not enough of who and what I should be. Typical, I suppose. Many people have these thoughts.
I grow tired of them though. These thoughts. And I tell myself I should be more grace driven. Less condescending to myself. It works for a while. But it’s a difficult concept to envelope completely.
I tell others, mostly the younger females in my life, to give themselves grace. I want them to lavish it upon themselves because that’s really the crux of love. To give others and ourselves grace. The allowance of being human. Because there’s no possible way we can be anything but. Human. That’s what we were created to be.
I’ve wrestled a whole bunch with God this year about this very fact. That if HE truly made me, HE made me to be human. I am inept in so my aspects of my being. Yet that’s what HE created me to be. A human being. And I’ve come to the realization. That I am not perfect. Simple as that. For many, many years, I had the notion I should strive to be. Be ye perfect… Which is an interesting ideal yet, shall we say, impossible? And mind you, I’m not saying one should do whatever the heck one wants because, hey, we’re not perfect so why not? Nope. That’s not it at all. Here’s the deal. I’ve tried and tried and strived and strived to be some sort of performance based chameleon and it doesn’t work so well. What does work is to be…ME. Flawed, scarred, yet always trying, little me.
Give yourself grace. That’s what I’ve said quite often, as of late. And I’ll continue to say it. To my daughter. Who does so, so much and needs a reminder. To my friends and family members. Who strive to perform and do and really, if truth be told, try their absolute best simply to help others. But often times come out feeling like they’re not accomplishing anything. Give yourself grace. Relish in the fact that you’re a person. And that’s all you have to be. Which is, in itself, a lot. But not impossible.
There are those who. Shall we say, advocate for something else. The self righteous. Those who clammer on and on about “cheap grace”. That we are to set ourselves on this high plane and kick ourselves every time we fall. Those who judge. I know some of them. Some are far back in my past and some are around the corner in my mind. Whether a representation or a very real person, I long to ignore their voices. Because in reality, their voices sing a song that chants…you are not enough. That’s what it comes down to. A message that is anything except for love.
Grace and love are word friends. Yes, that’s a silly thing to write. But it’s true. Love compels me to offer grace. Grace compels me to extend love. A circle, if you will.
I’ve written so much lately about my journey. About where I am in life and decisions, albeit vaguely at times. But I am reminded, so often, that grace is what I long for. What I need. What I can offer to others. What the Christmas story, in a round about yet very realistic way, is all about.