Generous Grace
What do you think of when you think of grace?  A graceful person perhaps?  Someone who moves through life with ease?

As a young teen I grew quickly.  My long legs became a constant challenge to me. My mother would say that walls bumped into me and that I could trip over threads in the carpet.  I seemed to constantly have bruises and bumps.  To remedy this my mom enrolled me in the "Wendy Ward Charm School".  This was a modeling class that the old Montgomery Ward Department Store offered.  She also enrolled my sister, who didn't need "charming"-she navigated life just fine, but it made me less of a target.  It was a Christmas present to both of us.  Hmmm.  She hoped her clumsy daughter (that would be me) would learn some gracefulness.

I was taught to walk with ease, to be aware of my surroundings, to give adequate space so as to not run into things.  I was taught the virtue of walking upright and the peaceful confidence of being in control of one's limbs.   

To a point...more on that for another time.

Not expecting a great deal, my parents were happy with their investment.  I regret to say that learning inward gracefulness was even harder and took much longer.  In fact it is still a work in progress.

Inward gracefulness-extending grace, moving through life's challenges with ease.  Cultivating the freedom to overlook other's mistakes, to give the benefit of the doubt.  To find ways to bless and not blame, to find commonality.  To make every effort to bring peace into every situation.

How easy it is to overlook the impact of our actions, our words, our tone of voice.  A harsh word or a sense of being wrongly judged by even a stranger can impact us deeply.  And so can kindness.

What if we all practiced grace daily?  What if before every interaction we took a moment to remind ourselves of the humanity of the person we are dealing with.  Who are they, what might be going on in their lives, what has happened in their day so far? Whatever circumstance has brought us into their lives, how can we make their day better?

When we enter into another's world from a place of peace, a place of giving, we are free.  Free from our own agenda, our own fears, our "me-ness".  From this place we can give the gift of respect and validity to the other.

If this is impactful with strangers, how much more with the people we love?  The cultivating of generous grace is possible and brings great rewards in all of our relationships.

I found this quote and framed it:

"People will forget what you did
People will forget what you said
But people will never forget
 how you made then feel"

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