The Merriam Webster dictionary defines grace as both a physical and intangible quality, as an ’ease or suppleness or movement’, as well as a ‘disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy or clemency’.
According to the first definition then, to be graceful is to move fluidly, without any awkwardness or resistance. And according to the second definition, to be graceful is to assume a benevolent demeanour.
There are so many instances in life wherein we feel as though we are pushing against the tide, grace, being the furthest from our agenda.
We relentlessly strive for perfection, taking our frustrations out on the people around us when we fall short. Envision and aspire to realities different to that which we have in the present, believing that, with that job, that partner or that job title, we will be happier, more comfortable, and more at peace.
But the thing with grace, is that, it demands vain resistance to the circumstances in life to be relieved. The psychological guards and barriers held up in the face of anxiety, to be lowered. And the complete and utter surrender to what is and what will be. Just as a long distance runner succeeds in consistent smooth, short paces and breaths; a ballerina reaches prima after years’ perseverence, and a swimmer excels after learning to glide against the current, grace demands harnessing this commitment in all areas of your life. For instance, in your approach to others and the challenges you face throughout life.
Refraining from snapping at your sibling when they ask the same question multiple times, listening intently as your friend shares what’s on their mind, and doing the dishes on your day, even when you don’t feel like it, are small, yet significant ways in which you can nurture the grace, peace and love you want to see in your life. In order to reach true prosperity, grace is required on a social level, in applying empathy in interactions with colleagues and leaders whose behaviour you may not completely understand. Acting compassionately at every opportunity, and, consistently, staying true to your values. Maintaining self-discipline in the face of attractive, yet destructive temptations.
And indeed, living with this kind of grace is infectious, emanating into the lives of others. Ever spoken to someone with a calm, level, focused disposition and walked away feeling somewhat refreshed and unburdened? In a world so fraught with anxiety, depression, anger, fear, and confusion, there’s more than enough room and reason to embody the change we want to see. To be a peacemaker of your generation.
Of course, while each of us as individuals may only have three or four meaningful interactions on a daily basis, if we applied grace in our lives collectively, the impact would be world changing.
Fanciful? Perhaps. But possible nonetheless. What does living with grace look like to you? Comment your thoughts below.