Do You Instill the Same Type of Grace for Yourself, As You Do for Others?
“Remember how far you’ve come, not just how far you have to go. You are not where you want to be, but neither are you where you used to be.” – rick warren
On December 11th I slipped on the ice at the grocery story while buying my daughter birthday balloons. It was very early in the morning and two days after we’d gotten 15” inches of snow. But she was turning double digits, a milestone birthday and needed balloons to start her day. Rather, I had some focused notion in my head that she needed balloons and come hell or high-water on a very cold morning, she was going to get them. The only store open at the time, was the grocery story (which is a very telling aspect about the weather conditions).
So I took a tumble and fell. Or more precisely, I did a full body slam on my entire backside. I knew I was going to be sore and thought I was fairly ok but at my husband’s insistence, did go to the doctor when I got home. As it turns out, I had a concussion. I still have a concussion over a month later.
The thing with this head injury is, I get almost daily headaches and I find it very hard to focus when I am working at the computer.
I am off my schedule and feeling behind with deadlines and “to do’s.” Today, I was starting to feel a bit panicky that I have a blog release scheduled soon and have absolutely no idea what the topic is going to be about.
Having a concussion has been a bit challenging. It’s not always easy to just go with the flow… I may get headaches but I am fortunate that I did not break any bones or have stitches.
It’s been in the 30’s this week and our downstairs HVAC decided to breathe its last breath. It was so cold this morning that my kiddos, bundled up in their full outdoor clothing gear sitting at the kitchen table, were asking for hot chocolate to go with their breakfast. Understandably so.
Thinking an extra heat source couldn’t hurt the situation, I was in the kitchen making hot chocolate wearing a knee-length-down, fur-line-hooded-parka that is supposed to keep you warm in 40-degree-below-zero weather. (So the manufacturer claims). I hadn’t really wanted to test that theory but standing there in 30-degree above zero weather, I was cold. I wasn’t just cold. I was freezing.
Having no heat for 5 days during frigid weather has been a bit challenging and has prompted us to adjust our family schedule. Not always so easy with prearranged activities. I need to remember to listen, and to be patient. I know that amidst the chaos we’re still happy, healthy, and making funny, lasting memories. It’s not always easy to just go with the flow… But at least our electricity isn’t out and the new HVAC will be installed in the morning.
Later this morning, after the hot chocolate and freezing cold kitchen, I was in an MRI tube just chilling. I’ve never had an MRI and didn’t think I was claustrophobic. But it was another theory that I didn’t really want to test. So I attempted the zone-out, Zen approach. It worked but my perfectionist, type-A, at times OCD brain went into overdrive thinking about how I could be utilizing the 30-minutes differently than I was. The rational side of me knew I really needed the time to figure out what was going on with my noggin but the irrational part of me thought, “I really could use this time to write my blog.”
And then laying there it struck me, the expectations I have for myself are often higher than those I have for other people. When I fall short on something I think I should not fall short on, it can escalate and turn into a big negative thing in my thought process. I have leniency and understanding for others when they experience a bump in the road, allowing them to hit the pause button… But frequently do not allow the same courtesy for myself.
The Story Connection:
Grace, “courteous goodwill, or an attractively polite manner of behaving,” is a word, the connector to my random stories. Perfectionism kills grace. It squishes it flat, and sucks out all life until it deflates like a shriveled up balloon that has lost its helium. It is that impactful.
I’m not sharing these events with you to evoke sympathy but rather to pass on a few snippets from my reel of life. No matter our intentions, things happen that frequently put a kink into well-laid-out plans.
I am growing a business and can be hard on myself. It’s still a new endeavor which can be awkward. It means frequently stepping outside of my comfort zone, learning new things, encountering slow opportunities with not a lot of pay, and receiving humbling responses of “no.” But I continually learn and grow. Everyday, every plan is a precious commodity that pushes my to be path forward. This is not just my mindset for my business, but for life in general. When I encounter things out of my control, my perfectionist, type-A at times OCD brain can do better at going with the flow and having a more Zen-like approach.
Do you instill the same type of grace for yourself, as you do to others? The way you speak to yourself matters. The expectations you have of yourself matter. Instilling grace toward yourself can be hard to do, but it’s ok to let yourself fall down, feel bad, mess up, and take a detour from your schedule. You can always get back up, feel better, learn from your mistakes, and re-do. The thing with these things that we instill as to-do’s for ourselves is, they aren’t going anywhere. Speed does not matter, forward is forward.
Ernest Hemingway said, “Courage is grace under pressure.” Growth is uncomfortable because it emits change. It is pressure for something new, a new version of you. It’s ok to give yourself a little grace to learn, a pause to understand, time to get through it.
Do you consciously instill grace and let yourself have a pause when it is most needed? If not, you should. I can help you with that. I can help you find your to be path. Email me at, firstname.lastname@example.org