To put it simply – Don’t sweat the small stuff. To put it more elegantly – Grant others and myself, Grace.
Should you not be religiously inclined it also means mercy and pardon. It also means “disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency”. I like this explanation best “To me, grace is both a noun and a verb—a feeling and an action. It can be interchanged with giving someone: a chance, time, the ability to make mistakes without punishment, and forgiveness.” (Source)
This may be the hardest part of extending Grace – “Showing grace to others is about showing kindness even when they don’t deserve it.” (9 Ways to extend Grace to Others.)
Giving someone Grace is to extend unconditional forgiveness.
I have written about forgiveness, , a concept I don’t quite understand. I understand what it is to forgive a monetary debt – the debt is wiped out – the person owes nothing. To forgive a hurt – well, that is something else. Someone acted in a certain negative way towards you, you were harmed. That person is responsible for their actions, you have no control over another’s actions therefore you cannot forgive their actions or the results thereof. The only person you can forgive is yourself for your actions.
While my husband was in the hospital I blew my top at several people. I was angry at the lies I was told, the ineptitude of the doctors and I more than once made a scene the way only an overtired, worried Italian girl from the Bronx can.
After several days at the nursing home I came to being able to extend Grace. I did it without forethought. It just came over me and became how I was. Perhaps it was The Universe extending Grace to me.
That’s where ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’ comes in. I couldn’t get angry over what I could not control. I saw – really saw – how hard people were working, doing much with little. I felt such warmth towards these people. It calmed me. I could not be angry or upset with them.
This may sound strange to you who know me as a grumpy old lady, hot-tempered, cynical, an angry old lady (or even the angry young woman I was). I shall continue to get ‘hot under the collar’ about the state of the world and its injustices and stupidity but I don’t think I will extend that towards the people and things that happen in MY life every day. Nor do I think I will be beating myself up for being a flawed human being. All I can ask of myself and others is to try and do better.
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The Universe at work – Yesterday I saw in my stats that someone had been scrolling around my blog and one of the posts they read was from 2019 when I wrote about taking care of husband after he had fractured his leg – ‘8 days after surgery, 6th day at home – What I have learned”– reading it reminded me that my current situation is not my first rodeo and I will cope, I will survive and it will get better. The Universe sending me comfort and encouragement. Thank you, I needed that.