Friday, November 1, 2013

5-Minute Friday: Grace

Well, it's here again.  5-Minute Friday.  This week's word: Grace.  Oy.  Alrighty then.

Five Minute Friday

So this week's word is Grace.  Something I don't have a whole lot of experience with.  What is Grace?  What does it mean?  Can you define it without looking it up online?

When I hear the word Grace, the memory that sticks out in my head is one from many years ago with my ex-boyfriend.  It was maybe our third date, we were sitting across the table from each other and I moved funny and knocked over a can of Dr. Pepper.  I jumped and started cleaning it up and the first thing he did was laugh and say "Way to go, Grace".  I don't know why that sticks out in my head so strongly.  But it does.  No one had ever called me that before.  Clearly when it comes to being graceful in terms of not being clumsy, I fail every damn time with a stubbed-toe to show for it.

Now....I hear a lot of different uses of the word.  I don't consider myself graceful, physically.  But am I in the other ways?  What does it mean to be graceful?  It's just not a word I use very often.  I admit...when faced with conflict, with hurt, with struggle....I try to handle it with grace though in many ways I'm not entirely sure what that means.  I think in many ways...I kind of link it to "class".  I associate it with being able to roll with the punches and the transitions in way that is smooth and fluid.

In the very recent past, I've been through some shit.  And I've tried really hard to walk through my trials lately with grace.  I've been trying to take it all in stride, make it look effortless, handle my responsibilities and still be a good person outwardly towards others.  I've seen the struggles of the people who surround me and I've tried to be graceful by treating them the way I want to be treated.  I've been giving of my time, my home, my food, my money, my energy, and in many ways, though difficult, my heart.  I've been trying to let the negative being thrown at me slide off like water off a duck's back.  I've tried to admit when I've been wrong and apologize to others when I've wronged them.  Somewhere in my mind, grace has come to mean being able to balance it all, and keep your plates spinning in the air and maintaining some kind of attractive modesty while wearing something that could nip-slip at any moment while bombs go off, sending out shrapnel I have to duck, nearby.

I've tried so hard not to be that girl who freaks out and airs all the dirty laundry on the Internet.  I've been trying to hold it all together while inside, I've started screaming.  I've discovered that I handle everything by doing things.  That is how I do it.  I stay busy and I handle what needs to be done.  I don't fall apart.  I don't lose my ability to function.  When things happen, I start to hyper-function and I do it so that I look like I am graceful and maintain my composure.  I do it to keep my shit together, maintain the appearance that I have everything under control.  I go and go and go to keep from thinking about it and acting in ways that are anything but graceful.

I think I'm doing something wrong.  I've been striving to appear graceful....move through the changes taking place seamlessly, without halting or tripping or faltering.  I've been trying to walk tall.  I've been trying to maintain an attitude of kindness, and tap into what is good in the world and float through the trials and tribulations like so many others appear to.  That's grace to me.

I've been working so hard to be graceful, that I think I'm giving myself an ulcer.  I must be doing something wrong if, while I'm trying to maintain my composure and my kindness, my apple cart is overturned that what I consider to be acting gracefully and with love is being taken advantage of and abused.  In many ways, I feel as though by trying to act gracefully I'm allowing myself to be a doormat.

Many years ago, I realized that life is too short to live with regret.  So when things happen in life, when there are bridges that need to be crossed, I do my best not to burn those bridges.  I am not responsible for the actions of others and if they choose to burn their bridges (even those bridges to me) all I can do is stand by and conduct myself in a way that when I look back...I'm not ashamed of my actions, reactions or behaviors.  In this life, you will hurt someone.  You will hurt many.  It is inevitable.  But you don't have to destroy them.  To me, that is grace.

At this's been over 10 minutes.  But the words kept flowing.  I did some research in order to write this...silly, perhaps.  But this lady is my example of what I consider Grace today.... 
  I think I have some redefining to do in my life.  But that, ladies and gentlemen, is my Five Minute Friday.

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