When the clock struck 12:00 midnight on December 31 - I declared my word for 2015 to be 'grace'. I know - STUPID move right? That's just asking for trouble... I kind of thought it would be an easy one... A gentle year. Haha
At first I thought it meant offering 'grace' to others... Being kind, being forgiving, loving everyone... - but I very quickly learned that was never really an issue for me - I could easily do all those things. I guess that's why I thought the year of 'grace' would be a breeze. I was a week in and thought "woot! Look at me go with this whole 'grace' thing. I am rocking it...!"
But... The real truth of my 'year of grace' then reveled itself to me. It didn't take long for me to learn that what I really needed to experience this year was how to offer more 'grace' to myself. How to be willing to accept 'grace' for myself... THAT was to be the lesson in my 2015 The Year of 'grace'. Yuck. I felt like I had been dooped... Like someone pulled the rug out from under me.
Well 2015 - A year of Grace continued, despite my reluctance... And effectively kicked my ass.
Sick parents, teens being teens, extracurricular organizations having a go at my child's self esteem, unplanned babies, unsupportive people where you least expect it, lost friendships, lost jobs, tax bills, phone bills, car bills, house bills, school trip bills, bills, bills, bills, many months of zero income, cancelled vacations, plans and dreams put on hold...
There are so many times I swear I could hear the Universe snicker and say "heh heh 'Grace' huh? Let's see how you handle THIS..." As it threw another hairpin turn in my journey, or a speed bump in my path. I even kinda felt like there was a wee bit of the Universe thumbing its nose at me behind my back... Probably an over reaction on my part - I can see that now from a saner mind set.
There are times that getting out of bed was more than I could manage...
But alas. Here I am. More than half way through the year, and finally I can say that today I am able to sit here and linger in this beautiful space of a peaceful heart. This feeling that has eluded me for a very long time has made an appearance this morning...
Parents have mostly recovered; teens turned out to be ok; we got to teach our kids what not to attach to their value and worthiness; baby brought healing, so much love and unthinkable miracles; hearts have began to heal; jobs have been found; lifelong memories have been made; and new directions have been accepted and embraced...
Those storms have officially been withered. Gracefully. I sat by hospital beds, I stood up for my kids, I stood up for myself, I got this amazing grandson, I have even managed to laugh and smile along the way.
Today I can look back on the turns and bumps and see the lessons, and the growth, and the shedding of layers. I can see myself setting down the chains I have been lugging around for many many years... Chains that bound me to beliefs, or mind sets. Chains that held me back. I was kind of appalled to learn that freeing myself of them, was just as simple as setting them down - and refusing to pick them back up and continue to carry with me through this life. Today I see lightness and freedom...
Today, I can see the beauty in all the suffering. I can see open doors, acceptance and love.
This all changed I guess not only because I offered MYSELF a wee bit of grace, but because I allowed myself to accept the grace that others were willing and eager to offer to me. I allowed myself to feel worthy of what was being offered... And I realize that perhaps feeling worthy was kinda the key all along.
I look back at the twists, turns and bumps with HUGE gratitude. There is always something good on the other side of struggles... I have known this to be absolutely true for a while, but still many times wanted to give up hope... To give in to all the suckage and the swirling pit of blackness.
I am SO incredibly thankful for the people who SEE me, and who offered me grace exactly when I needed it. I am over the moon thankful for the people who allowed me to safely toss them a lifeline when I was swirling in the darkness of hopelessness, fear, aloneness and even the "oh so poisonous", the "oh so silencing", and my self proclaimed mortal enemy -moments of SHAME.
I am thankful for my willingness to always always always seek the light... To see the good, and to simply just love.
I don't know what shitstorm today holds, or tomorrow... Or what lies ahead for us for the rest of 2015... But I know that today I sit in 'grace' AND 'peace'. I linger here for as long as I can - I vow to protect my peace ... But I know to hold a space for it - for the times when it goes out of sight for a while... Because I know, without a doubt, it will always be back.
I am also thankful for my husband... Who weathered every bump and turn right by my side, and even intercepted some so I didn't have to weather them, all the while managing many of his own... He is my strength, my encouragement, my safety, my support, my biggest listener, and at times - even my backbone. I am thankful for his love... And for his Grace.
So... For now... Onward brave warrior. Onward.