Grace. A word that is used in different ways. It can speak of elegance in movement or motion. A dancer moving with grace along the dance floor . It can speak of an attractive quality. He lacked manly graces. It can speak of favor or goodwill. It was through her good graces. It is a word that is used in many ways. And of late, it is being used as a way to move through the division of our country and differences among our friends and family.
I have been thinking a lot about moving through all of this with grace. What does that look like? What does that feel like? Am I true to myself if I move through this with grace in lieu of sharing my opinions, or correctly flawed arguments or fact-less claims? Or can move through this time with grace and also share my opinion, help with flawed arguments and add facts where there are none? I have found that not saying anything and ignoring some of the blatant lies or sweeping stereotypes is not only difficult but brings up anger and frustration for me. Can I be true to me and be graceful without being angry, hurt and, as I am finding, distancing myself from people I love?
Through all of my growth and change over the last 10 years, I know being in alignment with myself can, at times, mean that I can no longer be as close to some as I have been in the past. I have seen friendships shift because I have changed, and perhaps that person has not, or they have but we have outgrown a lot of pieces of each other. I have become very aware that I keep a lot of pieces of myself not hidden per se, but more to myself than sharing with those who have grown differently. During a time of such strife and “in your face” hurtful general comments on social media, grace does not always come easily.
How do you move through all of the noise today with grace? With all of the differing definitions and synonyms of this word, the word that I am focusing on is kindness. How can I be kind, to others and to myself, during a time where there is far less kindness in the world. I see social media as a screen for so many to be unkind. The hurtful commentary when an opinion is different. The general stereotypes that can hurt those in the group being marginalized. The attacks with venom and nastiness that are rampant on every thread you read, whether it is a news article where half the people claim is is fake, or someone’s opinion that is heralded as fact and lambasted publicly. For me, moving through this with kindness and grace is my objective as I have been hurt and had insults hurled at me by people I care about. It is not an easy objective.
What I am finding is that sharing my opinion not only takes courage now, but it also takes grace. I focus on how I write or say my opinion so it is just that, an opinion offering a different way to look at something without telling someone they are wrong. It is not always effective but I work at it. It is not effective because many don’t see it as an opinion and feel the need to jump down my throat with venomous words. When someone actually used the words, “bring in the guard and blow up all the democrats,” I was dumbstruck and didn’t know how to respond. At first I responded with “I have no words.” I immediately deleted that because I had plenty of words, I just didn’t want to write them. I decided that the kindest and most graceful way to handle was to delete the entire post. That way I did not have to respond to such an awful post and I didn’t have to have others see what this person wrote. I made the decision at that moment to use grace and kindness and move on. My feelings for this person have changed immensely, I have no respect for them. I found that I can be kind and full of grace and still be true to me. I do not have to deal with someone I have no respect for, certainly not often.
Using grace and kindness as the method to move on from all the division and discord is true to me and is allowing me to reduce frustration and anger. I see the awful commentary and posts, the lies that are rampant and the ignorance of facts, however I move through them more with grace, knowing that a power higher than me will judge.
Grace. Let’s all move through these times with grace and ease, with kindness and charity and perhaps we will all heal in unity.