People often talk about wanting more “ease” and “grace” in their life or their work.
Ease. Yes. Ease feels good. More ease would be nice, thank you very much. Makes perfect sense.
Grace. Grace is a bit trickier for me. I love the sound of it and definitely want more of it…
But, what exactly IS grace?
I have always had a hard time defining grace or understanding what it really means.
I mean, I know it when I see it, but I am not always sure how to describe it.
I received a compliment once that I had a lot of grace. I mean, I THINK it was a compliment. It was shared as one of the “best words to describe me” in response to an assignment for Marie Forleo’s B-School, so I am pretty sure that it was a compliment.
But, what is grace exactly?
Is it beauty?
Is it elegance?
Is it poise?
Is it effortlessness?
Is it lightness?
Is it a feminine way of being?
Is it gentleness?
Is it mercy?
Is it leniency?
Is it forgiveness?
Is it ALL of these things?
Is it NONE of these things?
The dictionary describes grace in so many ways….
And, here are some other ways I have heard grace described:
- In his book, “Daily Love: Growing Into Grace”, Mastin Kipp says on page 5: “For Grace arrives the moment we decide to let go of what we can’t control, focus on what we can control, and let Something Greater take over.” So maybe grace is really just “Something Bigger”.
- In the context of faith, we often hear Biblical references to “There but for the grace of God go I” or “They were spared by the grace of God.” So maybe grace is Biblical (both in meaning and proportion!)
- In the context of the law, grace is often referenced around rulings and leniency. Like in the show “Game of Thrones”, the king (who is the ruler) is called “His Grace.” And, now that I think about it, so is the Pope. So, maybe grace also has something to do with those in leadership and power showing mercy on those who appear before them.
- And, finally, when someone maintains their composure under pressure, we say that they showed “grace under fire”. So maybe grace is about poise or composure.
Hmmm… there seems to be LOTS of ways to interpret what grace means.
Not to mention, Grace is actually my name. Well, sort of.
I am named after my Welsh great-grandmother whose name was Grace.
My middle name is Evans.
If I am being honest, I really detested having Evans as a middle name when I was growing up. I thought having a last name as my middle name was so uncool, and certainly not very feminine. (My sister’s middle name is Ellen and I liked that so much better.)
But, as I got older, I starting appreciating my great-grandmother’s name and I now have embraced the grace of being named after Great-Grandma Grace… regardless of whether I bear her first or last name.
Somehow being more gentle with myself by embracing the gift of my middle name feels like grace showing up for me.
I know grace when I see it. And, I want more of it.
Even if I still can’t define grace in a way that fully sums up what it means. I do know that grace is a blessing.
I do know that grace is a gift when I receive it.
I do know that grace is special.
And, I do know that someone describing me as having it somehow honors me.
Wouldn’t you agree?
What about you? What does grace mean to you? How does grace show up in your life? Do you know when you see it? Share your thoughts about grace in the comments below.
Here’s to embracing things we don’t fully understand with a gentleness towards ourselves – and with a lot of ease and grace!