SHOWING MORE GRACE AND GRATITUDE

Acting graciously allows us to let go of judgement and expectation and that in turn allows room for gratitude for all that we have in our lives. #grace #gratitude

DISCOVERING GRACE AND EXPRESSING GRATITUDE

We're onto "G" in the "List of More" and today I want to talk about giving Grace to others and to ourselves. Offering Grace allows kindness and forgiveness into our lives and that leads to my other "G" for today - Gratitude. Acting graciously helps us to let go of judgement and expectation and that in turn gives more room for gratitude for all that we have in our lives. So let's look at how to be more gracious today.

GRACE TOWARDS OTHERS

I don't know about you, but I've been known to not suffer fools gladly - annoying people and "foolish" people bug me. The problem is that annoying people and people I may initially categorize as "foolish" may not be as bad as I think they are and it might be that they just view the world more simplistically than I do. On the other hand, they may be going through a battle that I know nothing about and that's what's impacting on their behaviour. 

Offering grace to others means not jumping to the conclusion that the other person is deliberately being irritating/pathetic/needy/angry/dismissive - or whatever adjective comes to mind. They may be going through a major (or minor) life crisis, or it might just be that they have a personality trait that simply doesn't gel well with ours. If we choose to respond graciously and not react in return, we can diffuse the situation and often turn it around. Even if it doesn't result in a fantastic outcome, a neutral or pleasant ending is still so much more peaceful than an argument or a heated encounter.

Acting graciously allows us to let go of judgement and expectation and that in turn allows room for gratitude for all that we have in our lives. #grace #gratitude

Grace offered daily to others means we walk through life with less on our shoulders, less second guessing, less regrets about how we could have handled it differently, and less turmoil because we don't get sucked into their battleground. We can offer a smile and a pleasant response, and leave with the knowledge that we contributed something positive to the situation, rather than inflaming it further - and that brings with it a sense of peace and and calm.

GRACE TOWARDS OURSELVES

Often it's easier to offer grace towards others, and much harder to extend that same offer to ourselves. We are so quick to judge and castigate ourselves for not being kinder, or more generous, or more loving in our responses - especially if we're under pressure or stress. We look back later and wish we'd been nicer or had taken a little more time to engage more thoughtfully. The would-have's, should-have's, and if-only's surface and we end up on the merry-go-round of wishing we were better people (well I certainly do!)

What if we stopped the regret process in its tracks, and instead offered the hand of kindness and grace to ourselves? What if we acknowledged that it may not have been the perfect reply or attitude - and maybe next time we can choose to do it better? What if we were gentler with ourselves and admitted our human failings? What if we took a breath and thought - that wasn't my best, I'm a work in progress, I'm learning, I'm a good person, and I'll approach it differently next time?

Acting graciously allows us to let go of judgement and expectation and that in turn allows room for gratitude for all that we have in our lives. #grace #gratitude

If we offer grace to ourselves each day we experience more inner peace. We learn to acknowledge our failings, but then we step forward with the assurance that a failing isn't who we are, it's a glitch and we aren't going to be repeating the same mistake all the time. We can be gentler with ourselves if we extend grace to our motives, if we know that we have the best intentions behind all that we say and do. Let's honour our motives more and when we slip up, extend the hand of grace and pick ourselves back up again.

GRACE THROUGH GRATITUDE

Grace often begins with gratitude. Being grateful for all we have, for the friends and family in our lives, for the privileges we take for granted, for the little things, is where grace starts to flow. If we remember how many times grace has been extended to us when we didn't deserve it, gratefulness wells up and we want to reciprocate to others. 

When we're ungrateful we become bitter - and bitterness spreads in an ugly wave that touches so many aspects of our lives. Bitter people respond badly towards others, they look for the negatives, take offence, and choose to find fault in all they encounter. It also overflows into their own lives - they think they're hard done by, they think they've missed out, they think they've been ignored or passed over - there's a simmering pit of dissatisfaction that prevents grace being a part of their lives.

Acting graciously allows us to let go of judgement and expectation and that in turn allows room for gratitude for all that we have in our lives. #grace #gratitude

Gratitude and kindess towards ourselves and others is the key to grace. The more we're grateful for and the kinder we are, the more gracious we become. There's nothing more lovely than meeting someone who exudes kindness and compassion - who talks about the good things in their lives, who looks for the silver lining. I don't know about you, but I want to be that person - and it starts by offering grace towards other people (even the "foolish" or the annoying ones!) and that grace often flows from a heart that we've chosen to fill with self-compassion and self-care. Let's be nicer to ourselves and in turn we can be nicer to those we meet each day.

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Are you being gracious towards yourself? Are you extending some care and compassion to yourself when you occasionally fail? From there are you reaching out to others by responding rather than reacting? Taking a moment to offer grace can be the turning point between an encounter that ends badly - or one that ends with a smile.

PS - While we're on the subject of gratitude..... Cresting the Hill has been nominated in the Best Lifestyle Blog category for the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards. If you'd like to vote for me I'd be very grateful - just click HERE and then scroll down to the the Lifestyle Category to vote - it's very easy - (there are some fantastic blogs that I'm sharing the honours with!)


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Acting graciously allows us to let go of judgement and expectation and that in turn allows room for gratitude for all that we have in our lives. #grace #gratitude

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Acting graciously allows us to let go of judgement and expectation and that in turn allows room for gratitude for all that we have in our lives. #grace #gratitude

17 comments

  1. Gracious is such a lovely word, Leanne and one I don't hear very often. There is something special about someone who carries themselves with grace, speaks with grace and exudes warmth and kindness. That is the person I aspire to be.

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    1. I think the world needs more women of grace Sue - you're well on the way to being one (in fact I think you're already there). If we all paused for a moment and considered the feelings of others, we'd be pretty close to achieving grace every day.

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  2. If we each took a moment to offer grace, our world would be a better place!
    Congratulations on your nomination, Leanne. It is very well deserved.

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    1. Hi Donna - I think you're right about us all offering a little grace every day - how lovely would it be to experience that with each encounter? And thanks for the congrats x

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  3. Grace is something we need more of Leanne. Your post is very gracious and gorgeous. Huge congrats on your nomination, I love that I'm among friends in this category :)

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    1. Hi Deb - I was pleased to see so many fellow bloggers nominated too. I don't expect to come anywhere near the top, and I was amazed at how many fabulous blogs there are out there!

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    2. I enjoyed reading this again for #lifethisweek Leanne, you are a great thinker and so insightful in sharing your thoughts. Thanks again!

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  4. Based on your point about grace stemming from gratitude,I should be overflowing with that attribute, but unfortunately,like you, I do not always 'suffer fools gladly' and am prone to jump to conclusions. I have noticed that as I get older, I am more apt to overlook certain behaviors, so maybe there is hope. Beautifully written piece Leanne. Thanks for the reminder that there is always more beneath the surface.

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    1. I think you're probably more gracious than you give yourself credit for Suzanne. Anyone who exudes gratitude will automatically be a little ray of sunshine in this gloomy world. Being grateful and appreciative spills over to others without us realizing it - that's grace my friend x

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  5. I think being kind to ourselves is a bit like using an oxygen mask, we have to be able to be kind and compassionate with our self if we want to reflect that on to others. So much wisdom in this post and congrats on your well deserved nomination. I voted for you :)

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    1. Thanks so much for the vote Sam - I really appreciate it xx And yes you're exactly right about kindness - it's a shame we don't learn it earlier in life though isn't it?

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  6. Why is it that it sometimes is so easy to offer grace to others but not ourselves? One time my niece asked me if I "suffer fools gladly". I answered "I am a high school teacher. It is part of my job." I tried to be kind to all of my students at all times.

    Grace and gratitude are naturally related. I loved reading your thoughts about how they are linked.

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    1. Your high school teacher comment made me laugh - my daughter teaches high school English and she often has stories to tell of "silly" student incidents - always good for a laugh but her tolerance is definitely higher than mine (probably from the exposure!)

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  7. Leanne - grace and gratitude - so simple and so important. Thank you for the reminder.

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    1. Hi Janet - they're both terms I associate with you - a shining example indeed!

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  8. I love the word grace. I also find someone who is gracious is very becoming. I read somewhere that what makes us upset or impatient or intolerant of others is linked to us seeing or thinking that about ourselves.Since having that knowledge, it has helped me be far more generous to anyone I may have not warmed to as a result. And, as humans "we are all in this together".
    Thank you for linking up for #lifethisweek. Next week's optional prompt is Easter Means This. 16/51 #LifeThisWeek. 41/2019. Hope to see you there!
    Denyse

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    1. I love the whole concept of grace and being gracious too Denyse - it's a quallity that's sadly lacking in a lot of people today. When you meet someone who personifies it, you're immediately drawn to them aren't you? And it's a good point about what we're intolerant of in others - I'm going to think about that next time someone annoys me!

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