Learning to Give Yourself Grace
The disposition to or an act or instance of kindness,
courtesy, or clemency.
Grace is a funny thing.
The gift of grace can be bestowed unto us by others, God, family, friends. We can also bestow grace on others. Yet, there is one person that we fail to bestow grace upon… ourselves. As women, mothers, sisters, daughters, significant others we wear many hats and have many responsibilities. We are not perfect. We will make mistakes. We do experience setbacks. In other words, we experience life.
Personally, I have “experienced life” too many times and in such various ways. (You can read about a few of them here.) I was dealing with financial issues, working, going to school, and healing from a broken marriage, amongst many other things. My children were also coping with the fact that their lives were continually being tossed upside down and inside out. My job as a mother is to help them cope… and I failed. I failed so many times that I lost count. I let them down and I let myself down.
A light in the darkness
If I had to point my finger at the one thing that helped me begin my recovery journey it is this… That I had the ability to give myself grace and forgiveness. Once you realize that you are pretty much the only person who
demands expects perfection from yourself, the act of forgiving yourself becomes easier. Treat yourself as you would a friend or colleague. Recognize that the person most deserving of your grace is you.
Slowly, I seemed to find somewhat stable ground. My doctor prescribed me an anti-depressant. I saw a counselor to help point me in the direction I should go and to help my children follow. Gradually the fog started to lift and I could start seeing some rays of sunshine.
Sharing the light
One of the best things that happened during my fog was I found a “depression buddy.” Gloria was a member of a Facebook group that I am in. She was brave enough to share a few things. I commented saying she could message me if she wanted to talk more. She did. Gloria and I were able to open up about our stresses and triggers. We shared some of our deepest moments with each other. We laughed and cried together. Most importantly, we shared our wins.
We consider ourselves best buddies. All this and we’ve never even met. We live three states away from each other. Heck, we haven’t even talked on the phone. How were we able to do this? We created our own judgment-free zone. (I feel like a Planet Fitness ad, anyway) We no longer felt alone. Gloria and I would both say this was one of the most freeing things. It was the weight of the world being lifted from our weary shoulders. As a result, we have learned so many lessons from each other. Gloria has taught me about perseverance. I’m guessing she’d say I taught her about the importance of self-care and the freedom to give oneself grace.
The rest of the story
My story is still not finished. I have a hard road ahead of me to travel and many years to live (God willing) but there is now light. There is hope. There is grace.