Caitlin Keat, COO12 September 2020
Nineteen years ago, as the glass shattered, and the planes crashed so too did our sense of peace. With each piece of metal that fell, every particle of smoke that swirled, every light that was extinguished, a part of us all was altered forever. Today we find ourselves in another dark time with significant destruction and loss of life. We need to work together now the way we did on September 11, 2001 if we want to recover as a nation. If we all focus on giving more grace, for ourselves and for each other, I believe we will all find our way again.
What Grace Feels Like
When I think of the word grace a feeling of gentleness and ease envelops me. I see wispy flowing images in my mind, and I feel a sense of letting go. This is a place where we can just be, where we can feel whole and safe. It is somewhere I wish we could all spend more time.
Instead, I find my days filled more with thoughts of what I haven’t yet done, what opportunities I missed, and the mistakes I made. I am always striving for more and lamenting my mistakes. While I love spending time in discomfort and find this is where I learn the most I also know if we spend every moment in discomfort we will break. I have to work daily to give myself grace to pause, to heal and to be reinvigorated for the next challenge.
If we look at the definitions of the word grace according to Merriam-Webster we find that one of them is a “disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency.” Kindness, courtesy, and clemency are all things this world could use more of. With this approach we give each other benefit of the doubt. We might brighten an otherwise terrible day for someone with our small act of kindness. Giving ourselves clemency might help us through that difficult task we just don’t think we can finish. If you treat everyone with courtesy, you will find yourself giving respect and recognition to people who are often overlooked. We will bring light, safety and hope to ourselves and others.
Before we leave this thought I want to explore one more definition of grace which is an “ease and suppleness of movement or bearing.” When I read this my first thought is: ballet. Have you ever watched these dancers float on the stage? Or fly through the air? As an observer their movements look easy and seemingly require little effort to execute. If you’ve ever spent time training in ballet you have a sense of all the power that is required to make this happen.
The grace you bring to the world in thought, in movement and in action requires strength. It is something we need to practice regularly so that it becomes easy and effortless to the observer. Start by giving yourself more grace and let it radiate out from there.