Friday, January 20, 2012

Project Me: But for the Grace of...

Rise above. Find pretty photos like the one above here.
Do I possess grace? This is the question I have been asking myself all week. If you see me walk across the room, you might wonder. But I am talking about walking through life with grace, never mind a room.

Most people who know me would say I am nice. Some of those people would call me too nice. But that really doesn’t answer the question, does it? Niceness can hide a plethora of sins.

My biggest allies in the fight against grace? Road rage. Judgment. Envy. Grudges. This week I have decided to be more mindful of my reactions toward people or big metal stand-ins for people, in the case of road rage. I want to let go of slights, and not hold them against people. I want larger transgressions to act as catalysts to make me better. Chances are, people are unaware of what they do - like when they cut you off changing lanes. The people who are aware, well, they probably don’t really matter all that much in the grand sweep of your beautiful life, anyway. Or, if they do matter, I want them to matter in a way that brings clarity and positive change.

My goal is to approach the irritating, obnoxious and just plain awful with a little more generosity. I won’t swear the incidences and people I have experienced (and, yes, some people constitute an experience) won’t make it into my memoir someday, but I will at least try forgive them at some point along the way.

Another even greater challenge is to apply the same philosophy to myself. I often turn judgment and guilt inward. What about you? What are your thoughts on grace? Do you judge yourself more harshly than the people you judge?

Alison :)

P.S. I use the phrase “But for the Grace of God...” All. The. Time. I apply it to all kinds of situations where if the circumstances were just a little different, I would find myself in a truly dire situation ("But for the Grace of God, I could have been raised by Tea Partiers." Kidding, kidding. It's okay if you say the same thing about being raised by Bleeding Hearts, for which I am truly thankful.). I believe in the accuracy of that statement as applied to my own life, and I think I can use it as a personal shortcut, of sorts: “But for the Grace of Alison, so-and-so would be a huge b*tch,” for example. Instead of labeling, which is often my first line of defense, I am going to try to act graciously toward people/myself, whether or not I think they/I actually deserve it.


  1. Hi Alison! Thanks for this honest (and somewhat convicting ;-) post. I like what you said, "Niceness can hide a plethora of sins". Like you, I struggle with road rage! I can face a trying incident with ever so much grace and calm, get behind the wheel to come home and turn into - well, pretty much the most UNgraceful gal ya ever met lol! Thanks for your reminder to keep trying to be patient and forgiving :-)

  2. Thanks for reading, Tracy! I really appreciate it. :) Driving brings out the curmudgeon in me (so does going to the gym, unfortunately!). Part of it is because I am polite, and I get really upset when people are rude on the road!! Miss Manners on wheels, watch out!

    Alison :)