One of the many lessons I have tried to instill in my daughter and my stepson is to live with grace. What does this mean? For me, this means we don’t have control of what happens, but we always have control over how we react to what happens.
We want nothing but happiness, love and great experiences for our children. The reality is they will feel pain, hardship and difficult decisions. This is the commonality of the human experience. But, our job as parents is to prepare our children to go out into the world with strong wings.
My daughter is now 36. She is a remarkably strong woman. She has had her share of difficult moments in her life, but as she has matured she has learned to face each difficulty with grace and resilience. My stepson is getting ready to attend college in the fall, his first step into adult life. I have tried to guide him and help him deal with his anxieties and I have watched him grow into an amazing young man. He and I have talked many times about how we only have control over our reaction to any circumstance. Our choice is to accept, change or withdraw from the situation.
Finally, we can choose kindness, compassion or judgement. Sometimes, this is a hard rule to live by. From time to time we think our way is the best way and will quickly judge someone in a similar situation. But, when we take a breath and try to put ourselves in the other person(s) place, we can find compassion and extend a hand in kindness. When I look back at my younger years I can see how judgmental I have been of others and I have tried to learn lessons along the way as well as work on kindness, compassion and striving to live with grace.
During this time of division in our country I find myself taking a step back and trying to see a friend’s different point of view. It is not always easy, but I refuse to let our political difference separate us. I know at the end of each day they want the same for their family as I want for mine. They love, cry and feel anxious and scared sometimes. I try to find the commonality rather than the difference. Living with grace!