I am babysitting and I am trying not to eat all the chocolate…there is so much chocolate and good stuff in this house, damn babysitting and leaving out all the sweets. When we have babysitters I do the same thing but often hardly any of it gets touched-such self control is so impressive. I am not sure I have it.
Today, someone commented that I had been gracious in a certain situation-I am not sure its true, because I think there is an assumption that graciousness is being nice and the absence of frustration and bitterness. Although I don’t feel bitter about that particular situation but I can’t claim there to be no frustration lingering. Anyway I looked it up-always good to get the right definition and here we are:
courteous, kind, and pleasant, especially towards someone of lower social status.“a gracious hostess”
Ermmm probably not me, I hope that I am kind and compassionate…but pleasant and a gracious hostess (I mean I am a very ‘help-yourself-to-whatever’ kind of hostess, I have taken ‘make yourself at home’ for the literal truth).
It just sounds a bit drab…a bit meh, weak and frankly a tad patronising.
******************The rest of this post was continued the following day****************
But when I think of grace-I don’t think of weak, softly spoken, pastel coloured cushions…I think of strong, mysterious, all consuming and empowering. I don’t think of ‘pleasant’ I think of ‘power’. I think of seeing someone in all the flaws, insecurities and brokenness and yet only noticing their courage, potential and beauty and doing whatever you can to encourage that individual to be them with pride, even it costs you something.
I want to be that kind of gracious, the real goodness kind of gracious.
The one where empathy and humanity trumps anger and bitterness.
That is not easily gained.
Last night on social media, I ended up getting into a few discussions about political issues, and it was infuriating. I mean seriously…banging your head against the wall type of conversations. But, I kept thinking ‘don’t just argue Jen, actually try and say things they will hear but might make them calmly think about the issue from a different perspective’. It was probably the most reflective and self aware I have ever been…and to be honest, later into the night I found my self control slipping as anger was showing its ugly head.
But then something happened, I made a mistake-it was a complete accident, and no horrific consequences came from it. I am not going to share the story because it involves others and I don’t feel it is mine to share.
But then came the torrent of memories of other mistakes I have made in the past; secrets I have not kept, actions that have not been thought through, times I have let people down-and I felt like crap-it was a sobering rest of evening. It also included that awkward time when I had to explain to the others what I had done..
But then my messed up self was met with grace, like water on our parched lawn, the relief and the gratitude abounding.
Maybe I should work on this #gracious thing and also follow lorraine kelly’s advice ‘only put stuff on social media that you’d want your mum to see’. (She’s a gem Lorraine…Mike thinks she goes on too many holidays…we are just jealous)