Wednesday, August 02, 2017

GRACE FULL

Sweet Potatoes growing in a new community garden......
I've come to understand that therapists have 
a conglomeration of effective
and inherently annoying tools that they utilize
to get us to adjust our perspective.
I encountered a familiar one recently...
I call it the side-eye approach.

See....when faced with a situation that is ON FIRE,
shift the focus slightly sideways
towards something related but less inflammatory.
It's like looking at the shadow of the monster
instead of looking at the full frontal of the monster.
Use your peripheral perspective instead of charging in.


This strategy is especially useful (and difficult) for me to execute.
I am a person who feels a high degree of confidence
when attacking a problem.
It feels dishonest to be to give said problem 
what I consider a sideways view.
And yet....it's not lost on me that my bull-in-a-china-shop approach
often causes more pain or anguish than I intend.
It's also not lost on me that raging against something
is my strategy for simultaneously
pushing that hurt away
and making sure that it stays on the leash I'm holding in my hand.
Am I pushing or pulling?
I can't tell when I'm facing it head on sometimes.
Artwork by my firstborn.....


I was recently talking with my therapist about rage...and how I struggle with it.
Rather than poking and pointing at my tendencies to have rage 
or rehashing all the specific events that occurred
that I am rightfully angry towards,
she asked me to focus on Grace.

She asked me to consider all the things I've been forgiven.

I mean...all of them?
I sometimes think she sets me impossible tasks
so she doesn't have to talk to me for a while.

However....I have persevered.
I have spent some time focusing on
the times where I have failed
(and there are many)
and I have been forgiven.

It is certainly less easy to feel righteously indignant
when I'm remembering my foibles and transgressions.
This new strategy is actually a relief, a balm to my blistered heart.
She was right to assign me this focus and I'm glad I listened.

There was a weird side effect focus though.....
focusing on metaphorical Grace
 revealed a perspective that I have worked hard to ignore
related to physical Grace.

You see...
Grace is something that I was told from an early age that I lacked.
I have memories of being 4 or 5 and bumping into something as I walked by it
and my mother's voice loud and clear
Way to go Grace Grunt!
or 
Who put that wall there?
or
Of course YOU dropped that cup.  

It is possible that she meant all of these in a humorous way.
I'm not bringing this up to rehash all my mother stuff.
I'm just trying to highlight how deeply rooted 
the name Grace Grunt was within me.
It became a conviction of my abilities
that I hadn't thought of in years.

I was encouraged to participate in dance and cheer-leading
in the hope that it would 'fix' my inherent clumsiness.
Long into adulthood, I believed that I was a clutz.
You become what you believe you are told you are.
In spite of evidence that I do not always trip over my own feet,
that I can in fact dance and run and do burpees successfully
MOST of them time....
I believed that I was incapable of doing physical things.
That I had good reflexes that saved me from catastrophe.
That my lack of Grace was balanced by my bright mind.
That I should avoid new experiences that might
involve jumping, balance, or coordination.


For most of my life to date, the story that I believed about myself

was that I was Grace-less instead of Grace-full.
Whew.
One more place where truth needed to shine into my soul.


A gift from my friend Cairyll.  She makes beauty.


How do you take back something that you believed was never yours?
How do you claim a birth-right that was withheld from you?

Luckily....this is the story of my adulthood...
redemption is mine
THANK GOD
and always was.
No one can take it from me.
No one ever could.
I didn't earn it
I don't deserve it
and I can't lose it.

That is GRACE.
And I am FULL of it.



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