Gracious: Pt 1

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(How I feel about this experiment so far. Guys I kinda suck.)

| Moments & Epiphanies & Vulnerable Things | January 1 – January 15, 2017 |

  1. Day one and I’m realizing I can no longer get worked up when people speckle normal sentences with  “funny baby” voices. WHY DO PEOPLE DO THIS??  It honestly doesn’t matter. It has nothing to do with me.
  2. It’s not appropriate to throw up a wall when I receive advice. Even creative advice. Accept it. Find value in it. Or discard it. Whatevs man.
  3. I am working on the physical attributes of gracious – which includes a healthy amount of eye contact with friends, acquaintances, and strangers. (apparently Nick the Bachelor has this same problem so that’s cool.)
  4. I’m one of those people who sees others for the culmination of their strengths and weaknesses. I have no filter and feel as though it’s my duty to show others how they can better themselves. HOLY CRAP THE ARROGANCE. We are all made beautifully and wonderfully. We will all struggle no matter how much we improve. Your journey is your own and I RESPECT THAT. It’s yours. Thank you for allowing me to be apart of it. The end.
  5. The more grace I show others, the more I feel towards myself. Twice, now, I’ve looked in the mirror and instead of seeing flaws, I saw love. Weird.
  6. Another arrogant tendency I have is to hole up alone, focused on writing and reading and working. I prioritize running and sleeping to parties and hang overs. But I no longer think this is arrogant. I think this is just .. me. I’m happy this way. Just as I’m happy entertaining and hostessing and getting all dolled up to go to parties. Just as I’m happy in slow, intimate gatherings. Just as I’m happy reading. Just as I’m happy watching silly movies centered around love. Just as I’m happy watching church sermon podcasts for hours on end. Just as I’m happy listening to crap music, singing along, as I drive around. It’s okay. I don’t have to be either an introvert or an extrovert. I don’t have to be a socialite or a hermit. I can just.. be.
  7. I’ve been really upset with a friend (whom I love) because she says things that offend me on a weekly basis and I never see it coming. It always hits me like a slap  in the face and then I immediately give her a dirty look. I’m acutely aware of the fact that what this boils down to is that she’s not living up to MY standards. I’m still upset, but softened.
  8. This girl who works at a place where I spend the bulk of my pay check got cray about $2. Two dolla.. WHyyyy. Calm down girl. And when a mutual friend goes “oh have you met her? She’s so sweet.” I guffaw. This is me at my worst. It’s worse, even, than when I’m hangry (don’t tell me that’s not a thing). It’s worse because these moments are  constantly living under my skin, revealing themselves to those whom I come into contact with. Impacting their day. It’s a serious character flaw I’m working to overcome. (Update… randomly I found out that this girl lost her job because I wasn’t the only person she rubbed the wrong way, which should make me feel vindicated. But doesn’t. In the scheme of things, she didn’t really impact my life. I want her to do well.)
  9.  Encouragingly,  I now have this newfound guilt that rears it’s head when I get annoyed with incompetence. Like when the grocery clerk puts my meat on the bottom of the bag and piles 6 juices on top. And then doesn’t even double bag it.  And when the gas station clerk tells me that the gas pump isn’t broken, I’m just using it wrong, and he can’t offer me a solution because clearly the problem is me and he can’t fix that. I take a breath.  Thank you, guys, for trying and for contributing to society the best you can. That is enough because it’s all any of us are trying to do.
  10. I also don’t have to like everyone to show grace. This is freeing and allows me to be kinder. Ironically. I don’t have to call you out on your ishh because, at the end of the day, it means nothing to me. I don’t have to like you. Carry on as you were.
  11. I’m working really hard on not being annoyed when I wake up to 37 text messages.
  12. I’m still struggling with how strength and grace fit together. Recently I tried to be kind when all I felt was frustrated and the person responded back with “You’re trying too hard. It makes me uncomfortable.” So then I stop trying and started avoiding them and I get called out for that too. I don’t know what the solution is here, but I’m hoping that by December I’ll have this skill set figured out.
  13. I watched a girl I really admire acknowledge, in a non-condescending way, that a mutual friend felt left out. Feeling left out is not an appropriate emotion for an adult, and yet, she gracefully allowed them this moment. And then proceeded to take the time to rectify the situation. THIS is grace. THIS is unconditional love.
  14. Huffing and puffing passive aggressively and then proclaiming “I’m not mad” is not gracious. Although I’m really good at convincing myself that it is. “I’m pushing aside my true feelings for the sake of another. I’m such a good person.” No I’m not.
  15. Guys – I have an awful confession that you’re all probably already aware of: I can be.. pretty.. entitled.  Especially if food is involved. And I get pissed when my “generous” moments are mistaken for entitled moments; but lets be honest, if I wasn’t so entitled all the time this wouldn’t happen. There’s no validity to living by the mantra: “I care about so little, so when I do care it’s my way or the highway.” How have I come to believe this? I don’t want others to live with this version of me. THIS is my main motivator for this social experiment. (I just said this too many times.)

There’s a chapter in Anna Kendrick’s book about being nice. And she quotes Sondheim: “Nice is different than good.” Do you need to do whatever you’re told to be a nice person? Maybe. Do you need to do whatever you’re told to be a good person? Of course not… yet some people have a skill for persuading you the best thing you can be is obedient. (pg 194). 

This ^^^ is important. I’m not trying to be nicer. I’m trying to be more gracious. Strong women choose grace. And this balance is what I’m aiming to configure by the end of 2017. (Yikes. Pray for me.)

I think some years, you work hard to build yourself up, to strengthen; and other years you work to soften. This is an especially crucial concept for us women. I’m realizing quickly that this is a softening year for me.

 

 

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