On Saturday, my email notification pinged on my phone. I was in the middle of birthday party prep, but I always check to see if it’s something I need to read immediately. When I saw it was from Sarah Kathleen Peck, I stopped to read it through – and I’m glad that I did.
“[Grace is] the softness to allow something good to happen to you, even in uncomfortable ways; the realization that the universe is far larger than we are and works in mysterious ways.”
Ooof. That took the air out of me, reading that sentence.
Grace is an uncomfortable idea for me. I grew up with in a church that pounded home, every Sunday, how undeserving I was of god’s grace. How I was a sinner, and worthless, but for the mercy of the omnipotent creator … the one who made me that way in the first place. If I sound bitter about it, it’s because I am.
Even with that, I have held on to the idea of grace. I’m a statistician, so to me grace has become the idea that I was lucky enough to be born into this place, lucky enough to be born the person I am, lucky enough to have lived the life I live. I don’t believe that any god put me here or decided my fate – this is just what it is. I believe in the big bang, in evolution, in the inevitable death of the universe. My life is simply a microscopic piece of the chain of events that links the beginning and end of time, there is no great overarching meaning to why I am here. I simply am.
But grace. To understand and realize that this life I have is a good one, that beautiful things surround me, that most people do not have even the chance to live the way I do. And to be grateful for that. To accept that I have a good thing, and that it is not my fault that everyone does not have these same chances, and that I cannot fix the injustice in the world, and that my guilt serves no one any purpose… that is grace. To forgive myself, and to heal from the mindfuck that told me I was unworthy. To believe in my own worth, and wholeness, and agency.
My intention is to explore this idea of grace, to explore how to be gentle with myself and extend to me the same courtesy and softness that I give to others. To give myself the benefit of the doubt and assume good intentions with the decisions I make. To act like someone that I would want to be friends with. To make decisions that will make me the best version of myself.