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Grace: It Changes Things

Day 50: Grace: It Changes Things

I use the word ‘grace’ a ton and have been wondering why I’m drawn to it as grief professional.

First and foremost, I am tired of the phrases self-care and self-compassion. They are perfectly useful for many, so I don’t want to diminish their importance. I just find that ‘grace’ feels more relevant when it comes to a grief journey.

Secondly, ‘grace’ is a relational term, which makes it keenly relevant to how we show up for ourselves during the lonely path of grief. In Greco-Roman times, ‘grace’ appeared as the word ‘charis,’ meaning ‘gift of good.’ ‘Charis’ applied to a relationship between a patron and a client with the understanding that the gift could never be repaid. The client’s role was to provide loyalty (pistis), including public demonstrations of gratitude. Ultimately, a complex life-long relationship was born in the giving of ‘charis’ or grace.

In grief, I think of the patron as our core self, and the client as our grief. We are in relationship with ourselves whether we want to admit it or not. And, we will be in a life-long relationship with our grief. So, the sooner we practice offering grace to these parts of ourselves that grieve, the sooner we can begin to see our grief evolve and change.

Grace is not a mere transaction—it does not mean you simply forgive and move on. Grace in grief means that you hold yourself accountable to the grief, and not allow the grief to define you all the time. Grace towards your grief means that you are aware that it exists, and hold the possibility that it may change you and change your life. Grace means not always turning away from the grief, even when you despise it and wish it never existed. Grace means allowing it to be when you can, and dosing it when you don’t have the capacity. Grace means wondering about it and once in awhile, allowing it to overflow.

Giving ourselves grace means creating a sustainable, honest, and loyal relationship with ourselves that is founded in a fundamental belief in our own goodness.

Welcome to my #100dayproject. I am providing a daily offering on #grief, in honor of each person who has trusted me with their story and wisdom during their #griefjourney. I hope that others may benefit from simple and straightforward talk about a topic that can be difficult. Thanks for following and/or sharing.

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