Grace to Learn

Have you ever been blessed to just find the sweetest soul in life? And further more, they like you and want to be your friend? If you’ve been so fortunate, then you’ll know what I mean when I say that Aylesha is a special find. As kind as she can be, she reminds me constantly of the importance of being gentle with myself and those around me. I am so proud of Aylesha for pursuing her PhD., and I can’t wait to see the amazing things that she will do! Here’s Aylesha’s story:

Hey all! My name is Aylesha and I wholeheartedly feel like I am a lifelong learner. There is just so much the world and people within the world have to offer, so I seek it out! Until recently, I had never really thought about sharing this journey, and now I’m wondering why not? This journey is one that I am proud of- pursuing my PhD.- wow! It’s exciting and nerve-racking but this is a challenge I have always seen myself taking on. A PhD. in Developmental Psychology is more than an additional set of knowledge and skills. This is my opportunity to fully invest in the people I want to help, give back to them with the information I find along the way, and have resources available for people who do or have easy access to it. Ok, now, enough about my personal what, I want to share a bit about my why and how. 

So how exactly has self grace shaped, guided, and compassionately nudged me on this Doctoral journey? 

Self grace, that is such a beautiful term. Full of bliss and possibility. When I think of it, I feel the kindest energy, compassion, patience– all the good feels. Actually, this is more than a good feeling term or phrase… it’s a way of life. It’s a way of life because kindness is something that we deserve. Yes, deserve. How strange is it to place such a strong word like deserve with a soft word like grace. Strange, but powerful. Self grace, now that… THAT means to be kind to yourself because YOU deserve it. 

Self grace means being kind to yourself because YOU deserve it.

So, that was easy to write, but how have I applied this? 

For years, pursuing my Ph.D. has been a goal. It always seemed so far away, and now I’m in my program. Even when I pushed it aside, God knew the desires of my heart. There has been stress, doubt, worry, and procrastination but in the midst of it all, there has been constant self grace. I had to remind myself that it was okay to not be ready to tackle this immediately. I had to remind myself that feeling unsure about the next several years of work that would be required of this journey was ok. I had to allow myself the space to accept the grace that created the way for me to begin my final education goal in the first place. 

Self grace is something that is ever-evolving for me, especially depending on what I need at the time. God knows what I need, especially when it comes to grace. Now, self grace is not an excuse for me to slack off because ‘I need a break’ because it shows up for me in the most intentional and compassionate manner. Maybe it looks like my constant pep talks when I am stressed and overwhelmed. Maybe it looks like my reminder to myself to slow down. Maybe it looks like the time I spend praying. Regardless of what it looks like for me, I know I appreciate it. 

As I continue on my journey to Ph.D., I am sure that what self grace means to me will change and I am ready for that. 

Warmly, Aylesha 

Philippians 4:5-7 

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