I was driving home last week listening to my music as loud as I could manage, when I thought I saw something from the corner of my eye. I came to a stop (safely, if there are any law enforcement officers reading this) and went back up the road. Just as I thought, there were these stairs sitting in the middle of a clearing. No house, or anything that would even suggest there was a need for a set of stairs. Actually, I had to call my parents to confirm that there was indeed a house standing there this time last year.
Armed with my phone, I got out of the car and tried to get closer to take a picture. With the sun hitting it just right, this lonely set of stairs in this clearing that holds so much memory captured a feeling that I had grown to know well. Sitting in my car staring at the stairs, I imagined myself at the edge of them. In my head I saw myself standing there, looking for someplace to go, bewildered that my plan had failed. MY plan. As I sat there catching the vision, I couldn’t help but laugh and wondered if this is what God sees when He looks at the mess I’ve made of things.
How often do we find ourselves going about life, taking all of the right steps and saying all of the right things, only to end up in what Dr. Seuss called the waiting place? You know the place; the one where you’re waiting on the next big break, or that special someone to call you back, or your wallet to be set up…that place where the brick wall we hate to see comes into full view. How often is it that, in this place, we become all of our worst nightmares? I know I do. When I’m in the waiting place, I lose focus on the fact that I’m human and should allow space to not get it right all of the time. I begin to confirm what I think everyone else already thinks about me and my abilities. In the waiting place, I become my own personal bully.
This is a collective call for us all to stop bullying ourselves. It’s time to realize that this type of behavior only leads us up stairs to nowhere. Sitting there, from stairs in the sunlight, I was reminded of my commitment to grace. I was also reminded how terrible I’ve been lately with keeping up with that commitment. In times where it was unnecessary, I’ve been my worst critic. I’ve downgraded myself in hopes that others wouldn’t. I’ve sold myself short of my potential. I don’t think I’m alone in this blunder. Given our current situation, it’s easy for us to forget just how far a little grace can go. How many times have you extended yourself grace today? In the past week? This year?!
Early last year, I was sitting with a co-worker when she turned to me and said, “I can see you with a blog.” I had to laugh as I told her that I actually do have a blog! Then it dawned on me how long it’s been sitting dormant waiting on my motivation to kick in. Yikes. So…let’s find our way back to the grace of self and the journey that grace will take us on. I’m encouraging each of us to recommit to offering ourselves space to be, and to feel whatever comes with that. I’m proposing that, together, we find an alternative to stress, judgement and emotional exhaustion. We can do this; I’m sure of it. I’m so sure of it, in fact, that I’m putting it out in the atmosphere now. From now on, every day will be a day of maximizing grace. Grace and grit. War paint on, people…here we go.