10 Ways To Find Grace In Spite Of Adversity

Finding Grace During Adversity
image source unsplash by Kevin Lee

I used to equate grace with ballerinas. Their long legs and perfectly held arms and delicate buns atop their perfect shaped heads, said ‘graceful’. I thought of myself as the polar opposite of the ballet dancer. I had no grace.

I was often called ‘clumsy’ as a child. I still lose my grip sometimes, spilling milk, not to cry over or maybe it’s spilled wine to cry over. Regardless, things get spilled and people cry.

Grace, I’ve learned, is so much more than a ballerina. It’s more than a name.

Grace, graceful, gracious. Say grace. Gratitude. Give thanks. Yes, all of these things are part of finding grace and have nothing to do with spilling milk or breaking things, including hearts. It’s what you do with that mess that says something about your grace.

Likewise, how or who you pray to isn’t as important the act of gratitude it represents. We hear so much about gratitude and the importance of it yet it’s so easy to forget in the midst of life’s challenges.

So, how do we embody grace in spite of life challenge and in the face of adversity? I believe it’s an ongoing learning process and that we can get better at it the more we practice it (not unlike dance).

10 ways to find grace in spite of adversity;

1. Let others shine– we don’t have to dim our own light to do it either. Recognize when people need/deserve the spotlight and help shine it on them.

2. Own our mistakes-taking a look at what we could’ve done differently will help us re-focus on things we can change.

3.  Show gratitude for small pleasures-not everyone can enjoy the small pleasures in life, so when we do, we should recognize that and appreciate it. Life’s all about the little things!

4. Accepting imperfection-not only in others but in ourselves as well.

5. Self care-physical, emotional care is the basis for our well being. If we don’t have those we have nothing to give others or to give thanks for—therefore without it, grace will elude us.

6. Knowing our reactions are more important than what happens to us. That said, having a temper tantrum will only spike our stress levels and blood pressure without changing the situation. Remaining calm in spite of what happens (within reason) will allow us to conserve energy for making necessary changes instead of futile responses.

7. Basic manners-all those lessons we learned in pre-school still apply. Hold the door for the person behind you, lend a helping hand and put away our mobile devices when someone needs our attention. It’s pretty basic stuff but I think we’ve gotten away from this with our fast paced lives and instant connection to all media platforms. In showing our consideration for others we are finding grace.

8. Refrain from blaming others-there are times that it is justified yet it’s still important to look at how we have contributed. See #2

9. Be selfish-put your oxygen mask on first before worrying about someone else’s. It sounds counter intuitive but we need to take care of ourselves before everyone else. Know when to say no. Think of it as creating a grace reservoir.

10. Last, don’t worry about spilled milk (or wine). Life is messy. It’s how we clean it up that really counts.

There you have it. Turns out, we can embody grace in the face of adversity. We can remain graceful in spite of life’s challenges and with very little. We aren’t perfect ballerinas. We may be a little clumsy, but we’re still graceful and if we’re not, we can always find it with practice.

Want some inspiration for finding your grace? Check out this wonderful man, Jon Kabat-Zinn. Here is a sample of his you tube videos. This one is titled “Non Judging” and will give you a taste of his philosophy which I believe, can bring us closer to finding grace.

How do you find grace? Please share your thoughts in the comments!

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19 Replies to “10 Ways To Find Grace In Spite Of Adversity”

  1. Beautiful tips. I especially like #1. So many people think they have to put others down or dim other people’s light to be better, but its not true. When we help others shine, we shine.

  2. Such a positive post about grace, Lisa. You said it so well: “It’s what you do with that mess that says something about your grace.” This is so true. It is our choices and actions that determine our character, and act in a certain way, we are humble.

    I really like the first point about letting others shine. Everyone has their own voices and skills to offer, and we are not good at every single thing. In fact, we have so much to learn from others and working in a team often brings about this warm and fuzzy bond – and knowing each of us can lift each other up.

    1. Yes, indeed. Not crying over spilled milk or having a ‘fit’ is so important. Our reactions are more important than what actually happens. I agree, we learn so much from others. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here, Mabel!

  3. So so important, and love this video, too. I’m actually having a really hard time with this non-judgmental stuff lately. I could blame the election, but really, it’s about me and imposing my views on others… and expecting that we all believe the same things. Sometimes it requires a deeper understanding that we all have different viewpoints, and we should be able to share and appreciate each other despite our differences. THAT takes so much discipline.

    I love the image. And I’m like you–I’ve always been just a bit clumsy in life. That’s okay. As long as we don’t spill too much wine. Because that’s just a travesty 🙂 XOXO

    1. Yes, I think we all do. It’s human nature to judge because we’re taking in so much stimuli we form opinions and decisions based on them. As Dr. Jon says, “don’t judge the judging…”. Great points, Charlotte: “Sometimes it requires a deeper understanding that we all have different viewpoints…” YES. xoxo p.s. we must hold on to that wine glass—no waste 🙂

  4. Ugh, I had written a whole comment that my computer swallowed! What I remember writing is how much I love #1. I think letting others shine lets you shine too. Then everyone shines and builds each other up!
    #9 is awesome because being “selfish” is really not selfish at all!
    I love the word “grace” and it was my great-grandmother’s name and it’s my sister-in-law’s
    I’m working on #6 a lot!

    1. Oh, I hate when that happens!! Are you on your mobile? I love the word grace, too. I LOVE the name for a baby girl as they grow into it. So classic! #1 is my favorite, too. I’m working on all of these—LOL.

  5. Awesome advice! I’m constantly working on about half of these. We’re such imperfect creatures and if we aren’t striving to shape our thought processes in healthy ways, we’re bound to get caught in an emotional snare. Love the insight!

    1. Thanks, Crystal! I’m always working on all of these 🙂 An ’emotional snare’ could be an understatement for me LOL. Thanks for stopping over and sharing!

  6. Working through imperfections brings huge payoffs Self-care is so important, but often put on the backburner as we try to do it all. When I first started talking to my therapist after the marriage apocalypse, her constant reminders on self-care annoyed me a lot. Yes, I was eating (mostly) and yes I was exercising and getting out of the house. Then there were the reminders to “just breathe” that annoyed me too until the time came when I got really upset and then those words flooded my mind. I took a deep breath and was better for it. The process of becoming is harsh, but wonderful 🙂

    1. Hi Jeri, I know that self care one is common sense and sounds redundant but still, we forget. The process is harsh but the payoff worth it. Nice to get your point of view, Jeri!

  7. Hi Lisa,

    I love your definitions of Grace, thanks for drawing our attention to what ‘grace’ really is! How often do we let others shine especially when we are young and get pushed by this so called competitive race…even if we don’t want to be a part of it, we get sucked by it.
    I must point out that all that we learn and pick up from the peer group, socity and the surroundings has to be unlearnt as we start maturing! Another of life’s paradoxes! Do we ever think it is ok to be imperfect? Do small pleasures make us complacent? Do we ever refrain from blaming others? Well, life is like that!
    Thank you for sharing that video on nurturing non-judgment, another reminder that we have to keep working on our imperfections. 🙂

    1. That’s an interesting point, Balroop; “…all that we learn and pick up from the peer group, society and the surroundings has to be unlearnt as we start maturing!” Our early years center around competing with our peers for recognition, grades, athletic achievement…and that really continues throughout. Eventually, though we learn to let others shine and know that our light doesn’t dim because of it. As for all these ways to find grace, I believe it’s a learning an re-learning process. We can improve with practice. I love Dr. Jon’s videos. They’re all wonderful. thanks for sharing, Balroop!

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