My focus word of the year for 2015 has nothing to do with physical action. It has more to do with internal action, and I’ll tell you why. The last two years have been great, there’s no doubt about that, but when there are highs, there can sometimes be lows. And the lows would sometimes hit me a little harder than I expected.
When I stepped into this world, I was very naive. I had learned the lessons before in other aspects of my life, but the little kid in me was as prominent as ever when I took the leap into the blog world and then eventually into the furniture refinishing/antique business. I figured everyone would be just as excited as I was. I had no idea what I was doing. How could I? I was stepping into a new field, a new business. I figured it out as I went and made some mistakes for which I am sorry and very grateful for at the same time. That’s how we all learn, right? As I always say “every expert was once a beginner”. A fresh-faced, excited and eager beginner. I didn’t know the rules. Heck, I didn’t even know there were rules. I expected to learn some new things along the way, but what I learned was that some things are the same no matter what you’re doing, or what field you’re in, and that was the hardest lesson of all: instead of reaching out to help, or to give guidance, some people turned away. They want you to “just know”. Or maybe you’re different than the rest, so it’s easier to turn away rather than to take your hand and say “I understand, how can I help you?”. And it’s completely okay. I’m not blaming them. They’re only human too.
And as it has happened to me, it has forced me to see it mirrored in my own encounters. I selfishly want people to extend grace to me. I want them to understand that I just had a bad day. Couldn’t they see that? But then when a stranger snaps at me, I’m the first to bite back. I’m the first to turn away. Or say in my head “geez, what’s their problem?” and just like most people, turning away is my first response. But the point of grace is to give it regardless of whether you believe they “deserve” it or not. The point is to give grace selflessly regardless of whether you will ever receive anything. The point is to give for the sake of giving, expecting nothing in return.
But what would happen if we all began extending a little more grace, including me? Maybe not be so harsh? Aren’t we all on this bouncing ball called Earth together? What’s with all of the judging and name calling and gossip? What purpose does it serve?
I also need to extend more grace to myself, and more often. My internal conversation can sometimes be more damaging than anything else someone could say to me. Do you know what I’m talking about?
I realize my Word of the Year for 2015 is very different than my word from last year and that it has nothing to do with any brand of paint, any DIY project, or any physical action I intend to take, but I’m hopeful that setting my intention for 2015 to open-handedly extend more GRACE to you, myself and anyone I may encounter, that I may, at the very least, feel better about what I’m contributing to this crazy world we all live in.
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