Choosing Grace

My blog and social media channels often read like a nature-based fairytale (or at least that is my goal). My sister said someone looking at my photographs would assume I live in the forest like a woodland creature. But like one page of a book doesn't capture the whole story, the photographs I share are only one page in my own story. And as peaceful and idyllic as things seem in photographs, in reality the past few months have been pretty stressful for me. I don't want to use my blog as a space to whine about my problems, but suffice to say: life is always full of flux. We all have periods when things are easier and times when things are harder. Additionally, my point today isn't really that I had a few troublesome months, but rather that in the past week or so I finally gave myself some grace. It's funny how we can see a friend or loved one go through a difficult period and our instinct is to comfort and try to make things easier for them, but when we are the ones with the problem we aren't so kind to ourselves. We tend to mentally berate ourselves for mistakes or demand that we try harder and push-push-push. But this past week instead of continuing to push myself to my limits, I let some things go. I took a break from a project that was making me crazy even though it means I won't meet my deadline on it. I set aside a bit of time to do necessary work, but otherwise I unplugged and I didn't let myself worry about filling every minute with something useful to "make the situation better." It's good to challenge yourself, to set goals and strive to be better and better. But equally it's ok to take a step back or take a break. Give yourself the same grace you'd give to a friend struggling through a difficult time. Sometimes we feel we have to be our best all the time when you really just need to let yourself "be." I've written before about choosing slow, but it's a good reminder that with everything in life it's not a one time decision and done. You don't decide to change your diet or shopping habits one morning and magically are never faced with temptation again. You have to actively choose to continue on the path you set; say no to that unhealthy snack or high street buy, etc. I have to actively choose slow, week by week. I have to choose to give grace. It's so easy to get caught up in the hamster wheel of life and stop making active decisions but just react to stimuli. I feel that's where I've been lately--reacting; not taking time to observe or process or choose a response. We get so focused on this problem or that issue, and we can miss the bigger picture. There's a really lovely Terrence Malik quote about the path of nature and the path of grace; one part of that quote I love is, "[Nature] finds reasons to be unhappy when all the world is shining around it." Instead of finding reasons to be unhappy, let's try to actively find reasons to be happy. So, here's some soothing photographs from a pretty greenhouse; a simple invitation to take a moment to appreciate the way the world is shining today. And if you can, choose to give grace to yourself and others.   vita-2 rowallanegrnhs-7 rowallanegrnhs rowallanegrnhs-20-side copy rowallanegrnhs-17 rowallanegrnhs-19 rowallanegrnhs-26 rowallanegrnhs-3 rowallanegrnhs-5 rowallanegrnhs-18-side rowallanegrnhs-27 rowallanegrnhs-24


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