I’m very good at self-analysis.  Well, let me rephrase that. 

I over-analyse, can be critical, even frustrated.  The target?  Usually myself.  Do you relate?

We live in a land of perfection, of lofty ideals, of reaching for the top.  We always want to do better, get thinner, be in shape, and do it all.  We want to be the ideal parent, the doting grandparent, the conscientious gardener, and prepare meals that are healthy in every way.  And taste good as well of course. 

If you are an idealist like myself (something I have tried to ditch since my youth), there is always this striving to be better, to do better…

And even though my name is Grace, there are days I show little grace to myself…

With this comes the sin of comparison… I see others doing well in a certain area and think… I should be like that.  What is wrong with me?

There is nothing wrong with working hard and doing our best.  Although I’m learning this also needs to be balanced with rest and play.

It is GOOD to strive to be healthy and live well. 

The reality is all of us are getting older, and as we age, there are declines… very unlike those golden years all of the magazines promise.  We don’t do well with losses, with aging, with grieving our broken parts. 

It can take an accident, or the onset of disease, a diagnosis, and everything changes.  Or it can be the constant presence of chronic pain that takes its toll.  There are unseen ailments others carry that we have no clue about.. Lupus, MS, arthritis, and many others.  We need to show compassion to each one we meet, for we do not know their story.

We did an exercise recently in a study we are participating in.  We listed all the challenges/griefs/losses for every decade of our life.

I was surprised as I started writing for there were significant events in EVERY decade of my life… childhood illness, concussions, the death of my first husband, a heart attack. 

I looked at the list, and was surprised by the emotion I felt.  And then I felt something I was also surprised by – compassion toward myself.

And I thought, you’ve been through a lot, and look how far you’ve come! 

And yes, I’d love to be skinnier, but I recognize I’ve dealt with significant hormonal issues… I’d love to have more energy, but I live with chronic pain… and so on. I won’t go into a organ recital I promise.

As I felt this compassion and understanding, I came to this conclusion. 

We can be our own worst critics.  I am guilty of being hard on myself.

And that is wasted energy.  Instead I want to focus on being grateful.  I want to focus on how God has helped me through really hard times.  I want to focus on being thankful for the gift of today.

I do ask wisdom for how to live, for we all want to live well. 

There is joy in this!  And gratefulness for life itself.  There is grace for today, just as I am.  Which reminds me of one of my favourite verses from 2 Cor 12:9:
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power if made perfect in weakness.”

May this grace be yours in abundance today!

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