Growing up I heard a lot about grace. The grace of God was a common phrase I often heard on Sunday morning. But what is grace? I could not define it. So I looked it up. Grace is defined in the dictionary as mercy, clemency, a pardon, and a favor of good will. So grace is the opposite of judgment.
Then how come people, myself included, are so judgmental? Especially when we try so hard to be good people? It has nothing to do with religion, so it must have to do with our egos. When we pass judgment, we make ourselves and our group right, and we feel better about ourselves. In reality, judgment sets us apart and causes divisions between us. When we are young, we are taught good and bad behavior so that we can get along with others in our families and in society as a whole. We learn the norms of our society, that is, what behaviors are acceptable. When we become adults, all that we have been taught is internalized, so we judge ourselves and others as being good or bad. It is based on fear of not being accepted, not on love. The good news is that we can change this. The fact is that if we want to really grow into our true, authentic selves, we must stop judging.
How do we stop judging? If we stop judging ourselves, we begin to stop judging others. Today I am giving myself a gift – I am focusing on not judging myself. When I find myself doing it, I am exhaling the negative thoughts and inhaling thoughts of grace. and mercy.
Happy Mother’s Day to me!