The definition of graceful can be having or showing grace of elegance. It is a word I would not use to describe myself or my actions, but what if I started to look at it differently. What if I break down the word, to mean things that fill me with grace? What if I become graceful by focusing on what speaks to my spirit, what brings me grace?
My teacher likes to remind me that grace is an unearned gift, it has nothing to do with worth, it is the blessing of choice, the freedom to chose how to react in any given situation. Professional dancers are graceful and elegant because they have chosen to dedicate their lives to that passion, they have nurtured their spirit with dance, and their spirit has nurtured their dance.
So what does graceful look like living with chronic pain, with a chronic illness? Today it meant when I woke up screaming and fighting off imaginary attackers that felt like they were stabbing me that I accepted Adam's embrace, his words and his reminder to breathe through the pain. I sleep with a weighted blanket, it weighs about 16 pounds so understand when I talk about thrashing around that, the blanket went flying. The stabbing and spasming pain was so intense I thought I was being attacked. (Again the mind lies.)
It took a great deal of time for me to calm down, to unlock the muscles that I was able to. I still haven't figured out how to calm down those bladder spasms and tears just kept coming. The grace is the ease in which Adam rises up to comfort me very early in the morning, steady and solid. I become graceful not because the pain goes away, not because I stop fighting but because I accept the breath. I chose in those moments where every part of me is telling me I am helpless to come back to the breath. Yes, there are times I need prompting and the reminder but what else are our loved ones here for?
They are here to remind us of the grace inside each and everyone of us. They are here to hold us and support us when all of our tools have broken down. They are there to remind up that we can rebuild those tools and that life is a cycle.
On the days that my spoons are exhausted, I come back to the breath, I come back to soft soothing music, I come back to the scriptures and prayers and trust that this too shall pass. Sometimes I even come back to mindless TV, or cute animal videos. The pain always passes and in the end I have filled my spirit with just a little more grace.
Question of the day: What fills you with grace? Can you make one of things a part of your daily life?