For Grace to Be in All My Steps

“Grace was in all her steps, Heav’n in her Eye, In every gesture dignity and love.”      John Milton

I’ve never wanted to be introduced as “the life of the party”.    No.  I’d rather be viewed as someone who is graceful and dignified and kind.  With glimmers of sharp wit flashing when you least expect it.   Sometimes graceful and dignified seem to be easy enough to cultivate but not so easy to maintain.  I have a quick temper.  And I can fall into a state of grumpiness that can last for days.

Why is grace sometimes difficult to sustain?  Why is it so easy to let the emotions of anger and pettiness rear their ugly and pitiful heads?  Most often from insecurity I’m sure.  The misconception that everyone is judging you.  And so what if they are?  Ever known people who have gone through friends like a box of tissue?  The ones who have defined themselves so stringently that misinterpret the actions and words as others as a direct attack on their view of themselves?  The people you just want to shake by the shoulders and say “it’s not them!  It’s you!  You are the common denominator.”

I know I don’t want to be one of those people.

I think most of us default to defining who we are by confidently knowing who we don’t want to be.

But back to grace and dignity.

How to make a response to a perceived indignation less visceral.  Stop.  Breathe.  Lower the voice (not menacingly so) but in a controlled manner.  Easier said than done.  Especially the breathing.  Difficult when all you want to do is rip someone’s head off and spit down his/her neck.  Which in itself is not very dignified.

And through it all to be consistent.  To be consistently graceful and dignified and not haphazardly so. Possessive of a calm, unruffled center.  Anchored in security of self.

This is what I’m working towards.

This is what I want to be.

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