Why can’t I give others the grace I give myself?
When I make a mess, say I spill some milk when pouring a glass, I’ll lightly say, “whoops,” wipe it up, and move on.
When my toddler accidentally makes a mess, it is really easy for me to get annoyed. I try to be kind and patient with her, but often times my reaction is obviously one of frustration.
I might groan, “ughhhh”
I might say, “Seriously, Philomena?”
I might act really put out by her, (a TWO YEAR OLD), making a mess that often will just take me a moment to clean up.
When I hurt Ethan by being inconsiderate somehow, I apologize and easily move on, forgiving myself for my rudeness immediately.
When Ethan is inconsiderate and apologizes, I don’t always easily let it go, but will repeat how it really hurt me as if he owes me more restitution.
When I am distracted at a red light and don’t see it turn green I forgive myself, knowing I was just trying to take care of X with the girls.
When someone else is not paying attention and I am inconvenienced by them not seeing the green light, I am tempted to very quickly honk the horn or give them a look, as if I have never been guilty of the same thing.
In many ways we can be harder on ourselves than we are others, but for myself, I can also see that I tend give myself way more grace than I do to those around me in common, every day scenarios.
I think part of it is pride – I fancy myself so good at things that when I make a mistake it is somehow such a rare occurrence that it certainly shouldn’t warrant frustration from others.
But what about those around me? Aren’t they usually trying their hardest?
This pattern has been really sticking out to me lately, and it is something I want to work on. I should be assuming the best of those around me, and give them the same grace I would extend myself.
I found this beautiful prayer for patience from www.ourcatholicprayers.com, and thought it would interest some of you as well.
Teach me, my Lord, to be sweet and gentle in all the events of my life, in disappointments, in the thoughtlessness of others, in the insincerity of those I trusted, in the unfaithfulness of those on whom I relied. Let me forget myself so that I may enjoy the happiness of others. Let me always hide my little pains and heartaches so that I may be the only one to suffer from them. Teach me to profit by the suffering that comes across my path. Let me so use it that it may mellow me, not harden or embitter me; that it may make me patient, not irritable; that it may make me broad in my forgiveness, not narrow or proud or overbearing. May no one be less good for having come within my influence; no one less pure, less true, less kind, less noble, for having been a fellow traveler with me on our journey towards eternal life. As I meet with one cross after another, let me whisper a word of love to You. May my life be lived in the supernatural, full of power for good, and strong in its purpose of sanctity. Amen.”