Here we are once again, standing at the threshold of another holiday season.
As it unfolds, we find ourselves navigating an interesting maze of relationships with family, friends, co-workers and colleagues, as well as a tapestry of traditions and religious practices that weave through our lives.
For many, this is a magical time of happiness, laughter, and pure joy. Yet, it's essential to acknowledge that for some, the holiday season can cast shadows of sorrow, loss, and hardship.
In truth, most of us ride the rollercoaster of emotions, creating a kaleidoscope of feelings that become especially pronounced during this time of the year.
Traditionally, when we say grace it's when we are gathered around the table, ready to savor a delicious meal.
While the dictionary may not explicitly define grace in these terms, a little linguistic exploration reveals its roots in the Latin word "gratia,"; to give gratitude or thanks.
Grace is also an act that extends beyond the mere start of a feast. It's a collective expression of gratitude, not only for the food laid before us but also for the cherished company that surrounds us.
It's a subtle reminder that in these moments of shared thanksgiving, we are not just acknowledging the sustenance on our plates but expressing our profound appreciation for the connections we hold dear.
Additionally, bestowing grace upon others takes on another distinct twist, rooted in the same Latin origin which encompasses the idea of showing favor or goodwill.
What struck me, however, is another facet of the word gratia, which denotes a pleasing quality. This holds the key to a profound way of giving grace. It's about seeing others in their entirety, recognizing and appreciating their redeeming qualities above all else.
It's seeing an individual as more than a singular issue, a set of beliefs, or a specific viewpoint. Sometimes, creating space becomes necessary if we genuinely aim to preserve cherished relationships without compromising our core values.
Including myself in this sentiment, I hope that each one of us can tap into the capacity within ourselves to cultivate empathy, and strive to not just say grace, but to embody it.
Extend grace to ourselves, acknowledge what we have, cherish those near and dear to us, and generously offer grace to others we encounter along this journey.
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