How can you give yourself grace as easily as you give grace to others? Tips to go easier on yourself and give yourself a break.
Has your day ever started off like this?
This morning I yelled at my kids, “Hurry!” as they were rushing out the door.
The bus was waiting for them, and they weren’t going fast enough for me. They yelled back, and we missed our normal morning exchange of, “I love you, have a good day.”
I try to have calm mornings where I tell my kids I love them. I don’t like to add to their stress or mine in the mornings.
As soon as they hit the bus, I felt a sense of dread. Is that really how I sent my kids off to school? With mom yelling at them for no reason?
Looking back, we’ve all done things like this. Probably every day.
But how do we give ourselves grace for the times we mess up? How do we dust off and pick back up to carry on throughout our day?
How to give yourself grace
Realize we’re our own worst critics.
Learning to forgive ourselves is a little bit easier if you can step back and imagine a friend is telling you the same story you’re having such a hard time forgiving yourself for.
We find it much easier to give others grace than ourselves.
How often have you told a friend, you were having a bad day, we’ve all done things like that, I’m sure they know you didn’t mean it, you’re allowed to get upset occasionally.
But when it’s yourself, you have a harder time extending yourself grace.
Ask God for forgiveness, and if needed or prompted, ask anyone else you’ve offended for forgiveness.
If you continue to feel guilty, remind yourself God has already forgiven you.
Take a break
Take a break, go on a walk, or do something different from whatever is causing your mind to repeat your failure that causing you not to give yourself the grace you deserve.
Accept God’s Grace
You can’t give what you don’t have.
If you haven’t fully accepted God’s grace for you, then trying to extend grace to yourself or others will be impossible.
Refocus on the positive
Reframe your thinking patterns. If you’re upset that you can’t keep the house clean, for example, I bet there’s something you do that’s amazing.
Maybe you aren’t the best housekeeper, but you’re a fantastic storyteller to your kids. You can read books and entertain them for hours with stories, and your kids love your imagination more than they love your clean kitchen.
Unsure? Ask your children to tell you three things they love about you and write those things in your notes app on your phone or on your fridge where you’ll see it every day.
Grace in action
That morning after my children got on the bus, I tried to go on with my morning routine. But I couldn’t seem to get on with my day.
I realized I was trying to rationalize my behavior instead of apologizing.
I prayed for forgiveness then sent both my kids a text message telling them I was sorry. I hoped they wouldn’t let mom’s lousy mood set their day off on the wrong foot.
But I also knew I couldn’t let that possibility prevent me from giving myself grace.
Yep, I’d messed up, but I’d acknowledged my behavior, tried to make it right, and now I needed to focus on my upcoming day, or else I was bound to repeat it.