-by Hayley Peck Westwood
My Life, Elevated

I’m struck this morning by our great need for love and grace.

Isn’t it so easy to hold on to anger and hurt and feel the desire to seek revenge, or at the very least hold tight to bitterness and animosity?

But what a poor way to live. To always feel frustrated and angry and annoyed. It’s not worth it. It takes more of a toll on you than on whomever or whatever is bothering you, and what’s the point in that?

When it’s us who screws up, we’re SO quick to ask for, and even expect grace and forgiveness. Yet when someone else makes a mistake or hurts us, we can’t seem to let it go.

It’s completely irrational and unfair, but we’re human and this is how we operate.

I’m 100 percent guilty, so I’m challenging myself in many areas of my life to take things less personally, be more forgiving and extend more grace. Not because I think I’m so great or better than anyone else, but because I NEED it so deeply myself. I need grace and forgiveness for the less than loving things I’ve thought and done and said. For words spewed out of anger and sometimes worse, a lack of words said out of indifference.

It’s no way to live. It’s a miserable thing to be bitter and hateful. Give each other some grace, friends. And give yourself some grace, too. Because we’re all incredibly flawed and just trying to do our best.

And while you’re navigating your own personal demons and frustrations, do yourself a favor and spend more time with the people who feed your soul. The kind who leave you feeling light and airy when you leave them. The kind who make you laugh. The kind of people who make you feel free to wholeheartedly be yourself. It’s easier to become a better version of yourself when you surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you.

P.S. It’s worth noting that I think it’s important to discern the difference between the occasional interaction that leads to annoyance/frustration, and an ongoing relationship that more often than not consists of manipulation or disrespect. While grace and forgiveness are essential to leading a healthier and happier life, I don’t believe you are meant to suffer at the hands of another or allow them to mistreat you. Sometimes finding room for the gift of grace and forgiveness is only made possible by walking away from a bad situation, and that’s okay, too. Take care of yourselves.