Relational joy practice: Grace
Unmerited Regard. The decision to hold ourselves and others as innately worthy, even (especially) when we fuck up.
Grace is a cornerstone of healthy self-esteem—choosing to believe that we are no better and no worse than any other, that we and others are equally and unconditionally necessary to creation, that we can make mistakes without being a mistake.
Grace is also a cornerstone of responsibility. To witness the relational harm we or others inflict, to regard our own experience of that harm, and to choose our next right action from a place of sovereignty (without depending on anyone to be the bad person so someone else can be the good person) requires us to set aside judgment, blame, and resentment—even temporarily—and mind *our* business. If you’ve ever tried it (and I have), you know that it’s nearly impossible to mind our actual business when we are wrapped up in someone’s wrongdoings, including our own.
Grace is not forgiveness. Grace is not denial. Grace is not disregarding our own pain in the face of abuse or harm.
Grace is choosing to acknowledge our own inalienable humanity and the inalienable humanity of others, despite each other’s relational fuckeries.