I’m Diana Swillinger, and this is the Renew Your Mind podcast. Episode 89 Give Yourself Grace.
DIANA: Hey, hey. And ho, ho, ho. Merry Christmas to each and every one of you. Just to make it sound more like winter, I decided to have a stuffy nose for you all. So sounds like a winter cold, because that’s what it is. Not COVID, because I had a test recently for other reasons. Well, unless I got it within the last couple of days, could be, but I feel fine otherwise. So I’m assuming it’s a nice winter cold. Just chalk it up to December as we talk about grace. I’ve really been looking forward to this episode. I’m excited to round out this series of four things to give yourself with giving yourself grace. It goes well with Christmas. This Christmas week, we’re celebrating Christ coming to heal us and save us and love us. He is the ultimate giver of grace, and I believe he wants us to receive that grace freely. Making it available to ourselves. We have to do that. Making it available to ourselves in every moment. We can accept this gift, we can embrace it, or we can reject it. So before I dive in, if you haven’t heard the others, the other episodes, all month we’ve been talking about four free, amazing, life giving things you can give yourself. We did – Give yourself permission. We did give yourself space, give yourself appreciation. And today is give yourself grace.
If you haven’t listened to them yet, please do. I think that you’ll find a lot of valuable nuggets in each of those episodes to help you in your own mind renewal journey, which gives you more hope, more joy, more peace. When we renew our mind, when we manage our thoughts, we make those emotions available to us. All right, so let’s get into grace. And of course, I want to start with a definition. Here’s what I found in Webster’s dictionary on grace. Grace is approval, favor, mercy, pardon, reprieve. Grace is disposition to or an act of instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency. Okay, so some people might be like, what’s? Clemency? Might have heard it in court terms before. But just so we’re clear on what clemency is, because I think this is a perfect word for grace, I looked it up, and it says clemency is an act of leniency. An act of leniency. And the most common synonym for grace is mercy. And the definition of mercy is compassion.
So if I wanted to wrap up a definition of what grace is? I’d say it’s compassion and leniency. God bestows grace upon us. He covers us lavishly with compassion and leniency. Now, this doesn’t mean free reign to do whatever. It doesn’t mean I can forget becoming more Christlike and just do whatever I want and take take take on the grace. I mean, we can, right? But why would we want to do that? Then we’d be just a bunch of freeloading jerks. Like, I don’t care about Your will for my life, God. I don’t care about becoming more who you want me to become. I just want to do things that make me feel good and receive the grace I would feel. Icky. That’s not what I’m talking about. And I don’t think anyone listening to this podcast. I don’t think that’s what you’re thinking either. The kind of people who listen to this podcast you you’re listening to this podcast because you want a renewed mind that is in sync with God’s principles. You want a renewed mind that’s in line with his will for your life, right? So I know you are not the kind of person who’s just going to do whatever feels good and expect grace. Okay? That’s not what we’re talking about. But sometimes you’re the kind of person that tries to be who you want to be, falls short of your expectations for yourself and then beats yourself up a little bit or a lot for falling short, right?
I know you are, because we all do it. It goes something like this. Well, actually, I’ll just use a parenting example. And this is perfect because, well, I have a lot of them. I’ve raised four kids, so I have a truckload of parenting examples, but this one is fresh. Uh, before recently, before this year or last year, the last few years, I used to get frustrated with my daughter a lot, and I’d get bossy with her if she wasn’t getting ready for school fast enough or if she wasn’t getting ready to go out the door fast enough. I might have mentioned it on, um, this podcast before because it was something I really struggled with to the point that I got coaching on it twice from two different coaches. Finally, I got my mind thinking in a way that allowed me to have peace or contentment no matter what my daughter was doing while she was getting ready. Okay? So I’ve gotten really good at this. I have ways to manage my mind and strategies for how I want to think. But this last weekend, she was taking a long time to get ready for something. And I waited and I waited, and I would step in a little, try to help, see if what can I do to help you get ready, help you go faster? But ultimately, as time went on, I was just getting more and more frustrated. I wanted to leave at a certain time that time had passed, and I felt irritated like I was still waiting. So we got to this point where she wanted me to pull her hair back and, um, put it in a tie for her. And I don’t even remember exactly what happened or what I was thinking that pushed me over the edge. But I felt pushed over the edge by myself, by whatever was going on in my own mind. And in my irritation, I threw the comb across the room. Yes, life coach Diana threw the comb. She had a mini tantrum.
My frustration bubbled over, and I physically reacted in an immature way. That’s a tantrum. And the first things that entered my mind were things like, I’m so immature. What’s wrong with me? I’m a life coach. Good life coaches don’t throw combs. I’m losing it. This is not okay. It’s amazing. In a matter of a few minutes, there were probably dozens more thoughts just like that. Rapid firing in my head. That was my reflex thinking. My reflex thinking was to beat myself up for falling short of my expectations. My reflex thinking was to beat myself up for not being the kind of person I wanted to be. Not being the kind of mom I wanted to be. Okay, remember, though, Christ came to lavish us with grace. Christ did not come to beat us up. If he did, we would find lots of examples in the scripture about Christ verbally beating people up for their infractions. He never did that. He’s never told us to do it. He’s never told us to beat ourselves up. In our minds, it’s just something we made up. It’s just something we do thinking we need to do it. But for what purpose? Self punishment? What does that accomplish when we’re beating ourselves up? It creates shame, which makes us want to hide from ourselves or hide from other people or shrink back. Or if the shame gets too heavy, instead of shrinking back, we might, like, push forward to try to offload the pressure by blaming others and being frustrated with other people. Either way, it’s a mess. Or we vacillate back and forth between it all. Sometimes in moments. 1 minute we’re like, hiding in the closet, and the other minute we’re blaming the other person. I could have easily done that, blame my daughter. Well, you’re not getting ready on time. It’s your fault. Back to throwing that comb in the immediate moment after here’s where it is good that I’m a life coach. It didn’t stop me from throwing the comb. But I was hearing my thoughts loud and clear. I could see what was happening in my brain, and it wasn’t where I wanted to go. I knew beating myself up was totally unhelpful and would not enable me to create the kind of day that I wanted to have with my daughter. And by the way, my daughter needed some grace too. She was entitled to some grace too. And I, uh, wasn’t going to be able to provide it for her at all if I couldn’t extend it to myself first. That’s how it works. And I cared about her and her experience for that day, too.
So I was definitely inspired to give myself Grace. So I shifted to Grace instead in order to shift to Grace. Well, before I shifted to Grace, I was frustrated with me. I was blaming my daughter. In my mind. I felt annoyed and irritated, and I wanted to go sulk. I wanted to ruminate. I was not showing up as the kind of person that I wanted to be. In order to shift to Grace, I needed new thoughts. Thoughts like this. This is what I started thinking in my brain. I’m still human. I am capable of feeling annoyed and acting immature. Good to know. Humans do that sometimes. I’m a human. No human is perfect. This is a journey. This is an opportunity. It’s okay. This is the part where I need to wake myself up by throwing a comb before I’m ready to change my thoughts. That’s okay. I still love me. And then what did I do? I sat down and I took some cleansing breaths for a few minutes, and I ruminated on those thoughts. Thoughts of love and compassion for me and those thoughts of love and compassion for me then morphed into thoughts of love and compassion for my daughter. I’m sure she was having a hard time too. Something was keeping her from getting ready. Stress and anxiety, which was coming from her own thoughts and her own life experience.
So once, uh, I had love and compassion for me and love and compassion for her, all stemming from having grace, I went to her and I told her I was sorry for throwing the comb. I said, I’m sorry. I acknowledge this must have been startling for you, especially since this is unusual. I don’t usually act like this, so throwing a calm is startling and upsetting, and I acknowledge that. And I’m very sorry for doing that. I’m sorry for all of it. I told her I wanted to do better and have a good day with her. And we both had compassion and love for each other then. I’m sure it helped that I modeled it by doing it for me first and then extending it to her. And we had a great weekend together. Okay, so that is how it works.
Giving yourself grace is giving yourself permission to forgive you. Grace is forgiving yourself, for your mistakes, lapses in judgment or undesirable behaviors or whatever else you do that doesn’t feel like being your, uh, best self. When you don’t give yourself grace and you beat yourself up, you’re going to get shame and frustration and blame and ick, and it will bleed out to other people around you. When you do give yourself grace, you get to feel compassion and love first for yourself, and then it extends to others. Here’s ways to give yourself grace. Give yourself grace and take a moment to breathe. Give yourself grace by remembering you are an imperfect human being. Supposed to be that way. M. Give yourself grace by extending compassion to yourself. Life is hard. It really is. Cut yourself some slack. Give yourself grace by extending leniency. You do not have to punish yourself or beat yourself up. Give yourself grace by giving yourself permission to make m mistakes. Give yourself grace by taking care of your needs. It’s gracious to notice what you need and then provide it to you, just like you would for a guest in your home. You need more towels, you got it. You need some time alone, you got it. You need some nourishing food, you got it. You need a good night’s sleep, you got it. Be a gracious host to you. Give yourself grace by being kind to you.
Give yourself grace by acknowledging you’re doing your best. You really are doing your best. You know, it’s hard to see if your brain is running the beat Yourself up program, but if you close that program down for a moment and take a true assessment of your heart and your motives, your effort, and your energy, I promise you, you’re going to see that you really are doing your best. Give yourself grace instead of condemnation. Give yourself grace by not comparing yourself to anyone else. You are you and you are amazing. Give yourself grace by letting go of what could have been done differently in the past. Give yourself grace by letting go of perfectionist expectations for yourself. Give yourself grace by realizing others are not expecting you to be perfect. Give yourself grace by validating your own perspective and by validating your emotions. They’re real. You get to have them. They’re valid. Give yourself grace by letting yourself not have it all together.
Give yourself grace by embracing messes as being a part of life. Give yourself grace by admitting that you are made by God for God in his image, and so by no doing of your own and with the inability to be undone by you, you are enough. Give yourself grace by knowing you are on a journey of growth and refinement and maturing, and you are not done yet. It’s okay that you’re not done yet. It’s okay. There’s still growing to do. Give yourself grace by acknowledging you are on the journey. Grace is not about judgment. It’s not about high expectations or punishment or scorecards. Dump all of that. Get rid of it to experience grace. Grace is about acceptance, forgiveness, and love. And you get to give that to yourself. My mom and I do devotionals on the you version Bible app, and this month we’re doing an Advent devotional. And her response today fits right with grace, even though the topic was for, uh, the day was waiting for the Messiah, but her response was all about giving herself grace.
So I’m going to leave you. With her response, she wrote, life is filled with opportunities to exercise patience and waiting in faith. I do get impatient with myself at times in the little things of life, but I do not want the fox to steal the grapes in the vineyard. That’s from Song of Solomon. Therefore, I happily embrace my humanness because God does. He loves me unconditionally, therefore, I love and forgive myself. So there you have it. That’s how she ended it. So there you have it. Well, and she had a smiley face emoji. All right, y’all, that’s it for today. Remember, you can sign up for that free coaching call if you want it. I’m here to help you, Rympodcast.Com. So I’ll catch you next week. Until then, take care of you and merry Christmas.
As an advanced certified life coach, I help Christian women trying to live their best lives, but they still feel unsatisfied and stuck. I teach thought management skills that work so you can enjoy life again and step into who God has created you to be. Don’t forget to head on over to Rympodcast.com to get my free resources or a free coaching call.