As a child and young adult I was far from physically graceful. Too skinny, too clumsy and even though I asked to be allowed, ballet (or any form of dance) was forbidden in my extremely religious home. My shy, stutter filled speech was always proper but not graceful in the way that some women teach their daughters to speak. I knew my manners inside, outside, backwards and upside down but they were only required actions, rules to follow but never with grace.
I tried so hard to be the graceful girl, then young woman. I read constantly and tried to incorporate the characteristics I imagined into my own behavior, but it didn’t seem to stick. I watched others and tried to emulate the physical grace (oh, to be Audrey Hepburn) that I visually witnessed but that only compounded my perceived inadequacies all of which pushed me further into my safe little shell.
At some point in my early 20’s I learned that I had a gift for public speaking, that people liked my voice and actually enjoyed listening to me. Unfortunately I still felt like that clumsy, stuttering girl and believed that all I had mastered was creating a really great façade. I felt like a fake, like I was the last person that should be standing before others, especially other women and pretending that I had it all together and even though I always thoroughly knew my topic and content, I still felt as if I was making it all up. This feeling ruled my inner self and I still fight the voices that tell me, I’m not good enough and surely not graceful enough.
There have been moments of genuine grace, fragments of time where I fully embodied my grace, where I felt and showed the graceful me hidden underneath the pain and expectation, but those moments were fleeting and ultimately only added to my frustration of “where I was” at that time.
This past October, I realized that I had my very own wings (I’ve shared more on this in a previous post) and within that realization I became abundantly aware that I had never flown, I had never stretched my wings and let myself soar to the dreams of my soul.
This awakening caused an instant obsession with wings, the wings of a bird, the wings of an angel, even the wings of a plane – but that one didn’t last long – and wings began popping up everywhere, filling my eyes and my heart with the magic of flight. In seeing those wings, I also saw the grace – the graceful beauty of a resting wing and the grace-filled majesty of an outstretched wing in flight. Oh, the grace, the beautiful, simple grace of wings.
It’s this grace, the grace in the magnificence of a wing, or better still a glorious pair of wings, that I am now realizing belongs to me as well. As the carrier of those graceful wings and because I have willingly opened myself to the unknown and am honestly living my truth, I am finally embracing my grace along with my wings.
I am still ocassionally clumsy and I tend to have words “catch” behind my tongue causing an occasional stuttering of my speech but I’ve grown into my grace and as I continue to age, I see that genuine grace as truly mine. Audrey Hepburn I will never be but I’m learning that the grace that I embody is just as beautiful.