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I'm just going to say it: I find it easier to extend grace to others than to myself.

I think most of us resonate with that statement. When it comes to others, my heart is softer. I'm willing to support more, overlook more, and love more. But when it comes to myself, I have such high standards, and I go from "mirror to window", comparing myself to who I think I should be, and then to other people doing what I'm trying to do "better than me".

I've always had high expectations of myself. It's the type-A, overachiever in me. The part of me that spurred me on to higher levels in my science career and motivates me now to achieve, re-invent, and achieve more with Simplicity & Coffee. For all it's good motivation, it's also one of my biggest sources of self-criticism.

I began to see this in tendency to deny myself grace during the first trimester (which I had every intention of "rocking", and instead it rocked me). I kept thinking "What's wrong with you? Other women are pregnant, and they KILL IT. Why can't you? I mean, come on. Suck it up. You're just pregnant."

Not long after I started to come out of my pregnancy-induced haze/pity party, I had a conversation with my dear friend Alison, who recently won her battle with Large B-cell Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Now cancer-free, she's struggling with how difficult it can be to do things that used to be effortless before her body became a battle ground. Though she's healed, she's still healing, and struggles with giving herself grace while her body rebuilds and renews itself.

It really hit me then that giving grace to ourselves is something we as women struggle with. The situations that cause us to be hard on ourselves and question why we aren't doing more, being more, achieving more, vary, but the root is the same: We all expect more of ourselves, and struggle to graciously accept where we are as we grow into what we will become.

I want to encourage you today, Reader, to give yourself grace. Achieve what you can, and tomorrow, achieve a little more. Love yourself through the process. You give grace freely to others, Give some of that grace to yourself.

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