Grace as a ‘Non-Believer’

January 27, 2016

The idea of grace is very popular right now, or at least it is in people I follow on the internet. I’ll be honest, I don’t follow many blatantly religious people on the internet. If your blog or instagram or twitter is faith-based, chances are I’m not into it and I’m not following. Nothing personal, nothing against people of faith, it’s just I have a lot of content I pay attention to and if I’m following you on instagram it’s probably because your baby is cute or you sew nice quilts (honestly the main accounts I follow are sewing moms. WIML?) and there are so many of those types of accounts that don’t have cleverly crafted hipster bios hiding and proclaiming that they’re all about Jesus. (See this hilarious article to see what I mean)

Now please understand, I majored in Religious Studies, I love religions as cultural and political forces, I love them on individual, community, and national levels. I think they’re cool. I think they’re comforting, I think they’re challenging and I think that I’m just not there personally. Someone said recently “Faith is a gift I haven’t been blessed with” and I was like ‘YES THAT ONE’.

Now all that being said and established, I hear A LOT about grace. And I’m really into it.

So what is Grace and how does it apply to me if I’m a non-believer (which I don’t really like that term because it sounds like a buzzword but whatever)?

To me Grace means forgiveness for yourself and for others. Allowing yourself to make mistakes and giving others that same opportunity. It’s helpful to understand that we’re all human, we all make mistakes, and we all deserve understanding and help before we deserve condemnation and ridicule.

So for me the idea of Grace fits pretty handily into my year-long goal of cultivating a more positive mindset and a growth mindset. I’m trying to stop being so hard on myself and I’m especially trying to stop being so hard on other people. I’ve been carrying a lot of negativity around with me especially because there is so much weight on my shoulders as an educator. I’ve been struggling a lot with balance between work, life, and passion projects. I’ve been trying to be more creative, I’ve been trying to be more productive, I’ve been trying to be free.

And for me that includes being more forgiving of myself and others. I’ve been working a lot on understanding people’s motivations, the psychology behind it, taking into account past history and how it affects their current actions, and while it’s really hard to forgive people or give them the space to correct themselves or help them correct themselves, it’s worth it and it’s working. It’s even harder to do it for myself.

I’m working on a mindset shift here. It’s  yet another “paradigm” I’m totally reconfiguring in my life and while it’s hard I know in the end I’ll be happier and I’ll be more productive, a better friend, a better family member, if I just work on Grace.

Until next time,
Meagan

 

2 Comments

  1. Reply

    Kay Nyman - My Open Sketchbook

    I love every freaking word of this post. This is exactly how I feel, and also something I’ve run into trouble with being a ‘non-believer’. I don’t know if it’s the area I live, but I’ve definitely run into being judged or seen as having no morals just because I’m not religious. What is that? This is exactly what I feel about having Grace as well. (Also, super cool that you majored in religious studies…I didn’t know that and it’s awesome! I find the idea of religion endlessly fascinating.)

    1. Reply

      Meagan Crowe

      Not going to lie, i’m super self conscious posting things about my lack of faith because I grew up in and still live and work in a town where it seems that claiming a christian faith is the norm, it’s just socially acceptable and not claiming faith is definitely alienating. But i’m also trying to be more honest so this was a leap for me! And omg I love my RS degree! I’ve been fascinated with different faiths since we studied the Holocaust in 5th grade. I focused on Islam and Hinduism in India and Pakistan, specifically since Partition. 😀

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