My 3-year-old was throwing an epic tantrum, per usual.
Instead of throwing my adult version of a tantrum, I bent down and asked him if he needed a hug.
Through his red face and tear-filled eyes he nodded yes.
I then asked him if he was hungry and tried.
Again he nodded.
The thing that’s easy to understand about toddlers is there are so many limitations in their ability to deal with their day.
One – they don’t even understand how to deal with their emotions. But two – if they’re hungry or tired – it’s all over.
With a toddler it’s easier to understand what constitutes a national crisis (like they want milk in their cereal OR today they don’t because – toddlers).
We understand that toddlers aren’t functioning, well-adjusted adults – so we don’t really expect they’ll act like functioning, well adjusted adults.
But here’s the thing – many adults are the same way.
Every person we know – every person on the planet – has limitations. This is usually curated from childhood, involves their mental wiring and the lens in which they see the world.
Once we realize no one is perfect – we can all have a little more grace for the annoying people around us.
Once we realize our aggravating boss is operating out of her league and drinks a couple bottles of wine a night to compensate – we can have grace for her.
Once we realize our spouse is (and never was) perfect – we can have grace for him.
Once we realize that relative is still reeling from childhood trauma and hasn’t figured out how to form a relationship with you – we can have grace for her.
Once we realize the guy at church is not rude, but instead struggling with his own self-worth – so much so that he can’t have a conversation with you – we can have grace for him.
Once we realize the woman in front of us in the grocery store line desperately trying different credit cards, finally resorting to putting items back has been laid off and is a single mom of two – we can have grace for her.
Once we realize that out-of-control 12-year-old at the county fair with a mom who seems to do nothing about it — is actually a child with special needs overwhelmed by the lights, noise and people with a tired, worn-out mom – we can have grace for them.
Sometimes we might even realize our parents are flawed. Our siblings. Our best friend. Our most beloved people on the planet.
Affording someone grace, will help you step outside of the drama caused by each person.
The reason – you’ll understand their actions are less about you and more about them.
You can leave behind the anger and the offense as if you’ve been personally attacked because you’ll realize their shortcomings are on them.
Just like when my toddler starts screaming “I don’t want milk in my cereal” – you’ll know – this is not about me.