It began over dinner... a beautiful little Italian restaurant on Larchmont. I sat with a dear friend who was about to move out of state to join her husband who had obtained a position with a new law firm. We discussed the challenges she faced, moving close to her husband's family at a time when they faced a variety of trials, taking what life dealt to us in stride and how it was imperative to face these things with grace. And there was that word...grace.
There seems to be so little of it nowadays. We stepped out of the restaurant and wandered across the way to a newsstand and perused the various covers, looking for examples of public figures that personified this quality, and we were struck with the fact that so little of it exists. A sliver of it was there, mostly in foreign dignitaries, and perhaps much of that allure was based in the fact that we knew so little of them... and that may be where the first part of grace is created.
Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Princess Diana, Jacqueline Kennedy, bygone emblems of grace, and a part of what was so wonderful about them was that there was so little that we knew. Women that were photographed, studied and written about, and yet they controlled what was revealed, both physically, mentally and emotionally, creating an air of mystery that usually inspired others to give them traits of charity, compassion, understanding and femininity that they may or may not have possessed. While obviously self-assured, they possessed a subtle question mark in their form, in a way proclaiming, "You know much of me, but not all."
This seems to be what we have gotten further and further from in this time. Everything is revealed; there is no space to move, to expand, to question. The saying goes "Gracefulness has been defined to be the outward expression of the inward harmony of the soul" but so much of this revealing is tantamount to saying, "What I am is not enough, I must seek validation outside of myself." A trick of Alfred Hitchcock's was to use his films to validate his phobias by making sure others were scared of the same things. By constantly exposing and seeking acceptance of our own self-loathing, we make it right to not embrace who we are. Begin today by keeping your first secret: Admit to yourself that you are exactly who God and the world need and want you to be.
When you move throughout your day, remember this fact. Don't tell anyone that you read this and are trying it out. Don't tell people that you are in need of improvement and are giving this new thing a go. Keep this promise to yourself, a little secret between you and your heart, a little mystery that only you know about. The twinkle in your eye will be the first sign that you have begun to find your graceful muse.