Grace is not something you do, it is who you are. Living in Grace, for me, is similar to being a bride on her wedding day. She walks down the aisle with a veil over her face, seeing but not clearly. When the veil is lifted, her vision becomes clear and she is free to move to the next phase in life.
Grace is loving and living fully and wholeheartedly. For some Christians, it means living within God’s commandments and willingly giving of yourself to others in service. For a Buddhist, it can mean integrating non attachment to material things; love yourself not things. In Yogic philosophy, you can find Grace in the Yamas and Niyamas.
For me, Grace has been removing the veils of fears, attachments and stress. It’s seeing the world for what it is, all of its Beauty and it’s Chaos. It’s understanding that even if you can rip off another’s veils and expose them, you don’t. Peace cannot be found in trying to destroy others but in the purity of letting go, moving forward and wrapping yourself in Grace.
Each time we go through a trauma we are challenged to remain in Grace, even when it’s life altering. Once we have grieved or recovered we are not the same. Our perceptions are different but Grace is always waiting with its arms outstretched ready to envelop us once again.
I have been practicing Grace for a long time now. I didn’t name it because I wasn’t sure of the word but now I am.
My epiphany came when I learned my Auntie Pat was in the fight of her life. She has been diagnosed with an inoperable form of cancer. When she told me what was happening my emotions ran from fear to anger. If anyone deserves a pass on the cancer thing it is definitely my Aunt. She personifies Grace everyday. She never runs out of love, advice or help. She gives of herself so unselfishly, those of us who have been lucky enough to know her, benefit from her Grace everyday. When she smiles she looks like a cherub and instantly, no matter what is happening or going wrong, you know things are going to be okay. Her eyes speak of warmth and the love she feels for you. No further conversation is needed.
So much of her life mirrors my own. We are both cervical cancer survivors. We had contentious relationships with our Mothers, to name a few. She is not only my aunt, she is my soul mate. She is the only person who truly understands me. She knows what my silence means, what my facial expressions say without a single word being said. When she calls me and I say “hi” she instinctually will ask if I’m okay based on my tone. When relatives tell me I am just like her, I smile and say “thank you”. If she chides me by saying ” Sheri Lyn, be good!” at 48 I still listen because I remember that I have a very healthy and earned respect for her. She is Grace but is not a shrinking violet. If you piss her off, trust me, you’ll know it!
Her Grace has passed not only to me but each of her children and grandchildren and numerous others who have received her unconditional love. Her Grace taught me to be to reach for the stars and believe in myself. All that is good in me is because of her. When I talk to my cousins I hear her voice in their words. Each one of them is a testament to who she is.
The Divine gave us Grace, how we use it is a choice. My friend Carrie uses her Grace to help motivate others to be healthy and fit. She has a beautiful Facebook support group where she shares, very honestly, her thoughts, feelings and fears. She gives us permission to be human and reminds us we are accountable for our lives and encourages us to strive for more. She asks us to find balance in our lives but be realistic with our goals. Carrie’s posts are so very human. She is not pretentious. Through her words you feel the love she has for you and how much she wants you to be the best version of yourself.
The Miriam-Webster dictionary defines Grace as: unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification, a virtue coming from God, a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine assistance but can also mean disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency. Grace can be used as a verb to describe someone’s movements and charm.
Spiritually I believe Grace is achieved through surrender. When you pray, cast a spell or speak a petition the Divine answers by either granting your hopes or gently guiding you to a better solution. In our daily lives Grace comes to us when we give without expectation of payment in any form. When we surrender our fears and listen to the subtle urgings of the Divine we have achieved a level of Grace.
How are you inviting Grace into your life?