Grace and Healing
Shake a little sugar, salt, pepper, gratitude and forgiveness
How about adding Some Grace?
Okay, okay. This article has nothing to do with sugar, salt and pepper.
I just threw that in to catch your eye.
Elsewhere on this site, I have emphasised that among the key acts
necessary to a good and healthy life are the acts of gratitude, and
forgiveness. Forgiveness allows you to let go of all that is holding
you back in life, and gratitude helps you not only appreciate what
life brings you, the good and the not so good, but the more you
say thanks, then the more rewards come your way for which to
But what of Grace – it’s a word that’s creeping in, day by day. More
and more people are using it. But do we ever stop and truly think
about what is meant by Acts of Grace?
What is Grace and how does it play out in life?
Drawing on dictionary definitions we may all be familiar with the notion of a period of grace, where someone grants us a favour by allowing us an extra bit of time in which to make payment or complete a task.
It describes our movement – as being smooth and elegant. Shades of the calm swan gliding over a reflecting lake come to mind, its movement and poise filled with grace.
Or the ballerina, performing her best, with style, finesse and elegance.
Grace too reminds me of good old-fashioned manners, courtesy, and politeness which in our ever fast paced and brevity based society seem to have little place any more. Deep sighs.
In Christian belief traditions, grace is also the free and unmerited favour of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings. Notice that it is unmerited ie we cannot manipulate it from God by being good for the week. On earth, genuine grace may therefore be seen in acts of good-will, generosity, kindness, and benefaction, given by someone who has no agenda other than to give freely, seeking nothing in return. To the receiver, thee gifts may seem like miracles.
Grace manifests in many ways though is not always observable. Divine Grace pours into your life daily, helped too by your own prayers, and even without them, in other words it’s not just for religious believers. It helps your thought patterns and emotions to be realigned at a deep inner level, led by your Higher Connected Power. Whilst it may appear as a miracle, it is nothing mysterious or magical. It is a very real and ever present power, power from Source, or Spirit, Universe, or God, or whatever you call it.
I had a stressful period in 2015, for reasons expressed elsewhere on this site, when I know I acted grossly out of character though at the time felt incapable of falling into an ever-deepening black hole – sometimes known as the dark night of the soul; I was impatient, disagreeable, argumentative, judgemental, angry, depressed, moody, and physically ill. I would do and say things I knew would backfire and deeply regretted when they did.
But I, alone, seemed incapable of healing from that. I knew I had lots going on life, cortisol levels were raging, hormones were out of harmony, I knew too that some medications were not helping and were triggering behavioural shifts, but deep within I did not like what I was experiencing and deeply want the episodes to end. Initially prayer didn’t work, God was on holiday – partly because I wanted instant remedies. I wanted God to remove the pain and my badness -and remove it now.
But what I called badness was my unheard shadow side coming into the light and I had to learn to face it, embrace it, before I could replace it. I had to learn lessons, and that prayers would be answered not in my timing, but in the natural timing of the divine.
And then I began to notice; Grace at work in subtle almost imperceptible ways. I found myself no longer thinking out of character, but thinking and feeling with understanding and compassion at a much deeper level than the level which I had lost. I stopped, well most of the time, habits don’t change 1005 for ever - from speaking out of turn and instead began to notice that something, somehow prevented me from doing or saying something I was getting into the habit of regretting. That is the way of grace. And not about me becoming a saint or angel overnight.
I was so determined to be heard; it felt as if absolutely no-one was hearing or understanding me. But the Grace of Understanding descended and it was me who was offered the Grace of being able to understand others, even those who I felt professionally incompetent and negative. Although I did not agree with their service or stance, the Grace of Understanding elevated my inner perception of compassion and understanding in a way that allowed me to better "understand the other" and handle situations differently, and in some cases, make decisions which removed the situations from my life if not entirely then to a manageable level.
I had fallen into a horrible place of “it’s all about me” but Grace through the nature specifically of the Grace of Understanding infused in me that my skill was to “understand the other” and not about me banging my drum and throwing my tows and defending a singular point about myself.
Hopefully you can begin to see that Grace is like an unseen agent that works to transform any situation/thought/emotion from a negative to a positive. Grace pours into a situation as a means of assisting a transformation on behalf of all who are concerned. It is not just about me, or you. And I’ve found Grace comes best when, in prayer, I offer up a request for help -not necessarily one of beseeching to end an awful situation, but to hone my attitudes and skills, to be given the gifts to deal with the situation. So, it’s not about resolving a situation necessarily, it’s also about recognising the gifts of Grace which can be used for a lifetime.
So Grace can be said to help us move from the negative to a more positive state or situation, to transform and not just physical situations, but to transform our inner thinking and feeling, our levels of consciousness. It can awaken us from thinking we are the centre of the Universe to a deep realisation that we are but a tiny spec, no less important, in the grand scheme of the communities of the Universe with a humanitarian role to play, whether we believe in a God or not.
Grace helps us wake up from the illusions around us. We can be forgiven for thinking that all the brouhaha and mudslinging around the 2016 American election and downright spin and lies of the Brexit affair in the UK is actually real. We need to see through the veil and realise that what we do, think, and feel matters to the entire fabric of life and with the help of Grace, you will find your way, by becoming a homonoueticist – a multi sensory being, someone who experiences life with more than just their five senses of sight, taste, touch, smell, and sound, someone who extends genuine understanding and compassion.
Interestingly, through Grace or just because she had to write, a friend has just sent an e-mail saying she feels scattered today. Tomorrow is the start of a quarter moon – often said to be a time of chaos and conflict, of deviousness and despair, endings and beginnings – an “ideal” time for the USA to be having their general election and the UK to be facing its chaos over Brexit.
Oh how easy it feels when we are entering our own personal chaos, dark night of the soul, and despair, to even just think for a moment that we are losing the plot.
But that is exactly the time to consider your thinking for what you think attracts the same unto you.
So, begin with acceptance, not judgement, of what is.
Take some time each day just for you to enter the eye of the storm. And be calm.
And may Grace be with you. It will.
This too will pass.
Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)
That sav'd a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears reliev'd;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believ'd!
Thro' many dangers, toils, and snares,
I have already come;
'Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promis'd good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures.
Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease;
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.
The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who call'd me here below,
Will be forever mine.
John Newton, Olney Hymns, 1779
Be open to receive
Be willing to bestow