In the week previous to a time that I needed grace as much as I can ever remember needing it, I was watching Oprah and Iyanla on Lifeclass. Iyanla said… “if you need God’s grace, it’s there”. It’s already and always there. You just need to accept it. (I’m paraphrasing). She said, “If you don’t have it, you don’t want it because it’s right there”. If you’ve seen Iyanla, you can imagine the inflection and underlining – capitalizing – those words with her voice and gestures.
That was an “Aha Moment” for me. I had experienced grace to be a very elusive unknown. When I needed it most, it seemed to be unattainable.
This is another one of those times when what I needed to learn came at exactly the right moment! Another confirmation of how much I’m loved and protected.
I was in what felt like unbearable angst about a medical issue that I was being faced with…and I could find no peace. My sister had come to visit and be with me and while on a walk with her, I mentioned what I’d heard Iyanla say and voila!! I accepted grace and had complete calm and peace. For the entire day. It was comfort and it was restful. In fact, I had it through most of that night. It seemed really simple.
I awoke early morning with the angst again. In my pain and fear, I forgot about accepting grace. When I did remember, I couldn’t seem to get hold of it. I was in tears and had one of my ongoing conversations with God. I ask Him to please help me. I explained to Him (ha) that I knew his grace was right there but told him that I was unable to reach out and find it, ask that he please help me out and deliver it to me.
Now I don’t know how to explain all of this other than report what happened. It was instantaneous. I had peace and grace again. More than that, I felt a comfort that I couldn’t begin to explain in words. When I’d start slipping into fearful thoughts, I’d experience not a voice, as such, but a definite conversation in that personal way that I hear God when he’s speaking to me. He was right there with me on the way to the hospital. Second by second, he’d gently remind me to hang in there with him and experience him. As long as I kept my thoughts on that peace and grace, everything was tolerable. It was truly a spiritually amazing experience. Not to say that I didn’t have intense moments of fear and anguish, but was able to get through them pretty quickly. At least until they started to wheel me out for the surgery. And then, thank God, they gave me the knock out shot. Smile.
One thing I learned is that my thoughts of fear and pain separate me from grace. Because of this experience, I clearly learned that yes, I get grace because it’s there …if I guard my thoughts from the voices in my head. If I let myself listen to those voices – and decide that they are me, they almost always take over with doubt and fear. A long, long list of “What if’s”, wild imaginings… My part in this is to remember what I’ve learned from Eckhart Tolle and Michael Singer (The Untethered Soul). The voices are not me. I am the observer.
Jill Bolte Taylor has written in Stroke of Insight, that physically, any emotion (or energy) – good or bad – takes 90 seconds to run through our body. If we have anger, fear, joy…any emotion, longer than that, it’s because we’ve chosen to hold on to it. Michael Singer, in The Untethered Soul (One of my favorite books, by the way), writes about the same thing. That we need to constantly be open, heart, mind and spirit, keeping all chakras open. And that means allowing every emotion, every energy to flow through us – immediately. Then we can be open for what is happening each moment. The now. If that energy – the emotions – get blocked, held on to, then we live in that emotion – fear, distrust, emotional pain. It isn’t something that “happens” to us. We make a clear choice to live there. Past pains can be released as soon as they appear. Letting go of the past! I didn’t know that’s how it works! Relax and watch it flow right through us. It only lasts for 90 seconds! If it reappears, let it pass through again. If you’re interested, you might want to read the books – they say it much better than I. I’ve learned so much through the last few months that I feel like a different person. I am so thankful for everything that I’ve learned and experienced. Help is always right there when I need it!
About grace – I wish I could say these are my original words but they’re not… they’re from Caroline Myss when Oprah was interviewing her on Super Soul Sunday.
Caroline explained grace as that experience of the sudden knowing, a message that everything is going to be ok. And then it’s gone as suddenly as it appeared. But it left the knowing. That’s grace.
Grace is the quiet whisper … “don’t say that right now”, “don’t do that right now”. That’s grace too. Our part is listening to the knowing and acting – or not acting on it.
Grace is that something that makes a moment better.
Bottom line…we do have choices. And I really like options! Now I know a little more about how to use them.
Once again, I’m SO grateful!