The Grace to Receive
Those on the spiritual path are probably familiar with the frustration of “stuff coming up”. It’s as if the moment we set out on the path of healing, and become more and more aware, the proverbial “stuff” never ends. We diligently love ourselves, and learn that we are enough, and heal, and invoke spiritual protection, and do daily energy clearing, and yet seemingly discover layer upon layer of our own unhealed pain.
The ocean takes care of each wave till it gets to shore.
You need more help than you know.”
Why so much pain? Will we never love ourselves enough? Why did the sages and the saints radiate so much light despite their struggles, while we seemingly have to be stuck in the muck and mire of our own pain? Healing what we had long forgotten, over and over again.
But do we always have to?
Why do we go around thinking that we have to do everything ourselves? True, from the disempowerment of blindly following a leader or a set of rules, we are slowly rising to realize the Divine within. And yet, this is just one aspect of the Divine. Every major religious tradition has some form of saying: “Give it all to me”, give all your troubles to the Lord.
A good friend of mine says that the capacity to bear paradox is a mark of spiritual maturity. And I agree with her. It doesn’t have to be either/or. In real life, it is much more often both/and.
Yes, I have the power and the capacity to heal myself and others. Yes, I am a part of the Divine, a bearer of Christ-consciousness, and a co-creator of my life and my reality. But at the same time, I don’t have to struggle through this all alone. I don’t have to heal it every time. I am not the beginning and the end of the universe.
I can allow myself to bask in the sunshine of grace.
“A miracle is when the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. A miracle is when one plus one equals a thousand.”
― Frederick Buechner,
Grace. The undeserved favor. The unmerited redemption. The unconditional love. We have access to grace. Seriously, we do. And each and every time, this is the most difficult thing in the world to accept. Because grace is the ultimate unknown, the wild card. Because grace means surrender.
I don’t have to heal myself the whole time. I don’t have to heal every single ounce of pain that I connect with, that comes up or that I feel for others. How did this idea of me being the Almighty creep in somewhere along the way? When did I decide that I am more powerful than the Creator, that I don’t need the Creator? And could this never-ending “stuff” be a reminder that I actually do?
I think we need to allow ourselves to surrender to the flow of grace. In whatever practical terms we define grace, the important part is believing that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, that I do not, and indeed can not, control everything in the universe. That some answers are beyond the scope of my understanding. That some events are beyond explanation. That sometimes, I will only have the questions, and will need to trust and jump into the unknown — in faith. But most importantly, that I don’t have to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders.
I can let go. I can allow grace to come in, and give up my burdens. Just as I can’t control the outcomes of everything in my world, I can’t control my pain or sadness. I can surrender it to the Creator and free myself to be filled up with light.
May we all grow in strength and humility to learn to accept grace.