Are You Missing Out On Grace?

Many of us walk around thinking we have to earn any and all rewards. If we receive some benefit as the result of working hard, we can accept that. But if another person surprises us with a gift and we don’t have anything to give in return we often feel terrible. We have a hard time accepting something we haven’t earned or isn’t balanced by giving back. As a result, we may not notice the many large and small unearned gifts the Universe/God/Spirit is continually bestowing because to do so might make us too uncomfortable.

The idea of missing out on grace is arising for me these days because I recently heard Oprah’s ‘Super Soul Sunday’ interview with Rev Ed Bacon, pastor of All Saints Church in Pasadena, CA.  Rev Bacon said it’s important to know what grace feels like.  He describes it as feeling overwhelmed with God’s (Spirit/Universe’s) goodness, when you did nothing to deserve it, didn’t merit it.  Wow! This was new territory for me.  I am one of those very people who think I have to work hard to earn everything. I’d never considered myself a recipient of grace. I could feel my molecules rearranging as he spoke.

I started thinking about whether anything had ever happened to me that would qualify as grace.  Hmmn. Meeting my husband, Arturo, came immediately to mind.  Serendipitously, I’d just finished writing an essay about the incredible magic involved in our finding each other…how his love had been a beacon guiding me to him before I even knew he existed.  Yes, that would definitely qualify as grace…enduring grace as we enter our 23rd year together.

What happened next surprised me. Once I opened my awareness to grace, I was flooded with examples. I started remembering all kinds of unearned events, opportunities, experiences of being in the right place at the right time which led to good things happening for me. Suddenly my life, my world looked and felt different.  I felt warm and safe and cared for and connected to God/Sprit/Universe in a way I’d never felt before.

Rev Bacon also described the necessity of following grace – not getting out ahead of it and trying to explain everything. I loved that.  Following, allowing, letting go, trusting are all actions I long to do far more than I’m able to manifest.

However, now that I notice the myriad means through which grace gifts me, supports me, I feel something shifting inside.  I sense my ability to let go and trust the universe being strengthened  even as as I write these words. I see how following grace is an extension of letting the body lead us to gifts of emotional medicine. Following grace – trusting the direction and guidance of God/Spirit/Universe? Yes!   What a relief!

If you’d like to discover whether you, too, have been missing out on grace, see if you can find one event in your life that might qualify as a gift of grace….just one. Look for something good that happened to you unexpectedly. Search for something unearned, unmerited…just happened. Once you find one, notice how you feel about receiving that. If you find feelings of unworthiness, seek tender support.  Worthiness is an unearned birthright.  If you encounter joy and relief, don’t be surprised if you, too, begin unearthing grace by the shovels full.

This holiday season commemorating the birth of Jesus and the miracle of one day’s Temple Menorah oil lasting 8 days is permeated with grace. I wish you joyous holidays and a new year of noticing and receiving every bit of precious unearned grace that comes your way.

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