“Acceptance of the unacceptable is the greatest source of grace in this world.”
Isn’t it funny how certain quotes and wisdom show up just when we need them the most? I recall, some time ago when I had a hard time accepting how things were. I had unexpected news that meant my vision for the future was no longer possible. What I thought was “for sure” became “no way”.
There was shock and uncertainty; concerns about others; a sense of loss and sadness; a letting go of a future dream; and lots of turbulent emotions. So much was out of my control and I really struggled because I couldn’t accept it. There was no grace here folks!
So, what is grace … and how do we find it when life throws us unexpected challenges or dashes our dreams? When we find ourselves in life’s lows?
I appreciate these words of wisdom from Adyshanti’s “Falling into Grace”.
“Grace is something that comes to us when we somehow find ourselves completely available, when we become open hearted and open minded, and are willing to entertain the possibility that we may not know what we think we know.
In this gap of not knowing, in the suspension of any conclusion, a whole other element of life and reality can rush in. This is what I call grace. It’s that moment of “ah-ha” – a moment of recognition when we realize something that previously we never could quite imagine.
… Somehow the difficult situations in our lives have a way of opening our hearts and minds the most. Its the challenging moments that often offer the greatest opportunities for growth and the transformation of consciousness.”
Finding grace and opening up to accept what is, comes when we fully embrace everything that is alive in us in that moment.
Some people choose to divert their mind into positive thinking to counteract the negative feelings. I’m not a believer of this, as all feelings and emotions are a part of who we are as human beings. I spent a big part of my life looking for the positive and denying the negative … while the deepest part of me was aching. Embracing all part of ourselves is the key to our personal growth and evolution as spiritual beings.
Here are guidelines I discovered from a variety of spiritual teachers and psychotherapists:
✳ Name what is happening. Be as factual as you can.
✳ What stories are you telling myself about this unacceptable moment?
✳ What are you feeling in your body. What emotions are coming up? Embrace your whole body experience.
✳ Make space for whatever comes up.
✳ Notice how the mind jumps in with judgments and negative thoughts. Make space for these too.
✳ Embrace everything that is alive in you. Let yourself feel.
✳ Notice if there is a part of you that wants the pain to go away – to fix it rather than accepting it.
✳ Embrace it all and let it in. This is a part of you.
✳ Let yourself become a vulnerable feeling being.
✳ Be open and fully alive to the experience.
✳ Breathe into it and allow the life energy to flow through you.
✳ And in this place of spaciousness and letting go, notice how grace appears.
Compassionate acceptance of the unknown opens our hearts and lets grace in.
Every Step is Holy
By Danna Faulds
The journey from the known
to unknown, from the
unreal to the real, is rarely
revealed in advance.
The potholes, detours,
false starts, and quick retreats
are each honorable,
and even needed in the bigger
scheme, in the forest that can’t
be seen between the trees.
It took years for me to realize
that the very twists and turns
and shadows I labeled “problems”
were really sacred ground
grace disguised as obstacles,
the whole pass a pilgrimage,
mysteries baring themselves
before me all along the way.
Grace disguised as obstacles as we step together through our lives of potholes and detours… walking each other home.
Being there for our selves and others on this journey is the ultimate in grace.
Acceptance of ‘what is’ can be the hardest part of the journey.
Doubts, flaws, mistakes and self absorption are part and parcel of life. Yet, how easy to forget, especially in those times when they overwhelm us and highjack our thinking.
Wishing for things to be different, creates anxiety about whether we have made the right choice, and sets the mind into a spinning spiral of ‘what if’s’ and ‘if only’s’. It can keep us there for hours, days or a whole lifetime.
We become acutely aware of what is missing and what is wrong. Like a dark cloud across the sun. In our mind we hold that cloud there and push it back towards the sun. We create our own darkness and confusion.
Only when we realize that clouds pass, that the sun is always there, no matter how cloudy the day or how dark the night. Only when we see the bigger picture, can we break free and open once again to acceptance and love.
A catbird tries to fly
against the wind only
to be blown backward.
I know that feeling –
setting out with certainty
and arriving somewhere
entirely different. When
I respond with acceptance
to my unexpected
destination, the sun
clangs its cymbals of
light in silent celebration.
~ Danna Faulds
Stop trying to fly against the wind and fully embrace where you are in the highs of lows of life. Celebrate the unexpected… and the sunshine today!
Sometimes traditional stories hit the right spot. This one often does for me.
Nadia spent the whole autumn sowing and preparing his garden. In the spring, the flowers opened, and Nadia noticed a few dandelions that he had not planted. Nadia pulled them up. But the seeds had already spread, and others grew. He tried to find a poison that would kill only dandelions. An expert told him that any poison would end up killing all the other flowers too.
In despair, Nadia sought help from a gardener.‘It’s just like life,’ said the gardener. ‘Along with the good things, there are always a few inconveniences.’‘What should I do, then?‘Nothing. They may not be the flowers you intended to have, but they are still part of the garden.’
May we embrace all aspects of our garden and the unexpected that life brings our way.
“The natural life is not
A life without warts.”
~ Wu Hsin Translated by Roy Melvyn from “The Lost Writing of Wu Hsin”
These words brought a smile today.
Ah yes, we may want life to be flowing and “natural”, yet we tend not to accept the very nature of it.
Embrace the highs and lows of life my friends.