I've been thinking about grace a lot lately. It really got my attention the other day when I was working hard outside with my husband, preparing a section of land to fence in as pasture for my horses. It was good, hard work, and I could see my dreams becoming reality before me.
Dreaming out loud I told my husband, "So, I'm thinking we'll put the fence out this direction," motioning with my hands to show where the fencing would go across the field.
He invited me to walk with him as he showed me how he envisioned it would all come together."The fence will come out this way and go around the raised beds..." As I followed and listened to him I began to feel bewildered. This was not how I had imagined it would be, or what I thought we had agreed on. I began to pepper him with questions, my cadence shortened, and I felt my throat tense up.
Before my eyes I saw him shut down - and for the life of me I couldn't understand why! "Are you angry?" I asked with surprise.
"It's just the way you talk." He said with a flat voice.
"Ouch!" I felt stung.
I watched him walk away as I felt tears build up behind my eyes. I walked around the green house, sat in the warm sunshine, held my head in my hands, and let the tears fall, stunned how quickly it seemed things fell apart.
"Do you feel so sad and lonely - and do you need to know that you are valued and matter - no matter how you talk?" My compassionate witness gently made an empathy guess.
"Yes, and I like to be spoken to with kindness," As I let the words and tears flow I gently tapped on my meridians. "when the way I talk bothers someone, I would like to be told with kindness."
Silently I tracked my sensations, linking them to the beauty of the underlying needs. "Even though I feel tight tension in my temples, constriction in my throat, needing warmth, needing grace, feeling so low and miserable, right here, right now, I love myself anyway."
"Grace, you really value grace." My compassionate witness acknowledged. "How are you living and modeling grace in your life? What does that look like right now?"
I looked up to the sky and felt the warmth of the sun and gentle breeze on my face.
"I live and model grace when I..."
1. Choose to attend to self-care in the moment meeting needs for warmth and self-connection
2. When I receive empathy and nurturance from my compassionate witness - who so kindly translates for my inner critic
3. When I slow down my inner experience by noticing and tracking my body's sensations and emotions - linking them to divine needs
4. When I honestly express my truth, trusting I am heard and held by Spirit - something so much greater than myself
5. When I ask and trust Love to lead my way, acknowledging how very much Grace means to me and when I take the time to know what that looks like for me personally, and in my relationships.
Grace sees with eyes of love even when others do not. Grace hears the heart of the hurting and the beauty of the needs beneath any words and actions that may have been taken. Grace compassionately understands the desperation, the overwhelm, the loneliness, the shame, even the anger, and Grace loves anyway. Grace is available and kind. I just need to be willing to receive Divine Grace - and then expand it by living it out in relationship with others.
The tension in my temples released as a tingle radiated down my neck and shoulders, I took a deeper breath and let it out ever so slowly. Turning my thoughts back to the one who is my husband, I acknowledged to myself the complexity of life that he holds. My heart warmed with the depth of love I harbor for that man. Inspired by Grace, I went inside to make a repair with the man who so greatly contributes toward making my dreams become reality.
What does Grace look like for you?