Cultivating Grace

Cultivating Grace

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How do I transform my own suffering to grace? This is the question I am asking myself most, at the moment.

When I was growing up, I remember my mum often used to say: “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

As I get older and wiser, I realise that I am increasingly able to shift my relationship with the world through a transformation in my perception of what happens in life.

There is a difference between the pain we feel and the suffering that can go along with it. Pain is a very real part of life – and is unavoidable, but I have learned that the mental suffering that often accompanies it is very much optional. I have learnt to make friends with my own suffering and to see what it has to teach me. This involves an element of gracious acceptance and allowance.

Whenever I look at my perceived struggles in life, I try to maintain perspective and see how I can cultivate grace around them. There are always other people in the world who go through far more difficulty, with far greater ease. And when I catch myself suffering, I look to those people who, in hugely tough situations, still manage to find the grace I cannot. That frame of view usually opens the way for me to find it, in myself.

I recognise that, during times of inner turmoil and chaos, there’s a decline in my abilities to judge well and to create better outcomes. I am also aware that the energy behind how I do things becomes more important to me and – unsurprisingly – strongly influences my ability to make progress.

I have developed a daily practice of surrendering to whatever comes up, and learning to find inner peace – no matter what happens. Cultivating that process of simply accepting and allowing whatever is helps me to stay centred. It balances and grounds me, enabling me to say the right thing at the right time, more often than not.

It takes conscious effort and practice, and I don’t always achieve instantaneous serenity at all times. So, this is very much a piece of work in progress – as my family, in particular, will testify! It is, however, something I am wholeheartedly committed to improving. The benefits are very clear to me.

Try it out for yourself, and see.

To grace.

Marc

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  1. Mo Charbonneau says

    Thanks for articulating what is very much on my own mind these days, Marc. Grace. And cultivating inner peace no matter what the external circumstances.

  2. Susan Hayward says

    Nicely worded. Over the years I am learning to step back from hurt, pain, chaos, etc and let it take its course. Karma is a great restorative – I let the issue go and karma deals with me and it accordingly. It keeps me on my toes to do what is right first, before letting go – which ties in very nicely with grace. Yes, I like grace.

  3. Jessica Dogantemur says

    The perception of suffering occurs when we are out of our comfort zone, but that is also where almost all true Growth occurs. When seeking growth, suffering is part of it. But I like to call it “productive pain:” Pain for a purpose. From personal experience I know how much it HURTS to give birth to a child. But the joy that comes from bringing a new life into the world transforms that pain, validates it, makes it okay. The BAD pain is the pain that serves no purpose. Bringing our consciousness to bear on the reasons for our suffering helps us to decide whether we want to abide with it, transcend it, or transform it into a growth experience. For me, this is the meaning of grace…a change in our perception. When we SEE pain and suffering differently, we can make a conscious decision about them rather than being ruled by them.

  4. Thanks for that, self reflection always works.

    For me: Grace, Wisdom & Trust goes together

    First of all; Grace empowers me to act differently (in love, acceptance, peace, hope) when in tough situations arises. It is usually easier to “through out your toys”/ “give the person what is on your mind”/ “blaming the world”.

    Secondly; Wisdom enables us to “acknowledge what we see” / “listen to the full story” and “know who we are” (Identity not based on others but by looking in yourself & our creator).

    Lastly; Trust enables us to “take responsibility and act”, rather than to “react” when in a situation. and encourage us to do what we can rather than wait for what we cant.

  5. Petrice Davidson says

    Thank you for your post.

    I have more acceptance of the daily things which occur; good and bad. I write a “gratitude list,” and I post it. My discipline is accepting life on life’s terms. I say the Serenity Prayer often to let go and I am learning how to forgive myself and others, releasing resentment poison to my soul. I perform small acts of kindness. I can’t save the whole world, it’s what I do daily. Recently I sat with a fledgling bird that had been flung from its high nest during a storm into my garden. Its parents were defeated, so I nursed it in a baby’s blanket and stroked it until it passed, so it would know it was loved and not alone. I shared with my neighbour some very nice food I had received from a generous donor at the food bank and she was chuffed (she loves ice-cream :-); I visited my friend’s teenage-son who has has been suicidal to cheer him up. He was so grateful just for this speaker set I had laying around I didn’t use much because they have no money. I know that acceptance is the answer. My life is far from a bed of roses, but I try to bless everyone I come into contact with even when they are nasty. I need God in my life without whom I can do nothing and I love our kids! I will never be perfect, I am a food addict and I occasionally suffer with PMS (Poor Me Syndrome), but I don’t stay on the “pity pot” for long because there is always someone else who needs to be there more. I love because I have grace. I ask God for direction and I trust he will restore my body and mind to wholeness. I do feel angry that I have advanced Endometriosis and I have waited 7 years for an operation. I have MONO as well, so I am always tired. To combat constant physical and emotional pain, I write comedy and I sign petitions or donate to charity. This Xmas I plan to donate to the Orphan Children in India through Father Jeevan-Babu. I also stop junk food to protect our rain-forest from destruction (No Maccas). These are small things that make a difference :-). I am becoming a lady and fulfilling my purpose. Life is beautiful.

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