By: Rebecca Liston
For some, this word will carry deep religious meaning.
For some, it is the word for the blessing they say before their meals.
For others, it will bring to mind the way in which a ballerina walks, or the effect of an athlete knocking the ball clear out of the park.
Still others will think of friends and relatives who go by this name. (My own paternal grandmother was named Grace, and many cousins enjoy the name in her honour.)
And others will remember pop-culture references such as the British TV series “Saving Grace,” or the songs “Grace, Too,” by The Tragically Hip or “By the Grace of God,” by Katy Perry.
Some of you may be participating in Marianne Williamson’s “Everyday Grace” program, or listening to Danielle LaPorte’s “Grace for Impact” podcast series.
And others of you hum “Amazing Grace” randomly in the car, tears streaming down your face as you pray. (Or maybe it’s just me that does this.)
For me, this word encapsulates at its very core the essence of what is required most of all from each of us.
It is more than compassion.
More than empathy.
Certainly more than sympathy.
It is more than goodwill.
More than courtesy.
And far more than a blessing bestowed on only a chosen few.
You see, some years back, when I studied Psychology in some random hall filled with 499 other first-year University students, we studied Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’ model of grieving.
(Some of you will recall the five stages of her Grief Cycle: Denial. Anger. Depression. Bargaining. And Acceptance.)
And for whatever reason, I remember our Prof saying, “In my opinion, achieving Acceptance is akin to reaching the ultimate State of Grace.”
And so, from then on, the idea took hold in my own Being that Grace is somehow attached to the concept of Acceptance.
Acceptance earned through processing one’s emotions deeply and mindfully.
It came to mean a State of Being that one achieves after having traversed the painful Path of Grief, and it became a State of Being that I have since sought to hold on to.
It is Acceptance of Loss. And Compassion for the Losses of Others.
It is Empathy, embodied. And Sympathy, expressed.
It is Courtesy, given to others as we listen. And the Goodwill we show to our Fellow Travelers.
It is all of these things, wrapped up in One.
And when I feel into Grace, I feel Peace. I feel Ease. And I feel a certain “One-ness” with all things.
Perhaps this, then, is the blessing Grace offers.
And perhaps this, then, is the blessing we all need in this moment.
With Love, and Grace, too,
Rebecca Liston is cofounder and business intuitive at Las Peregrinas, a creative and consulting agency. She specializes in anchoring folks in a clear-eyed understanding of which path is theirs for the taking. She’s got one foot in the land of the subtle and unseen, and the other foot firmly planted in the land of ruthless pragmatism. Oh, and she swears like a sailor, which makes us love her more.
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