Greetings, Luminous One!
And welcome to the lovely month of June. It's one of my favorite months because of the abundance of flowers everywhere - rain or shine, when the irises, peonies, and daisies all bloom together, it just makes my heart sing!
There's something about a flower's combination of beauty, fragility, and strength that brings the month's theme of Grace to mind. Yet, that doesn't even begin to describe it...
It's one of those things that you know when you're in it, but it's impossible to nail down.
As I searched to define the elusive Grace, I found not an answer, but a conundrum...
Some wise teachers have said that Grace is always within us, always in reach, while others have said the opposite.
For me, the answer is a "Yes, and..."
Grace can happen to us and we can create Grace-filled moments, be they large or small.
Grace can happen when a gift is given without the need for acknowledgment, like paying the toll for the unknown car behind you.
Grace can also be receiving a gift (verbal or material) with humility and grateful acceptance that you deserve it.
Grace can be a synchronicity that is so perfect and profound that there's no other way to look at it but as a gesture from helpers beyond the veil.
Grace can be lending a helping hand without being asked.
Grace can come in the easy laughter of loved ones in the genuine delight of each other.
Grace can be awakening to a difficult truth about yourself and realize that lots of people love you anyway.
Grace can be a moment of a letdown when burdens are revealed and relinquished. (This is a big one for caregivers.)
At the same time, Grace can be present in the generosity of those tireless caregivers, who often don't get thanked enough.
A state of Grace can arrive in certain music, such as Gary Malkin's resonant pieces that we're so fortunate to be lifted by in every meditation.
Grace is being fully seen by another.
Grace is a glow that can walk into any room unexpectedly or can be asked to participate in advance.
In my experience, when Love and Truth come together, it creates the opportunity for Grace to emerge.
Grace is a power that comes in and transforms a moment into something better. ― Caroline Myss
We've all had instances that we could say, "That was Grace," and it's often in the telling of those stories that we perceive Grace in action.
In my bedside vigils for the dying, there have been exquisite examples of the sudden presence of Grace when forgiveness is offered ... and received. The gentle gift that Grace offers benefits both the one who is departing and those left behind.
When my father was dying, there were many heightened, mixed emotions in the room because he hadn't exactly been an exemplary father - quite the opposite. Yet, most of his offspring stayed by his side as his body began shutting down because despite everything he had done or not done, and all his failures, we loved the guy.
By that time, I had learned to listen internally for messages from departing ones about how to help them achieve "lift-off" while they were in a coma. But I wasn't hearing anything from my father - and then I realized that I was still harboring a good deal of anger and resentment towards him. I believe that lingering emotions, especially negative ones, act as an anchor for the dying soul and I certainly didn't want to be the cause of any struggle for him. So, my journey on his final night was to forgive him in hopes it would allow him to have a clean launch, or what we Death Doulas call a "good death".
Throughout that long night, I wrestled to pull myself out of the knot that was in my heart and into a flow of love that did eventually set me free, releasing me into a much more generous state.
Finally, as day broke, I heard what my dad needed: the Crispin Day speech from Shakespeare's Henry V. (We shared a love for this monologue.) Hastening to pull it up on my cell phone, I read it into his ear, and sure enough, he jettisoned out on the very last line.
As I felt my father being lovingly received into the next world without judgment, the aura of Grace filled the room.
In that instant, I understood that no matter how much he had messed up as a human being, no matter how obscured his soul had been in earthly life, my father's true essence was a courageous and noble one, as exemplified in that speech. If I'd only had eyes to see...
Grace taught me this lesson while also soothing my heart, spilling into every aspect of my being like a tsunami that was simultaneously humbling and full of love, strength and encouragement.
What else can do that?
The Webster dictionary's first definition of Grace is "unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification."
Both my father and I were blessed by Grace that morning - great healing had begun.
If I had to sum it up, I would say that Grace is a mysterious sensation more than anything else... it's a feeling of an amplified, heightened, or, dare I say, "holy" moment that we only really recognize when we're in it. It is often charged with a myriad of emotions, but primary among them is a Love so magnificent that it shifts us at our very cores.
My wish for all of us this June is to experience at least one moment of Grace. Better yet, let's be Grace Conjurors, creating Grace whenever and wherever we can!
Then, let me know how that goes for you... :)
Much love & infinite blessings,