That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
I never really had any idea what “grace” meant until a couple of years ago. I had always thought it was a Christian concept, and I just didn’t relate to it. Then, one morning, I had an experience that gave me my first inkling about what grace might be.
I was recovering from a very intense bout of food poisoning that had hit everyone in my family for a couple of days, after an unfortunate restaurant visit — a pricey restaurant too! I was the slowest to recover and felt under a lot of pressure because we all had airline tickets for that afternoon. I had already made three trips to the bathroom that morning, and as I lay there in bed, I was doubtful I was going to be able to make it through the long travel day ahead.
Looking at the sunlight streaming through the bedroom window, I suddenly had a sense that “everything is okay.” I am okay. All is well. It just doesn’t matter. I instantly thought, “This must be grace!” I was filled with a feeling of serenity, quiet happiness, and peace.
So just what is grace? And how do we achieve it? Maybe you’re as mystified about it as I was. A quick online search yields the following, more Christian-oriented definition of “grace”: Unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification. Another definition, which perhaps provides interesting insight into achieving grace, is related to the term “graceful”: Simple elegance or refinement of movement.
What I’d like to share with you today is a piece of wisdom I received in contemplation at a recent workshop that I attended, which focused on combining the practice of “EFT” tapping with meditation. My insight provided me with what, I believe, is the true definition and path to grace: Grace Is Self-Acceptance.
Many of us tend to feel either unworthy or insufficient in some way. Our minds are filled with “shoulds.” We worry that we don’t or won’t measure up. Most of us are our own worst critic. We live in a state of tension and un-ease with the world and with ourselves.
What if the grace that some receive through religious devotion is not an external bestowal upon an unworthy but believing recipient, but rather, is a sometimes subtle movement or shift into a (perhaps more truly divine) state of acceptance of one’s self?
Or, in the terminology used in Active Consciousness (and in Hawaiian shamanism), is the result of establishing a connection to the High or Inner Self that we all possess, which then serves to ease the “unworthy” or “insufficient” feelings of the Basic Self and all its stories and worries?
As discussed in Active Consciousness, the basic EFT formula used during tapping is the following: “Even though X (the problem being dealt with), I deeply and completely accept myself.” Thus, one of the secrets behind the success of EFT, may be that it helps people to connect to a deep state of Self acceptance — grace. While I think there is more to EFT, I believe this is a core piece. Just as grace is also defined as a form of simple elegance and refined movement, maybe achieving that deeper state of grace is really just a simple, elegant, and very refined movement toward self acceptance.
As I lay in bed that morning, recovering from food poisoning, I suddenly just accepted myself, my slow recovery, and the situation. All was well. I had connected to my joyful, Inner Self (or the High Self or Aumakua of Hawaiian wisdom). As a result, I achieved a peaceful state of grace. And by the way, I ultimately was able to travel with my family that day too!