What does it mean to live with grace?
For many, grace has spiritual meaning. However, my context here is secular, relating to developing and maintaining inner peace amidst the turbulent flow of life.
I believe such grace has two elements, one referring to actions, the other to perspective.
When I was young, I felt life was up to me. I believed outcomes arose primarily from my own actions. It didn’t take long for me to discover that much of life is not within my control.
Things are what they are. Difficulties are inevitable. When facing “turbulent seas,” I found I had two choices. To work towards changing the situation or to accept things as they were. I suffered most when wishing things to be different. Acceptance is the first element of grace. It’s not easy!
The second element of grace arises from perspective. We don’t see the world as it is. Instead, we see the world as we are. Perspective matters a lot!
It’s a continued source of interest to me how some people are happy no matter what, while others are down, no matter what. I’ve come to the conclusion that if one sets their sights on happiness, it’s usually found. The opposite is equally true.
I choose to be happy.
This is a good starting point, but perspective runs deeper than choice. It also involves the quality of awareness. Relationships are the foundation of life. However, to fully experience relationships requires an expansion of awareness beyond “Self.” For me, that requires practice. Over the years, I’ve developed a helpful mindfulness routine I refer to as “silent fitness.” If interested, a detailed explanation can be found here https://tim-coats.com/digging-deeper/
Grace relating to inner peace is both a matter of action and perspective. The Serenity Prayer, written by the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr is a good start:
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”
The quality of awareness, which is a cultivatable skill, is equally important.
I find that grace emerges when I balance action with acceptance while practicing the expansion of awareness beyond “Self.”
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