Monday, November 21, 2011

Opening to Grace

This is a phrase used often in the Anusara yoga class I take.  Most of the time I use it as a physical cue to relax my shoulders when moving from one pose into another.  Of course, there's more to it than that, and I'm finally getting it.
As you probably know, I don't subscribe to one particular religion.  I believe that G-d has presented Himself to us in a number of ways, and continues to do so. I was raised sort-of Jewish, with some Catholicism thrown in the mix.  Being the nosy-er-curious sort, so I've learned bits here and there about other religions and spiritual practices, as well. I've been lucky enough to have been able to attend services at many different churches, temples, etc.
But despite all of that, it's taken me a REALLY long time to understand what grace truly is.

What I'm discovering is that G-d has been trying to show me my path for quite a while now, and I simply haven't been paying attention. Being the perfectionist control freak that I am, I have spent years trying to please others, not realizing that it was completely unnecessary. Because He loves us all, regardless.

And He's given us these bodies to house us.  Ourselves, the true Self.  The part of us which is connected to everything and everyone else.  So when I abuse my body, I'm abusing not just my physical self, but my spirit and my connection to everyone and everything. I'm cutting myself off from grace, rather than opening to it.  When I focus on the worst-case scenario, or the end result of an action, how can I see other possibilities?

I remember watching a documentary about the Holocaust.  A survivor spoke of standing in the camp one evening, watching the sunset.  One of the other prisoners said "How beautiful the world could be."
If someone in a concentration camp has the ability to see the wonder and beauty of life, what is my excuse for not doing so?  Back in September, when we were in Yosemite, I got to see a glimpse of what the world must have looked like before human came along.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not about to strip down, give away all my earthly possessions and go skipping off to live in a cave. I'm WAY too fond of running water and central heating.  But there is SO MUCH in the world that I fail to notice because I've got my nose to the proverbial grindstone, or I'm worrying over What Happens Next.

Can I let go of outcomes?  Am I able to focus on doing my part and then letting what happens, happen?  Can I focus less on guilt and more on love?
These are my goals.

To appreciate what I have, and, yes, be thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

1 comment:

Crabby McSlacker said...

Beautiful post! Great sentiments to go into Thanksgiving with. Much better than my usual "Pie, more pie!" and "holy crap, it's time to start thinking about Christmas shopping!"

Thanks for a dose of inspiration and perspective.