So we are now done celebrating the one day set aside to represent freedom in America. So many questions pop into my head on this topic of freedom: Do you truly feel FREE? Is freedom something that is given to to you or that you create for yourself? Do you reflect on this topic often? Is the lighting of fireworks something that represents freedom for you specifically, or is it something else?
I could keep listing questions, and my thoughts on them, but my real reason for this journal entry is to talk about GRACE (and yes, how this does link to our individual freedom).
What Does Grace Mean to You?
For some reason I was spending some thinking about the definition of grace. When I hear this word used in conversation it always seems to have a different meaning behind it.
After much thought, I have decided to define it as “living in a state of constant forgiveness”. Once I made this decision, my life changed for the better.
How in the world can we live in a constant state of forgiveness? I agree it will definitely take some effort: inner work and outward effort to truly forgive others you believe may have “wronged you” in some way. But I think to myself – why in the world wouldn’t I go through this inner work? I know it will certainly make me a happier person and therefore others around me will feel this more positive energy as well, right?!
Forgiving Others: Paying it Forward
For me, I used to have a problem with fully forgiving others. It wasn’t for the “larger wrongs” that I believed I witnessed, it was more of petty little things that added up that seem to have a hold over me. For the last year I seem to have a much better handle and now I don’t even need to consciously forgive someone, because I really don’t see any wrongs that have been done to me. Grace has been on automatic mode somehow. I no longer hold grudges and really don’t get annoyed anymore, (okay, no longer than 10 minutes). I need to have some emotional reaction to certain situations that impact me but are out of my control, right?
Behaviors vs the Person
Looking back on the times when grace didn’t come easy for me, I now realize that I wasn’t grasping that there was a ‘behavior’ that someone else was engaged in that didn’t align with my current values at the time. Or maybe I was more concerned about what I was feeling vs everyone else. It wasn’t the person themselves that I had an issue with, it was a behavior I witnessed that I didn’t agree with. Unfortunately being unwise at the time, I completely turned away from the person (not the behavior) and didn’t allow myself to get to know some pretty amazing people. What I am trying to say is, it wasn’t them, it was me that needed to change.
Now that grace is a more natural part of my everyday life, I realize individuals who I might have “wronged” in the past without meaning to. Most people are not purposefully going about their day in order to annoy you or create havoc in your life. You are the one allowing it to happen.
You never know what another person might be going through on any given day when their energy exudes anger, annoyance, aloofness, sorrow. Just make sure you have a way to not allow any of this negative energy be projected onto to you, while still offering them grace.
Healing yourself is hard. It seems that forgiving yourself can be more difficult than forgiving others. Why do you think that is? If you think about it, it makes no sense at all. I have found that the “it’s me, not them” understanding helped me immensely. If we work on ourselves first, it opens the door to a whole new world. I think every person has to go about this in their own way, so I don’t have any advice on this one specifically. Prayer (talking to God) and meditation (listening to God) certainly helped me figure out my path. Less anger, not worrying about unknown leads to more happiness, more joy, more peace, more love. Taking it day by day is beginning phase of the automatic cycle of living in constant forgiveness.
You don’t have to do this alone (prayer and meditation is that constant connection to your higher power).
Tying it All Together
Grace = Constant Forgiveness of Yourself and Others = Complete Freedom
Energy Work Can Also Help
When I went through my Reiki certification is when I really started to see a difference. These sessions calm the body and mind. I’ve had many individuals tell me things that normally would have bothered them don’t seem to have an effect after having energy work done. In addition, they feel more confident an energetic. If this is something you are interested in learning more about, just let me know!