The topic for discussion at the recent dinner meeting of our Pacifica group was “grace.” What does that mean? How does each of us define it? What have been our experiences of grace in our lifetime?
Thinking about the topic on the way home from the barn that afternoon, in preparation for the meeting, I remembered instances where what I experienced seemed like a state of grace. I have been blessed in this life with so many!
I’ve always felt that what we call “the grace of God” is always available to us, if we can allow ourselves to accept it. We’ve gotten ourselves separated from grace and from our divine nature, but it seems to me that “grace” is always there. It’s our natural state.
A friend once chided me gently when I told her that. No, she insisted, the grace of God is something that’s only available when it’s given, that is, when God decides, in His wisdom, to grant us grace.
But I don’t believe that God—or however one conceptualizes the Divine—is conditional. I think that’s a human thing. I think the grace of God is always there—we just have to somehow be able to relax into it and accept it. It doesn’t always look like we want it to look; it’s not necessarily “happy.” Some of the most profound experiences of grace that I’ve experienced have been deeply painful times, where suddenly in spite of the agony that I’m going through—in my case it’s been not so much physical pain as emotional—all of a sudden something opens up and I’m just so incredibly grateful for the experience and for my life and for the blessing of being alive to it all…. Gratitude has a lot to do with being able to perceive grace.
Horses, and probably all animals, live in a state of grace most or all of the time. They’re not surprised by it when it comes upon them, because it just IS; we humans are surprised by it because we’re so separated from the natural acceptance of what is. We’re so busy trying to do stuff and fix stuff and make stuff. Trying to relax into grace is very hard to do! It’s so foreign to what we spend our lives at.
Grace, in my experience, is a gift, a gift that’s given without strings—and it’s always there.
[Cross-posted on The Alchemical Horse.]