Posted 17 April 2020 by Sal
Grace is a Solid Kick in the Ass
When we speak of grace, we usually mean something good has happened—we get what we want, we have an experience of bliss, things go our way, we have a temporary feeling of happiness, etc. When we get what we want, naturally we feel good. And so, we say it is grace. But when things don’t go our way, or something makes us feel bad, do we think of that as grace? Usually not. It is God’s grace when we are pleased, and God’s will when we are not pleased.
So then, what is grace? Is it a feeling, which changes? Is it having our desires met, only to leave many others? Is it a petty experience of bliss, which inevitably dissolves revealing its opposite? How can those be grace? I would say grace is that which turns us to truth and frees us, no matter if it feels good or bad. Because, that which frees us, which brings us home, may not always feel good, and in fact, often doesn't.
If the most important thing is to feel good, then naturally, we will continue to seek things in life that achieve that aim. But all of those things we achieve only make us feel good temporarily, and quickly fade leaving again a dissatisfaction and further seeking for the next ‘fix’ of grace. Seeking thusly is addiction to experience. It's a constant see-saw of up and down.
True grace is finally coming home, coming to know, and to realize the value of, your already free, peaceful and gracious nature. If that means, and it usually does, a painful experience that turns you to truth, or at least to move towards truth, then how can we not see that experience as grace?
It was addiction and excessive indulgence many years ago that turned me towards wanting to know freedom. From an outside perspective it would appear that that addiction was bad, certainly not grace. But from that was born in me a question that was unwavering… “What is liberation?” And nothing dissuaded me from finding the answer; I was relentless in my pursuit. So, was it wrong, or was it right? Was it good or bad? Or, was it the most gracious thing that could have possibly happened? I say, yes it was! Otherwise, perhaps nothing would have changed and I would still be seeking in the realm of experience, self-indulgence and states of feeling good, and would never have come to know my essential nature of peace and freedom.
Grace is not a good feeling. It is not getting what you want. It is being forced to your knees, usually painfully so, in order for this arrogant, self-serving mind to be humbled enough to surrender, open enough to inquire, willing enough to hear a different message and even to ask for help. I asked for help, and got it.
It is finally ignoring our beliefs, fears, philosophies, addiction to experience and no longer needing anything to be in any particular way, as we deem necessary in order to feel good, and instead, coming home to our essential being, free of experience and the need for life to appear the way we want it to. Grace is coming to the point when you want truth as much as a drowning man wants air.
Without grace we will continue to wander around the lifeless desert of ignorance and suffering forever.
Grace is not a good feeling. It is a solid kick in the ass.