What is grace?
We might be familiar with the word grace used in certain religious statements, or brought to light before eating a meal. But, what does it actually mean to be graceful?
Christians understand grace as a gift from God, brought on by His forgiveness and mercy. German poet and philosopher, Friedrich Schiller, said, “Grace is the beauty of form under the influence of freedom.” Hindus believe grace is the ultimate requirement for self-realization. However you interpret grace, it is an attribute that supports the opportunity for enlightenment.
Are we disgraceful if we have no grace?
Holding on to negativity, mistrusting our intuition, and attaching to guilt, for example, can displace grace in our lives. When we are free to be just as we are, forgive ourselves, and let go of all that we are not, we can embody grace, and experience that proverbial gift from God.
The following meditation and visualization will help you connect with your own intrinsic, graceful nature whenever you are feeling anything but graceful.
Begin in a comfortable seated position. Take several deep breaths to clear your lungs of stagnant air. Sit up straight and place your hands on your lap with both palms facing upward, open to grace.
Next, imagine a time in life, now or in the past, when you denied yourself peace by resisting change, felt guilty, or hung on to something that no longer served you. In the canvas of your mind, paint a picture of the people, places, and events associated with your troubles. See the scene you’ve created looking much like a sunset across an expansive sky. Trust that just as every sunset fades, the mirage of life's flux will also diminish over time.
Now see the deep-blue night sky beginning to engulf the scene you’ve created until all that is left is a faint glow on the horizon. Watch your imagery fade, and sit with this picture in your mind. The night sky is quiet, peaceful, and clear. It is the time and place of grace in its best, most innocent form.
A sunset is not forced; when it's time to let go, it gracefully bows out. When you let go of life's struggles, you too can welcome the transformative qualities of grace to take place. Now, let your heart be open to the sunrise of a new day.