Coming to Grace
July 7, 2011
Deck of the Treehouse
It’s been a while since my last entry, being immersed in the swirl of summer in Minneapolis since the tornado picked up our lives and spun it around. We are now settling into a new normal. Our formerly wooded yard is growing into a meadow, our brand new and very bright landscape. We have finally created a new path that winds around the horizontal forest leading to the creek and trails behind our house. Ivy now covers the ground and has crawled up and around the brush and log piles in our back yard, flourishing in the sunlight.
I cannot help but be astounded by the metaphor of the storm, by the lessons of life it has symbolized–that the only constant in life is change; that in one moment, an entire landscape (inner or outer) can be obliterated by disaster or tragedy; that Life cannot help but evolve out of destruction; that if we refuse to accept what is in favor of what we wish still was, we will continue to suffer.
I spent enough time suffering, thrashing and resisting these changes, hating how our formerly beautiful neighborhood now looks, missing the once-canopied trails behind our house, frustrated with the work that was plopped on our plates at the inception of summer.
However, within the suffering, it slowly dawned on me that this is what is, that I can either embrace the changes or be swallowed up and miss out on the life and blessings that continue to happen now, every moment.
One way I coaxed grace and acceptance into my life was to dwell on all of my blessings. I made a conscious effort to move my focus from what was wrong to what was right. I literally had to change my mind. If you were to peek into the pages of my journals over the past month, you would find a mantra each day beginning like this: “Thank you for my health. Thank you for my family, for their health. Thank you for our home. Thank you for this new day…” And on and on, day after day.
“Both abundance and lack exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend… when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present — love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature and personal pursuits that bring us pleasure — the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience Heaven on earth.” –Sarah Ban Breathnach
I’m still working on this. When my mind and mood stray, I continue to repeat these mantras, to keep my mind light, to keep bringing myself back into a state of grace. Because I’m realizing that grace doesn’t always come to us. That sometimes we must look up, find its light, and move ourselves to stand right in its glow.
Sometimes we must come to grace.