Grace can be defined as:
- A smooth and pleasing way of moving
- A polite and thoughtful way of behaving
- Unmerited favor or getting what you don’t deserve
- A force, a power, or an acting of God that works in us to change our capacities for work, suffering, and obedience.
I do not at all understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.Anne Lamott
Divine grace is a theological term present in many religions. It has been defined as the spiritual influence which operates in humans to regenerate and make holy, to inspire virtuous impulses, to impart strength, to endure trial, and to resist temptation.
For many of us, when we look back on the path of our lives, we are filled with shame and guilt. We may think of all the times we acted in ways that were less than admirable. Times we said or did hurtful things to our loved ones. It is time to let go of all that pain and suffering and come to realize that we are all filled with the grace of a Higher Power.
The same can be said when we look at the ways in which we were parented. Our parents did the best they could with what they had. If there were ways in which you were raised that bring pain to remember, it is up to you to break that chain of negativity. Work at being the best parent you can be. Forgive your parents and try and recognize the grace in them.
No matter how imperfect we are, no matter what we feel guilty about, no matter how low our self-esteem, we are living in the grace of a Higher Power who loves us and holds us close, even at our lowest point.
We need to pay attention to recognize the times when we are touched by grace. Maybe it was a friend giving you a positive, uplifting compliment. Maybe it was when someone offered to help you through a tough time. We all have examples of these moments and we need to be mindful of them to find grace at work in our lives.
I don’t have the strength or wisdom to get through a single day without guidance and grace from God.Tony Dungy
If you are feeling alienated from grace, take some time and center yourself. Breathe deeply and focus on the positive things that are occurring in your life daily. Look for grace in yourself and others. Whether you feel as if you deserve it or not, grace will envelop you and carry you through the rough times. You only need to open yourself up to the possibility.