Sometimes the question about whether awakening to Stillness
is a matter of grace or effort comes up for someone.
But in my experience, I don’t see it as an either or kind of thing –
but both. As well as both being kind of the same.
Yet often, I find that there is some built in confusion
about what grace and effort is actually addressing -
which I hope is cleared up in the following story …
Imagine there is an eagle who thinks he is a chicken.
Now, there is nothing wrong with being a chicken – if you’re a chicken.
But if you’re not a chicken and you think you are …
well, then … that misperception creates a lot of inner conflict and confusion.
The eagle endlessly pecks at the ground while having visions of soaring.
He feels deeply claustrophobic within the behaviors of a chicken’s limits
while feeling so much more is possible.
So – although nothing at all – neither grace nor effort –
is needed to become what he already is …
both grace and effort are needed for him
to come to an understanding of what he is.
Grace, however, is not something that comes to him
at rare, random moments –
it is the very thing he is now experiencing …
as he feels the frustration of the unnatural limitations he has taken on,
senses the truth of expansiveness,
and makes the conscious effort to not only see what is untrue
but discover and trust what he senses is true.
I see effort as grace.
And sometimes, grace as effort.
Effort is the grace of Love at work -
Love clarifying Its understanding of Itself.
Even while earthbound, as the eagle senses his expansiveness
he begins to lift his head, feel his body a bit differently,
spread his wings a little more,
get acclimated to the warmth of the sun in places he never felt it
and then gradually,
ever so gradually,
get a sense of flying … and then soaring.
Grace and effort are the two hands of Love -
and sometimes it's impossible to tell which is which.
If a very young child said to you, “There is something wrong with me. I need to be fixed”
it is likely you would see that the child is mistaken. You would see that it is only
the child’s understanding that needs ‘to be fixed’ – not the actual child.
Why is it then that when we 'mature'
we become so darn convinced
that it is who we actually are that needs to be healed?
What Really Needs to be Healed?
What We Are or Our Understanding of What We Are?
And what profound implications there are if it is in fact
solely our understanding of what we are that needs to be healed - not what we are!
It is all very simple. Instead of seeing things imagined, learn to see them as they are. When you can see everything as it is, you will also see yourself as you are. It is like cleansing a mirror. The same mirror that shows you the world as it is, will also show you your own face."