Grace is the whisper when you are standing in front of the dark that says, “I can’t make it less scary for you, but I can remind you that you’ve walked through it before.”
– Brene Brown
Last week, I had some pretty low moments. Ones where I felt like there was no way that the universe had my back. My grace was gone. I was sad and disappointed with how some things had turned out…very much not how I had thought they would; things, I had believed, in my bones, would come to fruition that did not, things that seemed to elusively drip away like water in my cupped hands.
I hit rock bottom as I sat alone on a Saturday night on a bench in a busy downtown street, watching people walk by, seemingly careless and happy, on their way to a beautiful dinner out, like all was right in their worlds.
I searched my soul for answers. Really, I searched my soul for strength, for grace. Strength to over-ride my feelings of fear, anger and helplessness. I tried to remind myself of all I thought to be true about co-creating my life with the universe, about me shaping my reality with my thoughts and actions, about obstacles being opportunities, about TRUST. But it was no use.
An awful tsunami of fear and negativity enveloped me and I. Just. Gave. In.
I got up to walk home and I angrily demanded a sign from the universe. I randomly (maybe spitefully) picked a red cardinal as my sign, just thinking I couldn’t remember the last time I’d seen one in that particular area and it was night and the chances of me seeing one were so low it would have to be a miracle if one appeared.
I said, “If you have my back, show me a red cardinal now.” “I demand that you show me a red cardinal now.”
I repeated this mantra over and over the whole walk home. I got angrier and angrier. Needless to say, I did not see a red cardinal.
Here’s a little back story: my daughter is a gymnast. She needed to move to a new gym this summer. A gym that was 100 miles away. When this decision was made we had no idea how we were ever going to make this happen.
I put it out to some friends that we were looking for a solution. And I got out of my own way and committed to the solution being fast and easy, knowing that the universe had my family’s back.
A friend of a friend (someone we didn’t even know) offered us their house for the summer, rent free, while they were hiking the Appalachian Trail.
That was the house (of answered prayers) that I was walking back to as I cursed the universe for abandoning me.
I cried myself to sleep that night with a pit in my stomach.
I didn’t (and couldn’t) see or feel or remember any of the miracles the universe had already offered up (and there are just too many to mention). I just let myself be afraid. I let myself feel betrayed. I let myself go down into the pit of negativity and sit there and wallow and stew.
The next day I confessed to my husband just how deeply broken I felt. I told him I just didn’t have it in me to believe anymore. And that from now on, he’d have to do it for us. I was “out.”
He said he would, another miracle, given the fact that what I’d been so upset about had actually happened to him and not me.
Later that night he left our little house (of answered prayers) and headed back to Asheville with a determined look in his eye and with reassurances that he could be strong enough for the both of us.
Two days later, our stay at the house (of answered prayers) was coming to an end. I set out to clean every inch of it to show our appreciation for our generous hosts who were returning later that afternoon. I leaned down to dust the cookbooks on a shelf in the kitchen and came face to face with this:
She’d been sitting there all along, in the kitchen of the house (of answered prayers). Just waiting for me to open my eyes and see her. She was already there when I demanded that the universe show her to me. She was there before I even had the wild notion to make such a demand. She was always there, even if I didn’t see her or feel her or know her. She already was and still is.
The funniest part of all this is that seeing her didn’t fully win me over right away. Like when someone does something to you and then apologizes, but you still aren’t ready to get over it. The universe is still on a probationary period with me right now.
Seems pretty silly when I write it down in black and white, but it’s how I feel. It’s my human-ness in all it’s glory.
A very, very wise friend just reminded me that we are spiritual beings having a human experience and being human means that we lose hope sometimes. We lose sight of all the wonderful in our lives. We forget what is real and what isn’t. What matters and what doesn’t. It’s really easy to get caught up in this human thing and it’s OK to forget who we are every now and then.
It might even be a good thing.
Because what it’s taking me to get back (and I’m still not all the way there yet: human = stubborn) to my BELIEF is a lot. When I get there – and I know I will – my belief will be stronger than it’s even been. My relinquishment of everything that doesn’t serve me will be bigger than it’e ever been. My love for my life and my partnership with the universe will be even more monumental than before. I think that is what is called grace.
I am honored to share my journey with you. I hope that you can recognize your human-ness in me and that together we can share our stories and grow and co-create miracles and our trust in the universe.
And hopefully the universe will continue to show us silly humans mercy and allow us to experience grace.