As humans we are hardwired for connection. Just like the strands of spider web, when one is tugged, we all are affected in some way. Our own well-being, then, is not achieved in isolation, but springs in part from those strands that connect us to other people.
I witnessed, gave, and received an abundance of grace recently. Witnessing it was amazing – chatting with a close friend with a new medical diagnosis who described the abundance of grace she received as a result. Giving it was so fulfilling too. But receiving it…that was a challenge…a big challenge.
I resisted receiving it for a while. I made a mistake. I did not deserve it. Anger, resentment, reprimanding, punishment, that would have felt more appropriate. Being offered grace did not match how I felt inside. So I sat in what Brene Brown calls the “shitstorm of shame” and Tara Brach calls “the trance of unworthiness.” Yep, that’s where I was setting up camp for a long, deserving stay.
But as uncomfortable as it felt, I was offered grace instead of judgment. I gradually realized that if I did not receive it, grace would be incomplete. It would not work its beautiful healing inside me. I would be giving up a big dose of well-being. Those around me would miss out as well. The yucky feeling inside was like a wall, blocking the receiving and trapping the grace I have to give. If I didn’t receive the grace offered, I would still be bound by guilt and shame, unable to readily give and witness grace.
Receiving is healing, yet requires letting go of the “even Steven,” deserving, earning mentality. When we live in a mental state of “I’m not enough,” we miss out on grace – giving, witnessing, and receiving. I saw that grace unaccepted loses its ability to grow and reproduce.
Grace reminds us we are already enough. We can’t earn it. Grace received activates the healing power of “enoughness.” Humbled, I learned that only when we allow it to…grace happens.
May You Be Well,
Janet Huehls, MA, RCEP, CHWC
Clinical Exercise Physiologist
Health and Wellness Coach
Yoga and Meditation Teacher