Monday, April 13, 2009

In grace

You are so weak. Give up to grace.The ocean takes care of each wave till it gets to shore. Rumi
When I was broken and lying on the ground, grace found me and whispered in my heart, 'get up, I will hold you'.

When I arose and was too afraid to walk, grace whispered in my ear, 'you are safe within my arms, take the next step'.

And when I step with my mind, heart and arms open in love, I become the voice of grace moving into the world around me.

There is no secret to living with grace. It is a state of being in love.

In love with all of me. Beauty and the beast. Warts and blemishes and all.

Years ago, while I was living on the west coast, healing from the encounter with the 'bad man', I took Ellie, my pooch, for a walk in the woods. We hiked up a trail along the headwaters of the Lynn River. It had rained the previous week and the trail was wet and slippery in spots.

Ellie was in heaven. There was no one else on the trail so I let her run free. Free to explore, she leaped over fallen logs, burrowed into crevices of tree trunks rooting out smells like a pig digging for truffles.

At one point, we rounded a corner and she spied a giant mud puddle. Before I could say, "Mud puddles are for pigs," she raced forward, leaped into the center of the puddle and lay on her belly wallowing blissfully in the mud.

There wasn't much I could do but laugh. She looked so happy and content. So pleased with herself.

We hiked up to the headwaters, her coat a splotched blanket of dried and caked on mud. When we reached the pool of water at the top, she leaped in and cleaned herself off. I joined her in the ice cold waters, slashed around, watched rainbows sparkle in the air and laughed and laughed in the pure bliss of being alive in the moment.

As we hiked down, I was careful to hold onto her at the site of the giant mud puddle (much to her dismay). As we successfully passed the puddle, I slipped on a patch of mud and landed on my butt on the trail. I let go of my hold on her collar as I sprawled on the trail, my backside covered in mud!

There wasn't much I could do but laugh. And Ellie, suddenly released from my hold, took advantage of the situation and raced back to her puddle so that she too could have a mud bath.

Laughing outrageously, I lay on the ground and gave into the moment.

I'm not sure what triggered the thought, but as I lay there, I 'saw' myself standing small in front of a giant fire breathing dragon. It was my mission to slay the dragon, to take away its power. Because I was standing right at its feet and so much smaller than it, it couldn't reach me with its fire.

I was scared, but I knew what I had to do. I held a sword in my right hand and a shield in my left. I raised my shield above my head to protect me from errant flames, and shakily raised my sword and pierced the dragon in its neck as it leaned over to try to reach me. The dragon collapsed and sank to the ground. As its body crumpled into itself, it transformed itself into a beautiful white dove. The dove flew into the air towards me and alighted on my shoulder.

While that may seem like a rather weird thought to race through my head while I'm lying in a puddle of mud on a mountain trail, for me, that 'vision' represented so much of what I'd been fearful of in life. I was afraid of being me. Afraid of living life in the fire, on fire. Yet I kept standing in my own way, cowering beneath the power of my own fiery nature, burning myself with my fears.

I saw Beauty. I did not want to see that I was also the Beast, the very thing I was afraid of. In slaying my dragon, I transformed 'the beast' into a dove of grace who sits forever on my shoulder.

To live in grace is to live without fear of being burnt by the flames of passion living in each moment of this wild and precious life.

Grace is the flame that warms my heart when I stand in love without fear that tomorrow there will be no grace. Tomorrow takes care of itself when I take care of today in love with all I am, and the world around me.

The question is: Are you living with your mind and heart and arms wide open in love? Are you being the grace you would see in the world around you?


Anonymous said...

WOW!!!! This post really speaks to me. Thank you from your insight and for sharing. JP

M.L. Gallagher said...

Thanks JP. I am grateful for your feedback. You inspire me to keep writing!