One of the primary feelings of grace is freedom. Grace is the freedom to pursue one’s dreams no matter what is going on. Grace is the freedom to listen to one’s emotions, even the painful ones. Grace is the freedom to act, even though the consequences are unknown. The opposite of freedom is helplessness.
Freedom or Obligation
We can only experiece grace in the absense of obligation. For many people, the sign of grace is good works, so they beleive that if they do good works, they will experience grace. They think “If I sacrifice myself to attend to others, then I will feel good.” But, unless one is careful, this may lead to burn out, resentment and bitterness. On the other hand, if one acts from overflow of grace, there is never burn out, resentment or bitterness. There is only flow. To an outside observer, the person acting from a state of grace may look just like the person acting from obligation. But if you pay close attention, you will see that the person acting in grace has a smile and radiates joy, whereas the person acting under obligation may have a frown and be emitting an aura of distress.
Just Feel Free
Nike’s motto: “Just Do It” is wise advice when applied in freedom. Yet there is a subtle danger lurking if one “Just Does It” out of obligation rather than in freedom. For example, with the spirit of freedom, “Just Do It” inspires one goes on a run, even if it’s raining. However, “Just Do It” becomes an obligation if the the run damages the feet which may need rest more than exercise.
“I Am Free To . . .”
A more liberating motto that “Just Do It” might be “I Am Free To . . .” I am free to run, even if it’s raining. I am free to skip the cake, even though I am drooling for it. I am free to pursue my dreams, even though I’m feeling sad.
Repeat this mantra: “I am free to ____________________.” (Fill in the blank with whatever thought or feeling comes to mind.)
Love “What Is” with all your heart, mind, soul and strength.
Love your pain as much as your pleasure. Your pain is a gift that guides you to freedom. Pain is merely a signal, an indication that you need to go in another direction.