Embracing the gift of grace

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The gift of grace is not something you earn. It’s not a reward, or something you pray or ask for. And it has nothing to do with karma or your past actions. It is the one thing that transcends the black-and-white way we think about the world: that good people get good things and bad people get bad things. Grace falls upon good people and bad people equally. 

Grace is a perfection of life that exists with or without you. You don’t earn grace, or deserve it – it just falls on you. You don’t have to create it – it’s already there. You just have to slow down and look around. 

What’s remarkable about grace is that the more you acknowledge it, the more it appears. Grace can be a guiding force when your intent is pure and your will is strong, but something else pushes you through.

Embracing the gift of grace

All too often we ignore the presence of grace. As a society we’ve been trained to work hard for the things we want, and if we achieve something after working for it, we give ourselves all the credit. Grace – whether we define it as a spiritual force, a higher intelligence or just a higher purpose – doesn’t get credit until something good happens that we didn’t set into motion ourselves.

The flip side of this is blame. If we take the credit when things go well, we must also blame ourselves when they don’t. But blaming others or blaming yourself never solves anything. We all face things we can’t control. We all face tragedies. Life isn’t always happy, but it can always be meaningful. 

Grace is one of the most powerful forces in the universe. When we accept grace in our lives and are thankful for it, everything becomes much more fulfilling. 

Grace exists with or without you

Grace is often categorized underneath religious trappings, but in truth it has many names. Sure, some call it “God” or a spiritual force; others just refer to it as luck. Micheal Singer, author of The Untethered Soul, describes grace as a cool breeze on a hot day: It isn’t something you’ve created for yourself, and it can happen to anyone, good or bad. 

Grace is a gift of the universe. You can’t bargain for more of it by doing good deeds. It may not visit you all the time, no matter how many good works you do. The proper response to grace, according to Singer, is with gratitude – for all the grace in our lives, as well as all the challenges.

Everything is a gift

Challenges and painful moments can leave lasting scars on the psyche. What if we didn’t view these moments as setbacks, but as gifts? Painful moments can often create a greater beauty than what could have happened without them, if we are willing to accept grace into our lives. 

Jenn Ferris knows the power of grace. She was born blind, with badly deformed eyes. As a child her parents left her at a bus stop in her village in India. Yet she was also blessed by grace. Jenn was adopted by a Canadian couple and ended up living a life filled with abundance. 

Jenn admits it wasn’t easy for her to accept grace into her life. She initially felt abandoned and alone. But you’ll see how grace appeared in her life, because her heart was open and her faith was strong. She came to accept that everything that ever happened to her was part of a greater plan. 

Janet Taylor also knows the power of grace. When her daughter landed in the emergency room after overdosing on drugs, Janet didn’t know what to do. She didn’t even know how to react – with fear? Anger? Sadness? She blamed herself and fell into darkness. When she finally let go of what she couldn’t control and gave in to grace, that’s when she started to appreciate her daughter’s progress away from addiction, even the smallest steps.

Janet traded her expectations for appreciation, let go of her shame and grief and began to heal. Her experiences brought her to her true purpose in life: Helping other parents who are going through similar experiences. She says, “In taking control of myself, I actually was giving control to something else: grace. Feeling that grace made me realize I can make a difference.”

Show notes

[1:35] The more instinctually she experiences life, the more she experiences grace
[2:19] Grace is the invisible force that connects us all
[3:06] Moments that bring her grace on a daily basis
[4:08] “I’ll never forget that moment – that was grace”
[4:46] Grace is “a perfection of life that exists with or without me”
[5:51] Just slow down and notice the miracle of existence
[6:32] Grace isn’t earned or rewarded; it’s a pure gift
[7:30] A gentle breeze during a hot day is grace
[8:40] You don’t do anything to deserve grace
[9:25] We limit grace to getting what we want unexpectedly
[10:31] The whole universe is grace, but we so rarely appreciate it
[11:35] The only answer to grace is gratitude
[13:14] Jenn’s earliest memory is lying on the floor of a shack
[14:20] The difficult decision her mother made
[15:51] A police officer found her
[16:17] She hadn’t realized her mother wasn’t coming back
[18:10] Everything is part of God’s plan
[18:30] Tony notes that painful moments can create great beauty
[19:18] Working with young people and the homeless
[19:35] The people they worked with “had real problems”
[19:50] “Most of our worst problems would be somebody’s greatest dream”
[20:50] Everything in our life is a gift, even the bad stuff
[21:35] Commit to finding the beauty in each moment and life becomes magnificent
[22:20] Meaningful is better than happy
[22:39] Be grateful for the good times and the bad times
[24:30] Some call grace “luck,” others “God”
[24:50] Motive matters: When you work for something besides yourself, it means more
[25:35] The more you acknowledge some sort of higher power, the more you experience
[26:35] Janet says her first daughter, Avery, arrived looking ready to get to work
[27:27] In 7th grade Avery started to change – becoming more negative
[28:12] “Mom, you don’t understand me”
[29:25] Her son came to her crying with a picture of Avery’s self-inflicted wound
[30:10] Avery reacted violently
[31:17] Many sessions with a psychiatrist did not help
[32:00] Janet would get angry, but it came from a place of fear
[33:33] “What have I done to my daughter?”
[33:50] Janet felt it was all her fault
[33:55] We live in a culture of blame
[34:25] Find a beautiful state even in the midst of painful things
[35:00] Janet realized she had two other children who needed her
[35:27] “I realized I could take control of my own life”
[36:16] She realized that by taking control of herself, she was giving that control to something else
[36:35] She decided to help other parents
[37:45] Her experiences with Avery have helped her appreciate being able to help others

Terrible things happen to people every day, and some of those people have surely wanted to give up. By pushing through their challenges they became stronger. They realized that they have survived this thing; perhaps they can help others do the same. 

That’s the power of grace. It allows us to find a beautiful state even when things are painful. It allows us to be grateful for the sunshine and the clouds, success and failure, mistakes and achievements. 

By realizing they’re grateful for the good times and the bad, the same pain that threatened to drag them down can suddenly be turned into a thing of beauty, and just like that, they’ve effectively changed their story. That’s why grace is one of the greatest gifts of life – one that we all must embrace to find true fulfillment.

Team Tony

Team Tony cultivates, curates and shares Tony Robbins’ stories and core principles, to help others achieve an extraordinary life.

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