by Joel Levin, Western Australia
In my life ‘grace’ has had many faces, and not all of them easily recognisable.
One period of grace was when I was starting my business and my business partner decided to cut me off once we had secured seed capital. This experience was made harder by the fact that I was the sole income earner of a family of four. At that time I was feeling crushed by life and the fact that all my personal development, spiritual development, work with charities, hard work professionally, and generally being a nice guy, had come to this…
It was hard to see the grace in this, and at the time I would not have called it this – but the experience stopped me cold and left me less sure that I had all the answers. As I look back, however, it was truly a period of grace, when the walls I had built crashed down – and all I had was myself.
About a year later, I had a raging fight with my wife over her desire to fly across the country to Lennox Head to attend a workshop with a guy named ‘Serge’(Benhayon). By then I had rebuilt some arrogance in feeling like I had life sorted again. And couldn’t see why she would need to travel all this way to attend a workshop.
There were many periods of grace through this time. First was my wife’s commitment to adhering to what she was feeling so strongly; the second was what she returned home with. There was a stillness, a presence and clarity in her eyes that couldn’t but make me stop. Even though I saw it and felt it, I still fought it… but that’s the thing about grace, it leaves you time to feel what you need to.
Now many years later, and after making many trips across the country myself, I realise how unfolding my experience of grace continues to be.
Initially through attending Universal Medicine workshops, I experienced a deep re-connection, joy and a stillness that could only be described as grace. As I applied the principles of what I had learnt, I would hold this connection for longer and longer and had begun to realise that the ‘it’ I had been looking for all these years was actually in me, and started with the choice to be me… Grace touches me again.
In those early days, I was going to workshops to get something, to change something, to arrive somewhere… in fact, this was how I was living my whole life. … Grace stood by and watched lovingly, not asking me to be anything, or do anything more than be me.
At this point I was still looking for something outside of myself to ‘save me’, or to find the ‘one thing’ that I could change within myself that would lead to my moment of epiphany. Through this time I wasn’t able to feel as glorious away from a Universal Medicine Workshop as I did within them, as I was always looking for the next thing. This need to be ‘saved’ led to a period of intense frustration with the world and myself.
Then last year, I realised that this feeling of grace I was connecting to was not something I was learning, but something I was remembering: it was not something that touches me from the outside, but something that touches me from within. It was not a single achievement, habit or reward, but came from the culmination of what I do each moment.
Life was not something to be achieved, but something to be lived. It was something to be cherished, enjoyed and honoured rather than something to get through.
I dropped much of the search for someone or something to blame (it still pops up every now and then) and started more truly living from what I feel. I started realising that how when I bring all of this to any little thing, not only is grace ready and waiting, but that it comes with a sense of joy.
However, there is always another layer. I noticed it was easy to see myself as equal to others that were still battling life to various degrees – but what about the people I knew, who no longer battled, who appeared to just live a life full of love…? Surely I am not equal to them?
I realized that it was easier to make them ‘special’ and at the same time give me a reason NOT to live the same joy every day…ouch, grace, ouch… grace.
One person in particular I noticed I had put on a pedestal, was Serge Benhayon. I realized that I was treating him differently to others, and that this difference was coming from me, not him. While there is no doubt that what Serge Benhayon and many others live each day is ‘special’ – living from such a deep connection to themselves is special – I now know very deeply that this is equally within all of us. I also know that this ‘special’ is actually very normal, and not ‘special’ at all.
So there you have it… the grace of knowing that we can choose to be equal in our battle with life, and in doing so, feel frustrated, let down and disconnected. Or, we can begin to connect to the ‘specialness’ that lives equally within every person – waiting…