The Many Faces of Grace

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…

Amazing grace.

286 thoughts on “The Many Faces of Grace

  1. It is so normal for us to live in our Connection with the divine that we find thousands of ways to avoid the love which is there.

  2. Yes, there is a real sense of non imposing that comes with grace. It simply shares what is there to be shared then offers space to adjust and decide if you are going to embrace it or not.

  3. When I read your blog today Joel I really get a sense of the space in grace – the allowing and freedom for us to arrive at our realisation or evolutionary moment at our own pace when we are ready and humble enough to understand and accept what life is presenting to us.

  4. I am in a period of grace at the moment where many things are being shown to me, in the past I would give myself a hard time when I come to see the error of my ways, but I am now learning to bring more understanding so that I can learn all that I need to from the experience presented to me.

  5. Grace is offered constantly. It helps to recognise it as such, if not we may fight against something that is divinely granted. And a great loss when we do.

  6. I appreciate the grace in reading this blog today, in being reminded that grace is ever unfolding and that those times when we feel rocked are in fact asking us to go deeper, to let go of ways of being that may no longer work for us and in fact that there’s a bigger picture we’re often not aware of until grace comes along and shows us. Grace breaks the comfortable arrogance we can easily slip into, grace forever shows us that love is not static, it’s a forever expanding thing.

    1. I agree Monica, “there’s a bigger picture we’re often not aware of until grace comes along and shows us” When our lives are disrupted, we often don’t understand why. Only in the fullness of time do we get to see the all and with it comes understanding and wisdom.

  7. I wonder how many moments of ‘grace’ we have all missed out on in our lives because we are simply in too much of a hurry to get somewhere or to do what we think is the next thing we need to do. And how wonderful it was for you to understand that moments that seemed far from grace-full in the first instant turned out to be full of grace, grace that offered a moment’s pause and reflection of what you had truly been offered.

    1. Yes, I wonder how many situations we have reacted to or conversations we have stunted or jumped in on that could have gone somewhere very different… We can get a glimpse as we make space within our own lives and see what happens in that space around us… (spolier alert) magic.

  8. Your words resonated deeply with me. Overly invested in a project riddled with problems, I tried to save it and met fierce resistance. Matters were taken out my hands when the project received notice to close with immediate effect for a catalogue of failures. Initial shock, replaced with understanding: I had been released from a toxic environment going nowhere. This was a moment of grace.

  9. “Grace stood by and watched lovingly, not asking me to be anything, or do anything more than be me.” The essence of grace summed up in a single sentence. Beautiful Joel.

  10. Ah grace, the space to be and feel without an ounce of judgement or harm. Held always in the knowing that we do know, there is nothing for us to learn or come to but to remember and let go of all the things that we have used to keep us on the outskirts of life and not within our inner heart.

  11. So eloquent Joel, as always, ‘that’s the thing about grace, it leaves you time to feel what you need to.’ … the ultimate acceptance.

  12. Who would have thought there would be grace in the most difficult of life’s circumstances? But from my experience, there is. I have always known, felt and been aware of the presence of God, and remember clearly stating that if the business I was running was not coming from God, then I didn’t want to be a part if it. This lead to that business ending and being given the grace to feel, understand and move forward in life. With grace much is offered and we are delicately held and given many an opportunity to follow what we know is true.

  13. It’s a deeply touching reminder that Grace is there with an absolute knowing of each person, and that we have been given the space to come back to the truth in our own time and way.

  14. I agree Joel as I reflect on when I was recovering from an illness and disease it certainly was a moment of grace, a stop in my life that got me asking questions and ponder on what life was truly about and my place in it. I also knew on some level that what I was experiencing through illness and disease I had to experience, it was a gift from God, what I didn’t know was that it was going to change my life immensely and turn me and my life upside down!

  15. From an young age I’ve always loved the name Grace, just hearing that name makes me feel there is nothing to worry or care about, it just is – all taken care of.

    1. Yes, there is a feeling of space with Grace! Nature is a wonderful reflection of that, the holding that we are within and if we surrender to its support it does not leave us.

  16. I loved how you described the many faces of Grace, what we perceive as ‘bad’ and what we perceive as ‘good’. If we didn’t have those perceptions then where would we be?……

  17. Grace appears in many guises – in contexts we might not think of as particularly gracious at all at the time. These moments, whether we perceive them as ‘good’ or ‘bad’, seem to be offering us the potential for expansion.

  18. “Grace stood by and watched lovingly, not asking me to be anything, or do anything more than be me”. Grace offers us the space to realise that the love and equalness of all is always within us.

  19. The ‘specialness’ that you speak about Joel is actually very ‘normal’ and it is never the result of anything we do or achieve, that is why it’s so beautiful it is a connection to the grandness we truly are – a truth that many have forgotten.

  20. “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.” This is grace-full to read. No out comes just a Way of The Livingness.

  21. Amazing grace is re-stepping our life (from within – the amazingness) to how life is to be in the quality you want and know it to be in the ‘grace’ of where you are at.. “but that’s the thing about grace, it leaves you time to feel what you need to.”

  22. “but that’s the thing about grace, it leaves you time to feel what you need to.”. As I read these words once again I could feel my whole body drop into stillness, letting go of the tension I didn’t realise I was holding. Grace to me feels like the invisible foundation that is always with us, holding us and waiting for us to pause and to feel its endless embrace.

  23. It is absolutely beautiful when you can detach from the emotions attached to an experience that shocked you and you can appreciate the grace it brought to your life. A dis-grace bringing about grace. Who may have thought?

  24. It is beautiful to realise that through the struggles ,and the ups and downs of life, grace is there as our constant companion, it is often only in retrospect and as a consequence of our choices that we see the gift of grace that was offered to us at the time.

  25. The comfort of only feeling equal to those in struggle is a big one for me. If I was to try put myself into someone’s shoes that is living a full life of love then it means I have to ask myself the question why I am not choosing to live this myself? This is a question I would rather avoid because it is easier to pedestal people than to admit that I am the same as them, the only thing that stands in my way is choices and a way of living that allows that fullness, love and grace to flourish.

  26. I really feel how making and keeping something/someone ‘special’ is actually holding them out and away from my normal, ordinary every day, refusing to up my standard.

  27. Today I spoke to someone how we fight a life that flows and is joyful and actually how this gives us a comfort to not step up to the life we know is true and make others who live this, like you’ve mentioned, special and out of reach for ourselves.

    1. There is true equality in our amazingness, and by living it we are there to inspire others back to their true selves.

  28. I am often humbled by experiences in life and sometimes this can feel hard to accept. But when I am able to accept it, without reacting to it, I find humbleness a space that offers the opportunity for deeper self-awareness. There is true innocence within us all that is far from naive but in my experience opens us up to this ‘specialness’ Joel refers to here. We just have to be willing to feel and dig a little deeper than we are perhaps accustomed to.

  29. Thank you Joel, it was really beautiful reading your process of unfolding from relying on the outer world to finding everything within yourself. I enjoyed what you wrote about how we can deem another as special and that this can become our excuse to not live the same level of love and joy. “I also know that this ‘special’ is actually very normal, and not ‘special’ at all.” – doesn’t this line really highlight how normal struggling and misery is and how far we have all lived away from what’s truly amazing within us? Even when we see someone like Serge Benhayon living it we can choose to make that person “special” instead of realising love and joy is our true normal.

  30. Very lovely Joel. The word Grace is so full of the true power of love – not just the word but the lived experience of it of course. I find it cleansing, like the waves on a beach, rendering the castles we have built in the sand back to nothing again – so we can know who we truly are.

  31. I love this description of the word ‘grace’ – giving us the time and space to feel and learn what we need to, letting go of our battle with ourselves and the world. We are all equal, all have things that we need to deal with and challenges to overcome. It is how we respond to them that makes the difference in the quality we experience in our day to day life – do we make it a struggle, or a joy?

    1. It’s a beautiful description Bryony and one that will support me to observe and allow others the space that they need as they too find their way back to themselves.

  32. The Grace of re-connection. Of knowing oneself, once again, and dropping the fight with life and want for the world to bring it all TO us, rather than acknowledge and live from what we bring to it – when we know such Grace of which you speak Joel.
    I am reminded of a quote from Serge Benhayon that I read daily (and have done for several years now): “All can be Divine because of you – And not you because of it.” ~ Serge Benhayon

  33. Those periods of grace in our lives are very humbling. When we are brought to a moment that asks us to go deeper and reflect on something that no longer supports us. It can at times be very challenging but also very beautiful.

  34. I love the gentleness and delicateness that is present when I am moving and expressing God’s grace….
    I can also feel the difference when I move without grace, it feels harder and rushed, and disconnected.

  35. Grace is such a beautiful word. Before becoming a student of Universal Medicine it was a word used to say a prayer before lunch at school – that had little sense of its true definition. Your post gives a beautiful description of the word Joel. We can move with grace and feel the stillness of our expression. Gorgeous.

  36. It’s true what you say Joel, that grace is always “ready and waiting” for us and comes with immense joy. There can never truly be loneliness in the world with this fact. And it is clear then, that the experience of loneliness is a result of humans resisting the call to grace.

  37. A very beautiful expression of what grace is. To be honest I had never considered what grace really is. Someone mentioned it on a call this morning where we were discussing dignity. Two very beautiful words that have been hijacked and bastardised. Thank you Joel for returning the beauty and truth to one of those words – grace. I’m going to ponder on this further for sure.

  38. No wonder ‘grace’ and ‘space’ rhyme – it’s like grace is the expression of space, reminding us to stop and consider that there is far more intelligence all around us than we care to feel or be aware of at times.

  39. I think it’s beautiful how you say that the feeling of grace you were connecting too was actually something being remembered rather than an entirely new thing and how it built through the way that you were choosing to live.

  40. I too have realised it was easier to recognise another as special, clearly making this choice to avoid responsibility for claiming and living the ‘specialness’ within me! Through inspiration I grow but that does not mean I drop the quality of equalness with another. The more I claim the specialness within me the more my confidence grows and I can hold an equalness within myself and with another.

  41. I love the title of this blog as grace does indeed come in many faces and many little packages. One such package for me was when I got breast cancer and when first diagnosed I was so angry and baffled having always been healthy. But as I let go of the fight to hang onto an old way of living and accepted what lay before me, I created the space for grace to enter. I learned much about myself, and I changed much in my life and even though I was living alone at that time, there was so much support for me that I never for a minute felt alone. It was the first time I felt grace all around me and as such I began to trust in myself in the sense of being able to listen to my own wise counsel as I had a lot of decisions to make.

    1. Thank you for your beautiful comment and for sharing so intimately the process of grace in your life. What a great line “But as I let go of the fight to hang onto an old way of living and accepted what lay before me, I created the space for grace to enter.” What a beautiful sense of surrender this communicates, and the way we can walk hand in hand with God when we let go.

  42. ‘We can begin to connect to the ‘specialness’ that lives equally within every person – waiting.’ So true Joel, every moment is an opportunity to make a choice to live the love, beauty and wisdom we all truly are.

  43. “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.”
    This is a great reminder Joel, to cherish, enjoy and honour whatever life presents to us each day and embrace it with all that we are, willing to learn our lessons and bring to the world what we came here for, which is first and foremost, to reflect love.

  44. Grace allows us the space to feel what is there to be felt. I have for a few years now put into my daily routine of keeping a diary of my feelings, moods, bodily happenings and life situations. A reflective time I give to myself but Grace…now that word feels bigger, like taking a moment to feel everything, even that grandness within. I ask myself now, could I bring into my day a moment of grace? a moment to stop and feel how grand I really am…Thank you Joel.

  45. ‘Life was not something to be achieved, but something to be lived.’
    Living life without being focused on a target or an end point allows each moment to be full rather than deprived and waiting for something that is already within.

  46. Grace comes in many forms and often in a way we least expect or know at the time and at times we fight it… One of the most gorgeous side effects of Grace is ‘trust’.

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