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…
285 thoughts on “The Many Faces of Grace”
I love that grace is part of our lives.
“Grace stood by and watched lovingly, not asking me to be anything, or do anything more than be me.” The Universe offers us the Grace to rediscover the truth.
You have here re-introduced to me something else into this word ‘special’ other than just to mean being superior and separate from the rest. It feels like a re-igniting of something that is totally innate and ordinary and re-recognizing how dear and precious that is, and that is deeply settling as if we have finally come back home from a very long journey.
Words are potent and understanding how words also come with an energy so we can stay “connect to the ‘specialness’ that lives equally within”, provides a platform or foundation so we can be constant in our Loving movements, and thus adding to the list our energetic understanding of words the word potent energetically brings a deepening connection to the Soul or that “specialness” that we all equally have.
Thanks Joel, it’s always such a powerful read for me. “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.” That’s the power of love, so simple and without any demands. That’s us also, but we have stepped so far away from this majesty, but it’s still there within us.
Many of us used to search outside ourselves for answers, ‘I was still looking for something outside of myself to ‘save me’’.
Amazing grace… is it difficult to see grace when things are not going how we want them to? Or is it easier to see that things are not how we like and be upset about it?
Maybe in those moments when our personal agenda or wish list is not met, the power of grace is right there with us and reminding us that something much bigger and more beautiful has already been given and it’s right there within us.
This article turns on its head the idea of ‘difficult’ and ‘challenging’ times. What I can feel reading this is that there is much learning and evolution in these times and it is at these challenging times that we can develop and where behaviours are exposed and there to be worked on.
We can use every situation to bring more learning and deepen our understanding.
Beautiful, thank you. It is really supportive to find the grace in every situation. There have been times in my life that have felt hard, but to see these periods as grace is really helpful, because looking back there has been much learning and change that has come out if these situations.
It is important to reflect on our life, on what we have learnt, and how we were supported to become more aware, and more responsible.
“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.” Thank you Joel for this line, it highlights the lack of responsibility to be all we are from receiving the reflections of those around us who are living the power of their true soulful selves.
I love the word Grace which to me relates to our Soul and soulful moments – so in contrast that which is not soulful is a disgrace to who we truly are.
We don’t allow nearly enough grace in this world.
Yes, that is a disgrace.
Loving your humour Nicola.
Joel thank you for sharing your beautiful relationship with grace, and reminding us that grace is within us all, never asking anything of us only to be ourselves.
Grace along with Humble-ness are felt as we re-awaken these by re-connecting to our essence then that divine connection is essential if we are to hold our Grace as a Livingness.
“Grace stood by and watched lovingly, not asking me to be anything, or do anything more than be me.” The infinite love that we are and the infinite love we are held within, and the space, grace, to realise this and live it here on earth.
Joel has lovingly introduced us to see new areas of grace in our lives.
I love the grace you show here by sharing the learnings you have had through the events and the reflections that have come into your life. Sadly, our human race has a propensity to react and name, blame and shame when there is something they don’t understand. You have offered a space to reflect and respond and that is inspiring.
Maybe Grace is something that is given to us all of the time, we just have to appreciate it and then we can learn from what each moment brings.
Appreciating the grace in our lives makes sense, that then supports us to have more awareness.
‘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’. A timely reminder to check in with oneself and see where one is at.
What a gorgeous blog, showing us that there are indeed many faces of grace and perhaps it is not till a little later that we get to see that everything that happens happens for a reason that perhaps is there to support us to let go of any control, protection, hardness, trying, doing, achieving, and to learn to trust, and surrender to love that we all are.
Yes I agree, what if that is the reflection we are being offered. Surrendering in times of trouble, difficulty and complication does not mean giving up, it means feeling yourself as a greater part of the whole and knowing there is an order that we have not yet allowed ourselves to feel part of.
Surrendering to the Divine plan, and getting ourselves out of the way makes sense.
…’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.’ Absolutely amazing, God will never look back how we have been living but will welcome us knowing we are an equal part in the divine plan.
Love this point that life is something to be lived, loved, cherished and enjoyed, and not something to just get through. Life feels more expansive and easier when we’re not trying to get somewhere or get something from it, but instead we just commit to being there 100% and doing whatever is needed, no more and no less.
In the past I was always trying to get somewhere, and to make life better… the turn around was commitment, committing to life, ‘and doing whatever is needed, no more or no less’.
Beautiful Joel. The grace of God’s love is that which we are eternally held in anywhere we are, a beholding of truth that represents the equalness that we are and are here to reflect though the lives we live.
‘Grace stood by and watched lovingly, not asking me to be anything, or do anything more than be me.’ and this is how we need to be with ourselves, knowing that we are already everything we simply need to allow ourselves to live all that we are, not to dull ourselves with food or any other distractions.
A beautiful journey you share with us Joel.
Hello Joel, I love what you have written about grace and your inability at first to recognize grace as grace itself, as the events that happened in your life did not feel like grace at all. This for me is now becoming my lived experience to finally recognize the glory of grace and the offering it has been offering me all along my way. Forever expanding my awareness of grace and how it is present in my life.
I liked what you shared about remembering your equality to those living amazing lives, and that grace is waiting patiently for us all to return to the truth in our own time. The fact that we are all equal and could not be anything less reflects the truth about God and what love is.
Looking back is a beautiful exercise since it allows us to see grace where we saw dis-grace.
Just the expression ‘battle with life’ says it all – grace brings an opportunity to surrender to the rhythm of life we live within.
Beautifully said Lucy – when we do surrender to the rhythm of love we indeed live life and move with the grace of God.
I love how you see the most difficult periods in your life as a period of grace, if we embrace challenging periods of our life as an opportunity to change something in our lives that might have been holding us back for a long time, rather than fight them or wish they weren’t happening, they can provide us with a whole new platform upon which to step forward on.
We are so loved. And there’s no condition attached to it. We are given space to come back to what we already are.
Thank you Joel for such an open-hearted, heart-felt personal sharing of your journey to the realisation and living of, “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.” It is a blessing to have you in the world and what you share.