About ten years ago I was going through a personal crisis. Losing my job caused my ego to suffer guilt, fear and shame in great measure. I was bordering on depression, when the gospel of Grace really touched my heart in a profound way. Right there and then I realized God did not require anything from me but full acceptance and complete surrender. This to me is what it means to deny yourself the privilege of self-sufficiency. I understand the experience because I went through it. The big revelation right after that was that being connected to the source of life is only possible from the inside out… never from the outside in. You need to be able to fall into love, into grace, into mercy. I feel really blessed that I had the religious construct in place to reach out to a higher power (God as I understood Him). I feel even more blessed that I was confronted with my addiction (false self) on a fairly early age (31).
Because I was in need of so much grace, it took me a while to focus my attention on being an instrument of peace. I now have an intrinsic desire to be a blessing to my community, through the practice of humility, generosity, faithfulness and compassion. To me this is an act of worship, but at the same time it can sometimes feel like sacrifice and that is okay. As long as I stay genuine and true to this inner spirit I am willing to suffer a little in order to raise the quality of life for myself and others. I usually know in my gut how I want to respond, but I don’t always follow through. I guess this is what we would call sin, because it takes us out of communion with God, ourself and others. It’s no good beating myself up over, but it is good to be aware of my shadows/addictions and forgive myself with loving kindness.
My conclusion: Without a higher standard we can not see our shadows and face our demons. Jesus is the ultimate standard and we alway fall short to measure up to Him. The paradox of Grace is that when we love Christ, we love His standard and we recognize we cannot live up to it, but we want to anyway and it’s awesome even though we fail as we apply ourselves in the process. The Divine Dance! We are invited to participate within this ever increasing outpouring and self emptying as we discover our connection with the Eternal True Source who I now call the Cosmic Christ.