April Mistakes Bring May Grace

By Lisa Cook

The more standard version of the old wives’ tale is, of course, “April showers bring May flowers.”  And while that may be true, it seems that this year the month of May will require our country to do some healing as well as growing in the wake of the Boston bombing. There is no better time than now to understand and embrace the power of Grace and how it can impact our lives.

When bad things happen it’s hard to remember our own personal ‘Grace’ period.  What is a grace period?  It is an opening, or space, during which time we must reflect rather than judge; find compassion instead of contempt, open our hearts instead of our mouths and move peacefully knowing that even though an inexplicable event has taken place our reaction to the event has not. 

After learning of the bombing, or any real tragedy, we want to judge, blame, point fingers, get revenge, and make sure all the bad people are brought to justice.  But what kind of energetic effect does this have on our own personal space? Our personal message to the world? Our own personal ‘grace’?  It can only have a negative impact.  Since “like attracts like” this kind of thinking will only produce a vibration or message that vibrates with more senseless acts.  Maybe it feels as if we should rise above the heinous behavior we want to condemn and judge, but in reality we cannot rise above we can only massage our thoughts and change our thinking to a place of grace.

How do we move to Grace when the world seems full of danger and hatred? The following three ideas may be helpful in dealing with the difficult to understand situations.

1. Do not speak of the events except to help you heal.  Thoughts like, “Can you believe that happened???” are not helpful.   It doesn’t matter if we can believe it or not – it happened. Analyzing the tragedy with friends, putting our own spin on it, and hashing it out over dinner is not helping.  The only thing to speak about is our own feelings.

“Wow I am confused.” “I feel scared to be in crowds.” “I need to learn about gun control issue.”  These are the kinds of thoughts to explore during this grace period.  Our own thoughts  are the only ones we can KNOW to be true and if need be, the only thing we can really change.

2. Find a way to relate. – We have all done the same thing.  I can hear you now-“There is no way I have ever put a bomb together to set off at a marathon!” Most of my clients say the same thing when I ask them to consider when have they done the same thing.

But pause for just a moment and consider what label you have given this ‘crime?’  We may not have put nails  in one container with the intention to harm, but have you ever shot a mental negative thought at someone? I have.  A nail is innocent enough and, in most cases, quite helpful.  But when used with the intention to harm, it is a weapon.  Just like our thoughts. We may feel like we are being useful and minding our own business until we carelessly shoot out hurtful thoughts such as ‘People are crazy’ ‘He’s a jerk.’ ‘I don’t understand her!’  We are shooting nails full of negative thoughts into the world, only we are doing it one negative nail at a time.  When we recognize that we too have aimed to harm it will unleash our ability to find compassion and healing for the perpetrator as well as the victims.

3 “Be GraTe Full”- NO that’s not a typo. A Course in Miracles states, “Insistence means investment.” Meaning, what we focus on grows.  Invest your thoughts and time on the good stuff.  And the easiest way to do this is to be grateful.  The only difference between graceful and grateful is a T.  We spend so much time watching the news and worrying about our own problems, we often forget to really notice and be grateful for the beautiful and loving parts of our lives.

Rather than focusing on the evil in the world the only way to really impact and make a difference is to focus on the positive or kind parts of the world.  Take a moment each day to say ‘thank you’ to the people you love and who support you. Connect with more than your immediate family and friends, but also people you may not know well.  We never know when we have said the right thing to a person that makes them decide to change directions or suddenly feel the love and kindness they were craving.

Here’s to May and the Grace that comes with a new season, some spring color and a quote from one of my favorite Mothers; Mother Teresa-

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”

Lisa Cook

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