Life is big. There are a lot of moving parts, more now than ever before. We have more information, shiner toys, fuller schedules, deeper pockets, and more sophisticated distractions than any other culture in the history of humanity. But, and here’s the question you’re probably already asking, are we any happier? Are we any closer to what we want?
You are allowed to ask for what you want, by the way. Let’s talk more about that some other time. For now, please just take my word for it. For now, let’s skip the details and go for the big picture. Beyond the specifics, I think that everyone wants grace.
I love that word, grace. To me it means two things, and I’m pretty sure we all want both of them. On the one hand, it means living with ease and freedom. It means being grace-full about what happens. Problems might come up; life is messy, and we are all here to learn. But if we are confident that we can address those problems in a graceful way, we don’t have to be victimized by them. They turn into challenges that can be overcome. The other, deeper meaning is there too: we want a transcendent connection, a divine gift, independent of any material action or transaction. That kind of “capital G” Grace is understood and expressed across a spectrum, depending on one’s perception of the Divine. Some folks have very specific ideas about who and what God is, and so their desire for Grace is specific, too. Some folks just want something that is beyond material; they yearn for transcendence, love, beauty, and truth.
The two graces, grace and Grace, are the same but different, in the way that water is liquid or solid, depending on temperature. We turn it into ethereal steam when we realize that there really is only one, as always. You can’t really have small “g” experiences without a big “G” understanding. Real ease comes from knowing that you partake in Omnipresence.
So how do we get there? How do we get what we all really want? Culturally and individually, the answer tends to be more moving parts. We get busier. We get more stuff. We buy gym memberships and self-help books. We embark on fancier diets. We get crystal necklaces and special yoga pants. You know the deal, though: if there is no change in consciousness, a change in material can’t get us where we want to go. On the other hand, once there’s a change in consciousness, the material will change automatically. Either way, working in the outer is a band-aid, when we want a paradigm shift.
That can feel hard to remember, though. As we’ve talked about before, anything we do in the outer to make things better will work a little bit. Every diet book, every talisman, every spiritual practice will work to some degree, because there’s been a shift in attention and intention. However, it will only get us so far; as long as the power is material and external, it can’t get us to the place of unity that we’re craving.
There’s a potential trap there. With every material solution, there’s an initial rush and feeling of growth. When that sensation inevitably wears off, it’s possible to move into a place of disempowerment and blame, and go out in search of the next outer fix. It happens all the time; I’m sure you’ve seen it. Don’t try this at home, kids.
In our culture, worry and stress are treated as forms of currency, but I’m not sure they buy anything worthwhile. Having more things to worry about is no way to get to a place where we can rest easy. You get more of what you practice. What happens if you practice stress?
Let me hit that one again. The universe is perfect, all by itself. Worrying about things is, at worst, a prayer for an undesirable outcome, and, at best, an attempt to get in God’s way. God has a better idea, I promise.
Here’s the thing: grace comes through trust. If we require material validation, proof and evidence, we are not trusting. The more folks seek external cures and moving parts, the more our culture fetishizes busy schedules and multitasking, the further we move from our innate ability to be present and trust our connection to something beyond sensation.
So let’s work on trust. I’ve come up with an affirmation that has really been working for me; I use it when I’m tempted to worry about the bills, the air conditioner, the outcome. Are you ready? Here it is:
I don’t give a damn.
Try it. You’ll love it. You can imagine you’re Clark Gable, if that helps. It might also help to unpack it a little bit. I’m not suggesting that we stop caring. Quite the opposite, in fact. Let’s care so much that we resolve to get out of the way. Let’s care so much that we let God be in charge, and trust Spirit. Let’s care so much that we stop praying for a negative outcome. Matthew 6:27 might help shed some light on this; I can wait right here if you want to go track that down.
Back? That’s good stuff, right? So we know what we’re not saying; we not saying that we don’t care. Here’s what we are saying: “I refuse to curse this process with negative thought. I will not limit it with fear and worry. I will not give it a damning idea. I don’t give a damn, because this is too important, and I know that the universe takes care of its own.” It’s an expression of trust.
No, this is not a gentle statement. That’s kind of the point, though. Sometimes it takes something a little drastic to jar us out of old patterns. Besides, we are talking about breaking a commandment, after all. What is worry, but a socially acceptable version of fear? And what is fear, but a belief in two powers?
Yes, there is work to be done. We are here for a reason. But we are not here to know the details or to control the outcome. If Moses was in charge of getting the children of Israel to the other side of the Red Sea, he probably would have tried to do something involving boats. God had a better idea, as always. Moses’ job, and our job, is to show up with an open mind and a willing heart, ready to work.
We work best when we can trust. The next time you feel worried about something, try not giving a damn, and see what happens.