I remember wanting to be Helen Keller. I bet that’s a line you’ve never heard before. But I admired her wisdom, and tenacity, and courage. She ended up changing the world without the advantage of eyesight, hearing, or speech. Who does that other than the most amazing human being on earth? And, she also had a soulmate in Anne Sullivan, a teacher who devoted her life to Helen. They were a pair that found joy where most of us look for pain.
There was something in her loss of tactile senses that allowed her to tap into pure intuition, that part of herself that most of us have lost along the path of ego and accomplishment. And intuition is not a competitive sport, but an ability afforded us through the heart and gut and universe.
I believe that competition can be fun, and accomplishment feels good. For a moment. But then there is the next mountain to climb, and we struggle until we achieve again. Intuition is our 911 connection to the Universe, to that love who is there for us no matter what. Intuition takes us on the journey we all desire, the journey home.
For love is not conditional, based upon our last trophy. It is simply there, like a mother’s love, whether we earned it or not. That is the layman’s definition of grace – love given but not earned. We are accepted for who we are, because we have tapped into what created us in the first place. And when we feel that acceptance, it brings back memories like when my family would go to a drive-in and my brother, sister and I would fall asleep on the way home. Once back at the house, dad would pick us up and carry us to bed. We were awake enough to know what was happening, but secure enough to melt into the arms of it with a sigh of recognition that we were completely safe.
Sometimes, our ability to see and hear and touch brings pain rather than love. Our insecurity makes grace a competition and something rare and seemingly offered only to some. But here’s what I know to be my truth – that love is not just for a select few. Even those who we most abhor have access to the same love. That’s always a little harder to accept, but still beautiful.
Helen Keller was guided by that love every single day. So are we, if we will just get quiet and stop making life a competition of opinion, a contest of who is right or wrong, a race that is never won and simultaneously exhausts everyone in it.
Maybe that is the power of meditation or prayer. It’s not the magic of the process, but the fact that we are encouraged to get temporarily quiet, to listen for love, to settle into the power of something that requires no achievement. We are, simply put, enough for love. We are, in fact, everything to it.
Take some time, even if it’s five minutes, and get quiet. Take a deep breath and release all of your self-criticism. Cry if you must, although I avoid it like the plague because it gives me a hangover. Just sit and ask love what you need to do to earn it. Love will answer with complete silence, and envelope you with a beautiful sense of coming home.
And it will whisper to you, “There is no earning me – you came from me. Welcome to grace.”