Our summer issue is out now. Our regular contributor Sandy Newbigging shares his views on Grace
Grace Works In Mysterious Ways
Trusting This Benevolent Force For Good
by Sandy Newbigging
There’s an underlying force for good that affects us all; a dynamism I like to call Grace. I believe we are all standing [and living] in the river of Grace – always and especially when it feels like we’ve been deserted. Grace is influencing our thoughts, feelings, decisions and actions. It moves via our ideas, inspirations, intuitions, realisations and creative impulses. It can also arise as inner concerns, questions, or curiosities, and as external invitations, synchronicities and [both wanted and unwanted] life events and changes.
Grace sits at the heart of every ending and all new beginnings. The ever-present guiding hand of Grace is playing its part in our so-called successes and failures, our apparent gains and losses. It may appear as disruptions or delays, and present as challenging people or difficult circumstances. Grace helps the things that no longer serve us to fall away, and the things that we need for our highest growth and benefit to show up. Sometimes Grace works within our preferred timelines, and is convenient and welcomed. At other times Grace can push us off the metaphorical cliff – so that we make a change before we may believe we are ready.
Grace can appear as the answer to a prayer and align with our dreams and aspirations, or be the polar opposite of what we think we want. Either way, learning to recognise [and not resist] this underlying force for change, growth and good is fundamental for experiencing less stress, struggle and suffering, and more ease, joy, adventure and awakening. Last year I left my spiritual teacher and community, after 14 years. It’s not something I thought I’d ever do, and yet, it’s clear that Grace was involved in how it all unfolded.
Grace started calling me to make a change with a niggling sense that something was ‘off’. It continued by creating conversations and scenarios for me to see, hear and experience more and more things that were fundamentally not ok for me. Without going into the details, I concluded that the spiritual teacher and organisation were operating in ways that were against my integrity. I remember praying while standing in the shower one day – asking for help to get out. At that time, I honestly didn’t know how to leave; it was complicated. My fiancée was also on the same spiritual path and I wasn’t sure if I might lose her if I left. I knew if I were to leave with as little backlash or conflict as possible, it would require some divine intervention! I now appreciate more than ever that it is Grace’s job to work out the finer details…
Fast forward a couple of weeks and I was sitting outside my home getting some work done and enjoying my morning coffee in the Spanish sun. At the same time my fiancée was in our house having a session with her therapist. After a while I needed to get something from inside and ended up walking past her office at the exact moment she said to her therapist: “I’ve never told Sandy this before, but….” Something rooted me to the ground outside her office door and what I overheard was the exact thing I needed to hear to make the final decision to leave. Within a few days, both my fiancée and I had left. In the following weeks, over 150 other teachers involved in the spiritual community left too!
Without the recognition that Grace was always helping me, I believe the entire experience would have been much more traumatic, stressful and saddening. Life feels safer and more supportive and friendlier when we intend to look out for the mysterious ways that Grace is working within us and our life.
Visit Sandy’s website for more on his online sessions, club and academy.