From Atheist To The Joy of Divine GraceBy Dr. Margaret Paul
February 15, 2016
The state of Divine Grace is a most wonderful experience, and it's available to all of us - even if you are an atheist.
Jerome consulted with me because he felt stuck in his life. He often felt angry and unfulfilled, even though he loved his work. He was constantly anxious over his need for approval and validation from others, and often blamed his wife and children when they didn't give him what he wanted. His focus in life was always on the outcome of things - how much money he would make, what important people thought of him, and so on.
He made it clear to me when we started to work with Inner Bonding that he was a diehard atheist. A brilliant surgeon whose god was the mind, Jerome needed proof before he could believe something. He had never experienced Divine Grace and had no idea what it was.
"Jerome," I told him, "you don't need to believe anything to practice Inner Bonding. If you practice the process, you will eventually get an experience of Spirit - of Divine Grace. You will know it because you will feel it."
While he was very skeptical, Jerome was willing practice Inner Bonding. We had weekly sessions for about 6 months and then he took a break. A few months later I had a session with him.
"Here is what I've been doing," he said. "I am staying tuned into what I feel and noticing what I'm telling myself that makes me feel anxious. Then I ask, 'What is in my highest good?' I love that term, 'highest good.' It is a powerful concept for me. As soon as I ask the question, something pops into my mind that I know is in my highest good and I do it - I take the action. The moment I commit to taking the action, I get a feeling that I'm not sure how to describe. It's a really good feeling."
"A feeling of well being?" I asked.
"Yes, that's it! A feeling of well being! It's a new feeling for me. Sometimes it's just a small feeling and sometimes it's really big."
"Like a feeling of joy?" I asked.
"Yes, joy! I actually feel full and joyous inside!"
"Jerome, this is Spirit. This is your experience of Spirit within you. This is the state of Divine Grace that comes from Spirit when you are taking loving care of yourself and letting go of the outcome. This is what I've been talking about regarding having an experience of Spirit."
Jerome was surprised and excited that he was actually experiencing Spirit!
The state of Divine Grace is a most wonderful experience. It is not an experience that we can "make" happen, not something we can control. It is a gift of Spirit. We experience the gift of Divine Grace when our pure intent is to be loving to ourselves with no attachment to the outcome. When you are open to learning about the truth and about what is in your highest good, and take the loving action with no attachment to the outcome, you will feel Divine Grace. When you detach your happiness from outcomes and completely surrender outcomes to God, you will feel Divine Grace.
Jerome had discovered the path to knowing God. By sincerely and consistently asking "What is in my highest good," and taking action on the guidance he was receiving with no attachment to the outcome, he not only experienced that he was indeed being guided, but he experienced the fullness that is Spirit, the well-being and joy that is Divine Grace.
Jerome also learned that his mind didn't really know much. He discovered, much to his surprise, that when he was operating on a patient, the information regarding what was in the patient's highest good was coming through him rather than from him. He had been guided all along and hadn't realized it.
Jerome began to see that his mind constantly deceived him. His mind would say, "Just sleep in. You don't need to exercise," or "If this person doesn't like you, you are not okay." When he listened to his mind, he felt awful, but when he open to the truth – to loving himself - and took the loving action, he felt happiness and inner peace.
When I first started doing Inner Bonding, I would feel Divine Grace at times, but it never stayed for long. Now, after many years of practice, I feel the deep joy and sense of well being most of the time. Sometimes the feeling of Divine Grace is so big that I feel like I'm going to float right off the planet!
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When being loving, we are not grasping, demanding, needy or clingy, because love has nothing to do with getting or taking. We give freely, to ourselves and to others. We also receive graciously when the gift is freely given. When being unloving, we may try to manipulate a gift - whether it be of time, money, attention, emotional support, approval, sex or affection - but when we are loving we know that a gift not freely given is not really a gift. Notice when you are being loving or unloving.
By Dr. Margaret Paul