We live in a world crying out for kindness. People are hurting and it is sometimes the smallest of gestures in our daily interactions with others that can result in the biggest results.
Of course “paying it forward” and conducting random acts of kindness is hardly a new concept. Many ancient traditions have teachings about doing unto others as you would have them do to you. Some call this the Golden Rule, some call it karma. And while the idea of treating others as you want to be treated is valuable, the idea of karma can actually keep us from true emotional freedom.
Why? Well, karma teaches us that when people do good things, they deserve good things and when they do bad things, they deserve bad things. This can be a dangerous thought pattern because it makes it more difficult to forgive – both others and ourselves. It limits your thinking, your acceptance of others (and yourself) and your capacity to love. In other words, karma can be a cop out.
The teaching of grace is not as popularly embraced, but it’s the only one that is truly freeing.
Unlike karma, grace frees us. It tells us none of us is perfect and instead it offers undeserved forgiveness and love, because of who we are, not what we’ve done. Because we’ve all had moments where we’ve failed and received grace, we can extend grace to others when they hurt us. And because of the grace shown to us by others, it makes it easier to give grace to ourselves.
The pain from our past – hurt from others or the mistakes we’ve made – can cause our bodies enormous amounts of stress, causing disease and holding us back from the things we really want.
As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, the key to channeling healing energy and living life to the fullest lies within us. This healing energy is love.
Grace is freeing because it’s the only way to truly let go of the wounds of our past. It covers and releases our pain instead of leaving us waiting for the consequences or wishing for vengeance/consequences on others. Forgiving others is freeing. We release the pain they’ve instilled in us and release them from the expectations we have. It may be more difficult than prescribing to the philosophy of karma, but the long lasting positive effects of grace are worth it.