The mentally and emotionally capable person shrinks at the sight of a person experiencing severe breakdown—some will experience guttural disgust; others, such empathy given to panic. So many people live lives captive to inner demons unreconciled to a logical peace all were destined to have. Still, we all have a secret little demon or three.
For nearly a century, millions have repealed their demons on a daily dose of the spiritual syrup of The Desiderata:
“Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.”
~Max Ehrmann, The Desiderata (1927)
With a real sense of balance, prose like this instructs those given to disorder, any and all of us, for the balance so richly needed to sustain the day, and, to perhaps, even thrive. These imbalances that we struggle with and strive through are what they are.
Without any apology we understand life as a challenge to be continually mastered; a test for our increasing capacities of fortitude; all of which are wrapped within the assurance of grace.
Grace makes all the difference between battling stoically, but without hope, and struggling well, hopefully yet incomprehensibly.
The Experience Of Inner Grace
Our starting premise is this: there is no sense in destroying our person, just as there is no sense in cooperating with any force that would have as its goal the same thing. Inner grace is our protection.
These are matters of personal risk management. Knowing the calamities that might set themselves within a bull’s roar of us is a simple yet great thing. Having the foresight and traditional insight to allow the truth to rest upon our consideration is an enormous skill.
If we can bear such truth, and most of us can, with strength we can get through anything. This strength we speak of, however, is paradoxical. Our strength would rest on inner grace. This is the presence and experience of God’s power in achieving the total acceptance of the challenges before us, and of our person within those challenges.
This sounds both harder than it seems and easier than it is.
No matter what happens against us, and there are some things we feel we cannot bear, inner grace, which we can never understand, helps us just enough to get through. Grace is sufficient for us (2 Corinthians 12:9). This is something not easily explained; better experienced. It’s available for all people.
The heart of inner grace,
Enrolled upon struggle and strife,
Encapsulates our space,
Reconciling us to life.
Hope prevails for a reason,
Always worth the chase,
Saving the self from treason,
That’s the heart of inner grace.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.