“When we feel down it’s usually because of some unwritten, unspoken rules inside us being broken… These unwritten, unspoken rules that we struggle to abide by fall under our personal definition of “normal”… Rules breed expectations and expectations are disappointments waiting to happen… We have “ideas” of how things are “supposed” to be and these ideas create the misery inside us… In prayer/meditation it is important to seek out these rules, to question these rules, to scream out the question… Who made these rules? Around these unspoken, unwritten rules we base all religious and political beliefs… beliefs that lead us to forget we are “one”… Love has no rules. Grace is an undeserved favor. Mercy is not executing deserved punishment… The good news (the Gospel) is one rule… and that rule is simply to love… to love yourself enough to make your peace a top priority, to choose happiness and in choosing happiness you’ll reveal your gift to the world… The word evil means “to veil” so as Jesus said let “your” light shine, don’t hide it under a bushel… don’t hide all the things that make YOU unique underneath unwritten, unspoken rules… under rules that torture you… You breathe with the breath of God, you’re made in God’s image and the greatest cover up in the world is YOU failing to recognize this… It is time to get in touch with the spark of divinity that makes YOU who you are… It is time to realize that all destructive behavior is born of our failure to recognize such divinity… to deny its existence, to cover it, to be hidden and held captive by all the lies we believe… Who made these rules anyway?”
I can relate to the above post about the “unspoken, unwritten rules that we struggle to abide by” which I think many, if not all, of us have experienced whenever we become introspective and self-focused as we reflected and examined and evaluated our own performance. Our self thoughts may go like this: “Have I done this right? Should I have done that instead? Maybe I shouldn’t have said this” and so on. (I am learning to not use “should” in my inner conversations.)
While it is perhaps normal to want to improve ourselves as we learn from past experiences, many a times we tend to pick ourselves apart to the point we feel down, as noted by Joshua. We may feel miserable because we think we have broken these unspoken “rules” (and thereby failing to meet some perceived expectations) that are usually based on some social or religious norms we adopted in the past. I agree meditation and contemplation is key to examining and questioning these rules, and setting ourselves free from the burden of guilt and shame because we may have unknowingly got caught up in performance-based or law mindset without realising it and have lost sight of our true identity as beloved and innocent children of God/Divine/Universe.
Yes, grace is undeserved favour in the sense we need not do anything to earn the magnificence and glory we already are because we are made in the glorious image of the Divine. As for mercy, I now see it as our highest self extending love and acceptance to us because there is no “punishment” which we thought we “deserved”. I think the thought of punishment comes from the lower consciousness, aka the conscience that goes by the knowledge of good and evil, which is only an illusion. But we are meant to go by life within, and in reality there is only Love in us, as us and through us. We know we are perfected in love when we are free from fear and guilt because perfect love casts out fear, for fear involves punishment.
So we are saved by our own thoughts when we change our mind to believe we are innocent and blameless children of God, and our highest self (heavenly father or divine mother) embraces us in love and acceptance, assuring us there is no punishment. Mercy triumphs over judgment not because of some god in the sky punished his son on the cross out of a legalistic sense of justice and retribution (as presented in the mainstream evangelical version of the gospel) but because our highest self has reconciled us through co-identification with us in our consciousness in the restorative sense of justice, which liberated us from the prison of ignorance (darkness) of our true identity so that we can walk boldly in peace and freedom as living expressions of Love and Light.