Within Spiritual practice, we often hear that there are two factors that create success for ourselves along our pathway towards spiritual evolution. One is grace, that special vibration of the divine conscious energy that descends upon our lives, lifting us up into a higher level of understanding and releasing us from the darkness of our own thoughts. The second is self-effort, the practice of using our own desire to adhere to some form of discipline, mindfulness, or practice that will support our request to evolve.
Self-effort is not only the practices that we perform to guarantee our goals will be met, but also an agreement, that we will honor a space for grace when it arrives. We might not realize that it is through our own self-effort that we are securing a sacred space within ourselves to venerate that special force of divine consciousness, waiting and encouraging its arrival. We are creating a reservoir of tangible affirmation that we are ready to receive the increased boons that arrives through unexpected grace.
Grace is that force the opens us up to opportunity and brings a refreshed faith in ourselves and others after being knocked down, or after descending into a darkness we never imagined we would escape. Grace allows us to believe, to become ready to love and expand into the potential we have hidden within ourselves. And it is through our own self-effort that we find the courage to believe grace is possible for us.
Self-effort may look different for each of us. For some self-effort might not feel like effort at all, as it’s become a way of being in the world, a mode of operating within our lives. While others might feel a sense of tremendous effort, as if laying down whole new foundations of healthy routines and intense promises to make life better than before. Whether it feels like a huge effort or a consistent choice, self-effort is basically the same, it is a promise to ourselves we choose to keep.
It’s important to note, that through self-effort we afford ourselves a certain amount of grace inherently. For no act ever taken towards our divinity is ever ignored. Our consciousness responds instantly upon every flicker of effort we put towards the light within ourselves. The universe delights in the full spectrum of our conscious acts of evolution. We are treasured already, and as we act upon that knowledge, tending to our inner awareness of that fact, we ignite the grace within us to expand.
We can feel this for ourselves by acknowledging those moments when we honor the inner agreements of self-effort being met with the outer demonstrations of our actions. We gain a sense of effortless being carried along by grace itself. When this happens, we don’t feel like we’re making any effort as everything seems to happen under grace with a sense of perfection and delight. We might not always be able to sustain this sense of perfect fluidity in our lives where everything lines up and unfolds as expected. But we can reclaim its potential by putting our effort into keeping ourselves in alignment with our inner integrity and self-acknowledged worth.
Our efforts will always lead us to harvest the best for ourselves when we give our energy to that which is honoring our value and forgiving our shortcoming with compassion. We aren’t here to travel without learning something in our lives. As we learn we may make mistakes, it’s a part of growth. The effort we make serves us before any other, for we are always first with ourselves.
When we acknowledge the effort that we make for ourselves, something magical occurs, we become capable to accelerate into our potential. Through the awareness that we are embarking on an active path to do something for ourselves, even if its only a small act, we become self-aware of our worth. We always shine brighter when we acknowledge our own value. We open ourselves to greater joy and inner support by simply honoring ourselves.
So much can change rapidly when we envision a better way for ourselves. Whether we decide to eat better, sleep better, release toxic relationships, food, or habits, we are encouraging a form of self-effort on our own behalf that unfolds a greater good for us. Even the smallest effort can eventually lead to big change. We must allow our effort to come to us, meeting ourselves where we are, naturally and gently through encouragement and love.