Saying yes to what we are

A basic move in mindfulness is a commitment to seeing things as they are. This often begins with simple practices of becoming more aware of our body and our embodied reactions to what is going and seeking to adopt a position curiosity rather than evaluative labeling of what we experience. I was struck by the wise words from Jacques Philippe on the necessity of Christians being deeply committed to seeing the reality of our situations.

Yet one of the most essential conditions for God’s grace to act in our lives is saying yes to what we are and to the situations in which we find ourselves.

That is because God is “realistic.” His grace does not operate on our imaginings, ideals, or dreams. It works on reality, the specific, concrete elements of our lives. Even if the fabric of our everyday lives doesn’t look very glorious to us, only there can we be touched by God’s grace. The person God loves with the tenderness of a Father, the person he wants to touch and to transform with his love, is not the person we’d have liked to be or ought to be. It’s the person we are. God doesn’t love “ideal persons” or “virtual beings.” He loves actual, real people. He is not interested in saintly figures in stained glass windows, but in us sinners. A great deal of time can be wasted in the spiritual life complaining that we are not like this or not like that, lamenting this defect or that limitation, imagining all the good we could do if, instead of being the way we are, we were less defective, more gifted with this or that quality or virtue, and so on. Here is a waste of time and energy that merely impedes the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts.

What often blocks the action of God’s grace in our lives is less our sins or failings, than it is our failure to accept our own weakness—all those rejections, conscious or not, of what we really are or of our real situation.
— Philippe, Jacques (2010-07-08). Interior Freedom (Kindle Locations 324-334). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.