“We are making hay when we should be making whoopee; we are raising tomatoes when we should be raising Cain.”—Annie Dillard
I recently heard an interview with Kenya Barris. He’s the creator of Black-ish, a wildly popular, Emmy-winning TV comedy.
He talked about a spiritual realization that rocked his world. Like most of us, he was led to believe that if you want the goodies—success, acclaim, God’s blessings, etc.—you have to abide by a list of “good people” rules.
And he followed them. And his career kept growing. But finally, the weight of all these beliefs on how to reap God’s favor became too much to bear. He broke the rules. He divorced his wife. He left the conventional path. And guess what?
The blessings kept right on coming. His career took off. Black-ish was nominated for Emmy’s and People Choice and Critic’s Choice and NAACP Image awards. He couldn’t keep up with all the acclaim.
He said it was a stunning realization. Grace comes because grace comes.
He did not have to earn it.
And once the weight of “what he should do” was gone, he was free to do what he wanted to do which was reunite with his wife.
Not because he needed to to earn God’s favor. But because that’s what he wanted.
Despite what the churches preach, despite what our families and our cultures have pounded into our heads, there are no “good people rules.“
That’s why my favorite mantra is this: I need do nothing.
The Course in Miracles says it like this: “It would be far more profitable now merely to concentrate on this (I need do nothing) than to consider what you should do. It is the ultimate release which everyone will one day find in his own way at his own time.”
The Course says we can save time by using but this one practice. “I need do nothing,” it says, is a statement of allegiance, a truly undivided loyalty.”
When we’re not all stressed about earning the goodies, unhappily following arbitrary rules, the riches of the kingdom can’t help but pour in.
Because here’s the thing. We are already good people. We are already given God’s grace.
The only thing that can keep it away is our guilt (because we think we’re not doing it right) or our belief that we have to earn it.
We do not have to earn anything. It’s given to all of us. It’s our natural state.
Once we surrender the “good people rules.”
Pam Grout is the author of 19 books including E-Squared: 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality and the just-released, Art & Soul,Reloaded: A Year-Long Apprenticeship to Summon the Muses and Ignite Your Daring, Audacious, Creative Side.
One of my mantra’s ….don’t just do something…sit there.
I love that you remind us that we are all in god’s grace…without having to work for it. Goodness for goodness sake..works for me.
I absolutely adore your mantra and am going to use it!!!.
I love this post! Grace is available abundantly for all of us and it’s there to call us up into the people God sees us as which is good, loving, and kind. Grace calls us up into the identity God gives us which cannot be anything but good. At the very least Grace encourages us and at the most it supports our highest potential. xo
I am overwhelmed with Joy reading this. You always say the right thing at the right time and usually it’s something I already knew…I just needed to be reminded again. It’s really kind of magical. Love you Pam and thank you once again.
Ah. Big happy sigh of relief after reading your post. “Grace comes because grace comes. He did not have to earn it.” We do not have to earn it.
Yesterday I was looking at a big stack of to-do lists for all these areas of my life. I’ve been blessed with a huge abundance of ideas! But your words today were a reminder that I can enjoy all these ideas for the gifts of creativity and energy that they are. I don’t have to DO them all!
Pam, your writings are always such a place of refuge. Thank you. 💥💓💥
One of my “aha” moments years ago was when I realized God loved Hitler as much as He/She loved me. Same kind of idea. Living in integrity with my own Soul is my measure of success.
Holy cow! I am reading a Course in Miracles (the lessons part) and there you are with a reference from it, about something I was wrestling with! “What do I do?” NOTHING! Just keeping my frequency high, that’s all 😉
Well Pam! First of all- I think you’re so cool! Secondly, I just heard this exact lesson earlier this morning and started letting it sink into my brain and in my system.
Then this email pops up.
Something tells me I am becoming vibrationally aligned.
Thank you for everything that you do!
Lindy Mayberry Sellers http://www.sweetharvesthomestead.com
Hi Pam, thank you for this. I practise and study spirituality everyday and still I needed this reminder. There are a lot of shoulds and it’s very easy to get lost in it.
However, to further the conversation along, I believe a lot of people feel they have to do things to manifest and get lost in the process, therefore ironically pushing it further away from them. What are your thoughts?
It is great to hear from you so often. Just saying.
Love and dance from Zuzana.
Sent from my iPhone
Boy o’ Boy! Did I need today’s offering! THANKS!
The timing of your message is incredible.
I’m exhausted, physically and mentally with what i “should” be doing. Instead of just reaching for what feels good, i am trying to keep up with the spiritual Jones in my head. It never occurred to me that i got what i have doing nothing except reaching for my joy, trying to keep it i am killing myself and no longer having fun.
i am breathing out relief reading this.
thank you thank you for the reminder,
…for he makes the sun rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust.That’s right, rain, sunshine and grace all come to you for just being.
I love reading our posts and they have helped me at lot. i asked for a specific amount of money by a specific time and got it, just couldn’t spend it until December. So, I asked for a smaller amount (what my faith could handle) in 24 hours. That next night, nothing…so, i went to check my bank accounts and realized that my savings account had that amount and a few cents available to me…had been for months. i had forgotten about it and thought I could not spend it. But I know now it is there and I can have it when I wish…LoA answered.
This on. Today. Really resonated. THANK YOU xxx
Thank you. I really needed to read this. 💜
It often happens that your blog posts inspire mine, or you write about something I was also going to write about. Thanks so much.
Yes, it was such a wonderful day when I learned that God loved me just because I am, not for anything I do or don’t do!
Pam – I can’t put my finger on it but your posts this past month have been even more resonant and inspiring. (And they always are but they feel different.) Also I agree with the note above that hearing from you more often is also a huge gift. Thank you.
Just read this today and it was perfect! Thanks!