Springs of Joy: When Grace smiles PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 10 June 2011 13:38

There are no accidents. So claim the more enlightened among us. But despite being a staunch believer in serendipity, I was unprepared for its foray into my life during the weekend when two exciting seminars competed for my sweet “yes.”   The first, was work related - The Blue Chips League Mentors’ Training in Davao; the second, the DSN Breaking Free course in Manila which I had signed up to attend two years ago but which was cancelled when I got there. Between the two, I vastly preferred the DSN as it promised to smash the bondage that kept me prisoner of my own fears, insecurities and inhibitions – of which I have many. Work took precedence over personal preference however, so it was a foregone conclusion I’d go to Davao. By a stroke of luck, a few days before my trip, the Blue Chips training was deferred, freeing me to do the DSN. Elated, I set out to sign up for it only to discover I had missed the registration cut-off. My delay had obviously cost me my DSN, for the second time. With both seminars snatched away from me by fate, I suddenly had a free weekend.

Barely had I started making plans when out of the blue came yet another invitation to another seminar: Being a Third Sider. But it held very little appeal for two reasons: it was local and it would tackle the over-dissected and much-exhausted topics of conflict management and peace. Thus, my response was lukewarm at best. Still, I was bound by my commitment to the Mindanao Commission on Women of which I am a member and which sponsored the seminar. So I signed up for it but braced myself to be climbing up the walls, bored stiff and senseless in no time.

Guess what? Contrary to expectations, the training I almost brushed aside turned out to be a godsend. Perhaps it really is true. Grace does tiptoe into our lives when we aren’t looking. To be proven wrong and to discover that there’s still so much unchartered territory for me even about so common a topic was deeply humbling. But I didn’t mind the humbling one bit. Not when the prize was enlightenment, wisdom, wonder plus the added bonus of the easy and delightful camaraderie among the beautiful women participants from Basilan, Sulu and Zamboanga.

That weekend, Grace smilingly sashayed into my life and stamped her unmistakable presence onto the trainors, the activities and the participants turning the whole affair into something extraordinary for me. It was as though She was gently reminding me that sometimes that which I dismiss as being dull, lackluster, blah and immaterial pays off the richest dividends. Not only was I riveted by the Third Sider framework developed by Dr. William Ury which offered a revolutionary way of managing conflict, but I was surprisingly touched by the serenity radiating from the core of trainors. In a tangible way, they modeled what it was to be peaceful, to be centered, and to embrace a softer, more forgiving and clearer perspective by stepping onto the “balcony” and taking a bird’s eye view on things. From this elevated vantage point, instead of being drawn into and staying enmeshed and embroiled in the conflict, one can stay free of the drama.  Then it becomes easier to propose solutions are novel, different, creative, objective and effective.  What a startling revelation!

How I wish I can share all the highlights of my Third Sider training here but mere words won’t do it justice. Probably, the only thing that would is if you were to attend it yourself. Then and only then will you know exactly what I mean when I say that Grace truly abounds and comes from the most unexpected places.

So perhaps, there are no accidents in life indeed. And Heaven does know best what it is we truly need. I had thought what I needed most was the DSN to free me from all that kept me caged. Instead, Grace smiled and surprised me with a fresh recipe for peace. I must have needed this more. Maybe, this was Her way of telling me I needed to be peaceful first before I can break free of my invisible chains. Or maybe, She was telling me, if I could learn peace, the wish, the need to break free would have become superfluous, irrelevant. After all a soul that is at peace is free, isn’t she?

We want to know what you think, what you feel and what topics interest you. Please send your comments, reactions and/or suggestions to:  springsofjoy@ymail.com. --Jane dela Cruz Bascar