Grace Among Us

022 - Dismantling Barriers to Live a Grace-filled Life

July 11, 2023 Carri Adcock and Ebony C. Gilbert Season 1 Episode 22
Grace Among Us
022 - Dismantling Barriers to Live a Grace-filled Life
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever feel like you're trapped in an opinion boxing match, constantly grading others and yourself, with grace being the ultimate knockout punch you never quite land? That's exactly what we, Carri Richard and Ebony Gilbert, dissect in this episode, as we share personal stories and insights about the self-constructed barriers that hinder us from experiencing the transformative power of grace. We examine the minefield of superiority and inferiority, and how they disconnect us from grace, especially when we need it the most.

As we traverse the landscape of grace, we delve into the surprising intersection of grace and accountability. We pull back the layers on how our reactions, oftentimes steeped in entitlement, become invisible walls against grace. The crux of the discussion lies in our exploration of liberating ourselves from the scoreboards we keep in our minds, and embracing the grace-filled approach to life. Plus, we talk about setting boundaries while staying present and knowing when it's time to move on. Get ready for a riveting conversation that will not just enlighten you about grace, but will also inspire you to embrace it in your life and extend it to others.

We'd love to meet you in person! Come Join Us in Heaven's Net. A 3-day retreat March 13 - 15, 2024 - find out more by clicking HERE.

Speaker 1:

Welcome to Grace Among Us, the podcast where we unearth the many faces and places of grace and share stories of the power of grace in our human lives. Our desire is that this will inspire you to see grace in your own life and share it with others.

Carri Richard:

Hello, hello, my name is Carri Richard, I am a mindset coach and I am here with Ebony Gilbert, and today we're here to talk about grace Indeed indeed, I'm Ebony Gilbert, as Carri stated, and I work in the healthcare industry, and I'm happy to be here today to talk about grace again, awesome, yay. Carri Richard Well, you know we talk a lot about the places and faces and how to see grace. What does it look like? Some stories around what grace can do for people, just really pointers to grace in the hopes that you see grace, more grace in your life, because it's available for us all the time. And I don't know if we have tackled the subject of how do you block grace? Because you can turn off the tap to grace, and so that's what we're going to kind of dig around in today. So, E bony, would you like me to ask the question to myself to start?

Ebony Gilbert:

Please do, please do. Or you can ask it to me, but let's get it started. I'm interested in this one, I'm curious.

Carri Richard:

Yeah, me too. actually, as we've said, we kind of just get together ahead of time and have a question and we had some conversation today. And it really came down to -- blocking grace. And I'll start that if I am on some sort of ladder, if I am above the people I'm around, below the people, I'm around, for whatever reason. If I have some idea that there's a ladder, I don't seem to be on the level where grace lives.

Ebony Gilbert:

So whether it's inferior or inferiority or superiority, Yes yes. It removes you.

Carri Richard:

Absolutely. If I'm judging you in some way, shape or form, or if I'm making myself better or less than like you said, then I'm running the show. I've decided that I have become the director of the play and all of the actors are given their roles and grace has nowhere to come in. And often when I'm in that place, especially when I'm on the lower rung of the ladder actually I don't know if it's especially, I'll give you an example If I'm on the lower rung I really want grace, I want relief, I want to feel better. And I'm actually blocking that very thing from happening.

Ebony Gilbert:

I got you. I got you, I'm processing.

Carri Richard:

Yeah, I was, yeah, process away. I really. I'll give an example. So when my son was really young, his father and I had split up and he had visitation And I was a single working mom. I had a full time job and this beautiful kid who actually had some, some extra needs, and what would happen sometimes is I would dress him up and I would get his bag, and he would be all ready for his father to come get him, and his dad wouldn't show up. I would get angry and usually, to be honest, I would have made plans because I didn't have a lot of "adult time, or you know, time to go do things. So I would have made plans. And so now I was angry. I was - truth be told, I was probably dumping it on this poor little person who was also suffering because his dad didn't show up right and I would say, "poor me, i Don't get to, I can't believe this is happening". Not only poor me, but that person la da, da, da right. So I decided to call my Spiritual. I had a spiritual mentor, thank you, thanks God, and I said Wah, wah, wah, I can't. It actually probably began with I can't Or can you believe ? one or the other. Yes, can you believe? Actually I knew her. I didn't ask her, "Can you believe because she was gonna shut it down? So it switched to I can't believe - blah, blah, blah. And you know what? She took a deep breath, probably because I went on and on, and she said one of the most important things to me. She said, "gary, you are his mother. You are his mother 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and seven days a week. So let's begin there. You need to accept that you are his mother 24 by 7, by 365, and it was like I Did not want to hear that and yet there was a little bit of grace That was like "listen to what she's saying". And what that did was I could take myself down off the ladder and just look at, "You know what? I am a mom all this time". And so what happened for me is I Got the grace and discernment to - the next time there was a visitation. I still made plans to go do something, but I made plan B. Plan B was well, if I have to be the mom 24 by 7, by 365, what am I gonna do then? and the next time it happened, all of a sudden I was empowered because I said, "didn't happen, can't come to the movies or whatever. I had planned and And stayed home and we did something. I had made another plan and it I'm sure everybody benefited from it. I know I did yeah, I believe my son did and in some way His father did, because I didn't. But I had, i had to get right- sized. And then grace flooded in and by God's grace, it Just shifted it. You know, I could get on the bandwagon. "That's not right. Blah, blah blah and when I do that, I have nobody else's help. No help is coming.

Ebony Gilbert:

Did you feel like you were deserving of this break? You know "I worked hard all week. I deserved Some adult time, a break. I'm entitled" to get use that word. (Yeah), "I'm entitled to this. I do it 20 days out of the month 25. You have two days show up? (Yeah), and how dare you. (Exactly) Is that the ladder position?

Carri Richard:

Yeah, ll of a sudden. I was up here and this person was down there. "How could you? I can't believe.. Can you believe", right?

Ebony Gilbert:

That's tough Carri, because you do deserve a break. It'd be nice, just not not being overly spiritual, not being, you know, too deep and profound on the surface. Everybody deserves a day off.

Carri Richard:

Yes, It's true, and I had to look for it elsewhere. I was trying to get my day off from a resource that was not available.

Ebony Gilbert:

Yeah, that's tough one and I so appreciate you giving that example. The example wouldn't have carried the same weight if it was something that the general population wouldn't agree with. You know It's like. No, this is true. You know, when you work your butt off, even in a job that's paying you or a motherhood where you are the mom 24 hours a day, every now and then you might cut me some slack. "I need a day off, i need a break. You promised it and you should keep your word, and I have every right to be angry and not show you grace.

Carri Richard:

Exactly, and at what cost?

Ebony Gilbert:

At what cost?

Carri Richard:

Because when I could let go of that being a possibility for a day off, I could go hire a babysitter one night and choose a day off. I could do other things, but I really put all that responsibility on that person who was not capable of delivering.

Ebony Gilbert:

Yeah, that's a good one. Yeah, that's a good one. That's grace when it doesn't feel intuitive.

Carri Richard:

Yeah, and the grace was really - the grace began with reaching out for help.

Ebony Gilbert:

Hey, that part, that part, the gut check.

Carri Richard:

Exactly. I could not have come up with all of that on my own Because I was on that ladder right?

Ebony Gilbert:

I'm up here, I'm doing all the work.

Carri Richard:

And I'm going to stay up here and I'm going to get angrier and I'm going to complain.

Ebony Gilbert:

Which isn't going to change anything.

Carri Richard:

Exactly So. sometimes I had - for me - I had to step down, let go of the entitlement or even the pride, and reach out and talk it through.

Ebony Gilbert:

Pride and entitlement, which one was bigger?

Carri Richard:

Entitlement. That one entitlement. "Wait a second. I'm doing all the things. Why aren't you doing the things

Ebony Gilbert:

Yeah, it's already unfair. It's already. I'm already at a disadvantage here. Let me pour some more on top. The least you can do is yes, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. That's interesting.

Carri Richard:

Yeah.

Ebony Gilbert:

So you were blocking grace, the grace that you could give and extend, but it sounds like more than that, I mean

Carri Richard:

I could have died on that hill over and over and over. Every time it happened. I could have died on that hill again And by God's grace I didn't. I can tell you that I only had to do it a couple times And that is by the grace of God, because left to my own devices, that's exactly what I'd done. I would have died over and over again. And this little person would have watched that happen.

Ebony Gilbert:

Just marching through the wilderness. And that's over and over again.

Carri Richard:

That's really where the grace is.

Ebony Gilbert:

Gotcha.

Carri Richard:

Because he did not have to live through hearing anything about the situation, the person making a different choice, if that makes sense.

Ebony Gilbert:

No, it does make sense.

Carri Richard:

And that is by God's grace.

Ebony Gilbert:

Thank God for your spiritual mentor.

Carri Richard:

For sure.

Ebony Gilbert:

I think it touches on what we say all the time. Usually at the end of the podcast we talk about a community. Don't do life alone. Find somebody, connect with someone who can help you. Because do you think you would have come to that conclusion on your own, without that?

Carri Richard:

No, no, I'm pretty sure of it, because it was very triggered. I mean, it was visceral, and I had all kinds of stories, and they were all pointing to judgment really.

Ebony Gilbert:

Yeah, that's the word right there. Yeah, we get on that ladder And it's like, depending on my position, there's a better than and less than.

Carri Richard:

And then there's the other side of the ladder. So can you think of an example of being on the other side of the ladder?

Ebony Gilbert:

On the bottom end of the ladder? Yeah, yeah, I can think of an example I I , not be Hi, what you're looking for. Where the person higher up on the ladder, saying some things to me that felt very unfair.

Carri Richard:

Very unfair.

Ebony Gilbert:

Now, from a hierarchy standpoint, this person is higher on the ladder. But from a people in my own internal judgment standpoint, I felt higher up on the ladder. Because I thought "your position gives you authority. How much I know you need me gives me authority. Oh, so you guys were doing that, yeah, we're playing the game together, we're just marching along. "Who's in front today? But in this particular example, the position of authority is what granted that feeling of "you're above me, and it gave this person the perceived permission to say things to me that felt very inferior and felt very condescending and very unkind, not very graceful. It was very challenging in the moment to not just lash back And I had - the wheels had to start turning very quickly. "Okay, okay, Ebony, you still have to work with this person, you still got to show up tomorrow. So if you lash back out, this person whose position is higher than yours, can make your life real difficult". But, more importantly, I'm not operating in grace And I've got to take some personal accountability for what's happening here, right? I don't get to weaponize all the previous acts of grace against this person in this moment, you know?

Carri Richard:

"Hey, remember when I. What about when I?

Ebony Gilbert:

"But I had your back and I hope you with this and I helped you with that", and I I'm thinking about your example, thinking about my own, and I have a tendency to want to do that. It's keeping score. Yes So every time I've done something nice.

Carri Richard:

Yeah, bring the evidence, bring the receipts. Give me the receipts You know, right. It's like when you're in court, who's in the middle? Yeah, the judge.

Ebony Gilbert:

So I had to operate in some grace And when I remove the ladder from the room, just took it out, kicked out the room and just talked on a one on one human level, without the judgment, without feeling personally attacked, and just, " taking. We get to the core of this because I I feel like your heart is good And I think mine is good And we're on equal playing fields at this point". So just person to person, I take accountability for clearly having done something to make you feel this way. How do we make it better? And in that very moment the tone changed. Now it doesn't always happen like this, it's not always immediate, it's not always a quick and very moment of tone change in the person. "Listen, i'm sorry, you know, and the whole conversation went a different level but with that ladder came to the room, we walked in with both of our ladders on the back and we were running up and down it depending on the point in the conversation, and it was. It was pretty convicting for me. It was. It was definitely a pivotal moment in my career and my life in general about how I judge situations and people, how my mind will weaponize previous acts of kindness to my advantage when I feel like I'm being mistreated. It was just so not cool.

Carri Richard:

You just gave me like an image of those previous acts of kindness, kind of pulling them out of your backpack and putting, putting another rung on the ladder and kind of like stepping up that rung. Yeah.

Ebony Gilbert:

wants to think that the person being nice to you is going to keep score and throw it in your face, even if I never said it And I never even thought it, if I'm being honest with you. But in that moment, this rush of, "how dear you, have you forgotten 12345? have you forgotten all these things? and you know, by the time that was all over, i was more upset with myself than I was this person. I felt like I came out of character and I abused grace and I misused it in the sense of entitlement that I have, was really misplaced And I needed to get off that ladder And I was blocking the grace that this person ended up showing me because I could have reacted really poorly. I could have stayed in my ladder position And it would have blocked the grace that they ended up giving me. I could have blocked the grace that God was whispering to me to give to this person, you know, but I couldn't feel it, see it or receive it.

Carri Richard:

It's like the great equalizer We got to. I love that. the image to have like throwing the ladders out of the room.

Ebony Gilbert:

Okay, you're on a ladder I can't be on the sidewalk and you're on scaffolding, like we've got to be.

Carri Richard:

Let's get rid of mine and see if you'll get rid of yours. Yeah because it's got to start with me. I can't I can't ask anybody to do anything that I haven't already done first.

Ebony Gilbert:

What are you doing? that's hard. That's just not easy. When you feel like you're turning the cheek constantly, you just get slapped around.

Carri Richard:

That's a great question.

Ebony Gilbert:

How do you handle that? It's easy to show somebody grace if it's a one-off feel like, ah, they're having a bad day, give us some grace. But when it's over, and, over and over again the person doesn't show up every weekend, you're late every time, like what then?

Carri Richard:

Well, it's the more well for the example of them not showing up every weekend. It was just continuing to show grace Because I didn't have a choice. I didn't have a choice of saying, well, then don't come at all. That wasn't my choice. Now I looked at that, but it wasn't my choice, so it's again staying in that. You know, can I do anything here? And if I can, you know, if I can't change the situation, then how do I be in the situation? And sometimes I do have a choice. Kick the dust off my shoes and keep moving. But I only can get that discernment if I'm acting from grace, right, or with grace.

Ebony Gilbert:

I used to have a mentor who was saying I was complaining about all kind of crap. That's a long time ago, I wouldn't do that anymore. But I was complaining and she was saying to me who told you someone owed you kindness today? Who told you you were deserving of everyone on your path to have an equally good day and treat you as such. Are people not allowed to have off days? Are people not allowed to just not do you today? I thought, well, why would they do that? I was being nice, why wouldn't they be nice to me? To me, this is reciprocal, it's automatic. It was touching one that entitlement, and that ladder.

Carri Richard:

Like the running scorecard.

Ebony Gilbert:

Yeah, it took her saying that for about two years.

Carri Richard:

So that's a really good point. right, That is a really good point. It takes practice. I would love to say, "I know, when I'm on a ladder and I just throw it away and everything's great, I'm always - peace all the time", and that's not true. And sometimes it's after the fact, it's like okay, wait a second, this is not going well. Like am I on a ladder? I had some tough stuff happen to me in my life. And I was given lots of grace in the process. Some I could see, some I couldn't see, and that kind of those kind of I'll use the word tragedy right, that kind of tragedy. I can put myself on a ladder around that too.

Ebony Gilbert:

Yes.

Carri Richard:

Like, if I hold on to that tragedy and decide that that entitles me to grace or entitles me for people to be really nice to me because I've had a tough time, then that actually blocks the grace I'm really desiring.

Ebony Gilbert:

Yes.

Carri Richard:

And it's getting back up off that ladder right. Wait a second. Other people have tragedy too.

Ebony Gilbert:

Correct.

Carri Richard:

It doesn't negate the tragedy, it doesn't negate the feelings, but it does not give me like extra tickets in my pocket for grace.

Ebony Gilbert:

Oh, good, tell, Do, tell Well shortly after my stomach removal I'd been out of commission for several months I entered this contest that I was asked to enter. I didn't go looking for it. This is an important part of the story. Okay, i was asked to enter this contest The contest that it was called healthcare champion And you have to tell this story about this forum, tell your story about a recent healthcare challenge and how you overcame it. And I thought surely no one's got anything better than this. I am winning this, i am going on this trip And you asked me to do this and you're part of the judgment committee. Surely, this is in the bag, because who else, who, Yeah? else has it this bad?

Carri Richard:

Where was the trip? to Just sidebar?

Ebony Gilbert:

Oh, anywhere. you want to go Up to $10,000 for a week.

Carri Richard:

Oh, that's lovely.

Ebony Gilbert:

Yeah, we will go.

Carri Richard:

Continue.

Ebony Gilbert:

Yeah, yeah, i need this. God knows I deserve this. I've been locked in the house for months. I've taught myself to do all these things again. My story's very public. I'm going to win. Well, not only did I not win, I didn't come in come second, third or fourth place, there wasn't even honorable mention.

Carri Richard:

You were nowhere to be found, nowhere.

Ebony Gilbert:

And for several weeks I was pretty bitter and angry. Matter of fact, i was so indignant that I refused to even read the stories of the people who won. (I totally get that!) "I can't support this. I could laugh about it now. And so no lie, the so the girl was hot, Okay? When I finally did read those stories, it became very clear to me why those people won. Oh, it was so obvious And I felt this big.

Carri Richard:

So what did you see when you were ready to see?

Ebony Gilbert:

I saw that. what a couple of things. I crafted a very well written story And in my mind that should have gotten me some points Okay.

Carri Richard:

Yeah.

Ebony Gilbert:

This thing is beautiful. It's got all the SAT words. I'm evoking emotion. I've checked all the boxes for good storytelling. I have a ramp up in a company You know, it ends well. It's got an arc, oh yes, and the arc is perfect And it's a compelling story. You know, I was mistreated. It has trauma, it has tragedy, it has recovery, it has resilience. It's got all the things. When I read these stories that won. I read about people and families And I read about crisis. I didn't read a. Mine could have read as a fictional book, a bestseller fictional book, you know, very well written book. But when I read their stories, they touched my heart And I was drawn into who these people were And I wanted to reach out to them and say, hey, let's chat. How can we help each other? It was a totally different thing. And then I went back and read my own story. I thought this is good. I should sell this to somebody. It isn't even. It's a good story, but these are people's lives who need a trip. They need a break. I would like it. It'd be cool. You know, and before I allowed myself to see those stories for what they were and to take a good look at myself and what I was doing, i couldn't see it and you wouldn't have been able to convince me otherwise. Okay, yeah, these people had challenges. It brought all my own crap into perspective, Carri, and it humbled me Like, okay, i had it bad, but not that bad.

Carri Richard:

There's grace in that.

Ebony Gilbert:

It sucked, but I was surrounded by family and friends And there was a solution And I could see clearly. One of the stories. the lady didn't even have use of a hand And in the story she says my apologies for any errors, as this is being dictated by my computer because I don't have use of my hands. I want to get choked up And I thought, oh my God, like I'm sitting here complaining Because I didn't have. I didn't win a contest for something I took less than 20 minutes to type up off the side of my desk And it messed me up. It messed me up And it took me off that ladder. The ladder went away And it changed the way I framed the story about my healthcare journey completely And it put me in a space of gratitude and grace and nobody owes me anything. The world didn't make me any promises. I mean it's. I didn't think about the story. We first started talking but whoo, Absolutely changed the things.

Carri Richard:

I love it. That's such a beautiful example And I appreciate your realness about your bitterness and I was mad At the time And and I'm And just the realness I was real mad. You reminded me. you know you had that period of time where you're like I'm not even reading. these stories Are you kidding me Like who decided this right, This, this entitlement? But sometimes it takes time. It took time, Absolutely.

Ebony Gilbert:

It took time.

Carri Richard:

And grace And I got curious, yeah, yeah. And that's like all you need. All you need is a crack. just a little bit crack the door open, and grace is very patient, always waiting.

Ebony Gilbert:

And it showed up. But I had to step off the ladder.

Carri Richard:

Yeah, and you got more than you probably bargained for.

Ebony Gilbert:

Oh, absolutely Absolutely. That was a good loss.

Carri Richard:

Yeah.

Ebony Gilbert:

Did me some good.

Carri Richard:

I love that.

Ebony Gilbert:

It's a little embarrassing, you know, in hindsight, but it worked out in the end for me. I just knew I had it.

Carri Richard:

I think we've done a good workout on how to block grace today. How do you feel?

Ebony Gilbert:

Yeah, i think we have. I think we have And you know we've touched on so many things in the past few minutes of how to block grace come off the ladder. Entitlement judgment.

Carri Richard:

absolutely, absolutely, and as you listen, you know, as you, you, you can feel, hopefully people can relate to what it feels like to be on that ladder Cause then, when we know, when we're aware we're on the ladder, there's hopefully new choices.

Ebony Gilbert:

Yeah, absolutely The irony. in In. closing, when take yourself off that ladder, . This view you are above the world. Take yourself off of that ladder and you ground yourself, place your feet on the ground and get humble. Your vision actually gets better.

Carri Richard:

Yes.

Ebony Gilbert:

Your vantage point is so much better. You can see the grace, you can receive the grace. It can flow through you, it can flow to you from you. So your perspective, your vantage point, is better on the ground, get off the ladder, and that speaks to me, that's for me.

Carri Richard:

I love it, me too.

Ebony Gilbert:

Yeah.

Carri Richard:

Thank you, awesome Thank you. Thank you, i think we, i think I love.

Ebony Gilbert:

As always, you wrap it up wonderfully and You started this off when you're vulnerable space and I said, hey, she can do it, i can do it.

Carri Richard:

We did it We did it Awesome, awesome. Well, it's been wonderful. And again, anybody has a question or a topic or anything about grace, let us know.

Ebony Gilbert:

So indeed, until time, until next time

Speaker 1:

Thank you so much for joining us. If you enjoyed this episode, please let us know. We love to hear from you and share it with a friend. Also, please be sure to subscribe so you're notified when a new episode is posted. We hope you're leaving with another pointer to grace, a new perspective that will light it up in your own life. Until next time, be well, be bold, be kind to yourself and be on the lookout.

Blocking Grace
Navigating Grace and Accountability