THE BLOG
09/15/2014 01:33 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

'Growing Into Grace'

"The pain is in the pain." -- Rumi

"Every feeling fully felt is bliss." -- Joseph Campbell.

I'd like to introduce Mastin Kipp, the "up-and-coming thought leader of the next generation of spiritual thinkers," according to Oprah! I've been following his blog thedailylove.com for the past two years, or was it three, maybe four? Who knows, many years... it all seems like a blur because he's become such a part of my life.

This dude writes a blog every single day, every single day! He shows up for his readers day after day and has built a blog that is read by millions. What's even more fascinating is that he did it from a place of complete and utter darkness.

Well, I finally had the chance to meet him yesterday at the Middle Collegiate Church for the release of his new book, "Growing Into Grace."

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I, like many others, resonate with Mastin (no, not because our last names are the same) because he gives honestly, fears fully, and puts his heart into everything. He doesn't put himself on a spiritual pedestal, he flaunts his faults... a former drug addict, bulimic, college dropout, and failure in many respects... but he's living proof that you can push through failure if you push through your fears. At the end of Mastin's event, he read an excerpt from his book:

A day will come when you will be stirred by unexpected events. A part of you will die and you will begin to search for the elixir to bring this part of you back to life.

... All will seem lost... It will be the darkest of nights, and the promise of certain death will lead you to the abyss of despair. But, staring into this abyss, you will begin to see the dim light of your own illumined soul.

... And for the first time you will realize that all the while... it was your own Light that you were searching for.

I can't even begin to express how these words touched me, mainly because I, like Mastin, like all of you reading, know darkness. I've known some of the darkest days imaginable. I once was on top of the world about to graduate from the best musical theater program in the country when my life came crashing down before me... I was "stirred by unexpected events." My senior year, I was diagnosed with cancer, later told I had a 15-30 percent chance of survival, and lost my singing voice completely.

A part of you will die... It will be the darkest of nights, and the promise of certain death will lead you to the abyss of despair.

My abyss was darker than anything I've ever known. I questioned God, I questioned everything about my life. Why is this happening to me? Why would God take away my gift?

But, staring into this abyss, you will begin to see the dim light of your own illumined soul.

Finally, one day I realized that I was asking the wrong questions. The real question is not "Why am I suffering?" but "What is the grace in all this suffering?"

... And for the first time you will realize that all the while... it was your own Light that you were searching for.

See, my story is not unique because we're all searching for our light. This is what Mastin speaks and writes about. Grace is a choice just as suffering is.

Now, I've found grace in helping others by sharing my story, hopefully showing that you can bring meaning and purpose to tragedy. The grace of helping others is far greater than the suffering I once endured.

So let me ask you, and this is what Mastin led us through...

1. What are you suffering with? And why are you suffering?

Go deeply within and ask yourself because the only way to know is to truly feel it. Then, I want you to ask yourself...

2. If this were grace, what would my lesson be?

If you can find meaning and grace in your suffering, then it no longer has power over you. Your grace will turn into light...

... And you will realize that all the while... it was your own Light that you were searching for.


If this resonated with you at all, you can find out more about "Growing Into Grace" here or sign up for Mastin's blog thedailylove.com.

And no, he's not paying me to write this, I just know that he can impact your life the way he has impacted mine. As always, I'm on his journey just as much as you are. Leave your statement of GRACE in the comments below.

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