I am never upset for the reason I think.
This idea, like the preceding one, can be used with any person, situation or event you think is causing you pain. Apply it specifically to whatever you believe is the cause of your upset, using the description of the feeling in whatever term seems accurate to you. The upset may seem to be fear, worry, depression, anxiety, anger, hatred, jealousy or any number of forms, all of which will be perceived as different. This is not true. However, until you learn that form does not matter, each form becomes a proper subject for the exercises for the day. Applying the same idea to each of them separately is the first step in ultimately recognizing they are all the same.
When using the idea for today for a specific perceived cause of an upset in any form, use both the name of the form in which you see the upset, and the cause which you ascribe to it. For example:
I am not angry at ___ for the reason I think.
I am not afraid of ___ for the reason I think.
But again, this should not be substituted for practice periods in which you first search your mind for “sources” of upset in which you believe, and forms of upset which you think result.
In these exercises, more than in the preceding ones, you may find it hard to be indiscriminate, and to avoid giving greater weight to some subjects than to others. It might help to precede the exercises with the statement:
There are no small upsets.
They are all equally disturbing to my peace of mind.
Then examine your mind for whatever is distressing you, regardless of how much or how little you think it is doing so.
You may also find yourself less willing to apply today’s idea to some perceived sources of upset than to others. If this occurs, think first of this:
I cannot keep this form of upset and let the others go.
For the purposes of these exercises, then, I will regard them all as the same.
Then search your mind for no more than a minute or so, and try to identify a number of different forms of upset that are disturbing you, regardless of the relative importance you may give them. Apply the idea for today to each of them, using the name of both the source of the upset as you perceive it, and of the feeling as you experience it. Further examples are:
I am not worried about ___ for the reason I think.
I am not depressed about ___ for the reason I think.
Three or four times during the day is enough.
All of the lessons are important, but some of them seem to be key to the mind change that we undergo as we do this work. This was definitely one of those for me. And when I first did the lessons, I had no idea what this meant. I did the lesson anyway as if I did understand it and eventually understanding came. After understanding, experience.
Now this lesson is so much a part of my life that I do it without thinking about it. I may not use these words, but when I have an ego reaction, I immediately realize that I don’t know what it means, and I if I do think I know, I am wrong. Then I ask the Holy Spirit to help me see what it is that is upsetting me.
After doing this for years I have realized that once again, Jesus knows what he’s talking about. There really is no difference between being angry or being fearful. All forms of pain are the same. In every case, I am upset because I believe something that is not true. In every case, I am upset because I have forgotten what I am.
I also discovered that it doesn’t matter how upset I am. If I am upset I am not at peace. If I am a little upset, I am not at peace. If I am very upset, I am not at peace. Do you see? Any upset robs me of peace. I think that the degree of upset is really just an indication of how afraid I am of peace. I know. That sounds crazy, right?
On those rare occasions when I get sick I used to be a total whiny baby. If I had a touch of flu, you would have thought it was Ebola the way I carried on. The last time this happened I realized that I am actually defending my right to be sick when I do this. I made the sickness seem bigger in my mind, therefore more real, and so harder to refute. And yet, if sickness is real, God is not. What does it matter how sick if sickness itself is an illusion?
It doesn’t matter what form the sickness takes either, a cold or pneumonia, or cancer, it is equally impossible. By making one form seem more serious than another I am defending the reality of sickness and thus in my mind, undoing God. Now let’s look at some other form of upset. I just spent a lot of money on Christmas and am having some spender’s remorse. It’s not too serious so I am not badly upset.
However, if I didn’t have enough money to pay my house note, the upset would loom bigger in my mind. If I lost my job, bigger still. I make lack real in my mind by acting like some forms of lack are different and worse or more important than other forms. In truth, lack is just another way to deny God, so it is really no different than sickness.
No matter what story I am telling myself I am never upset for the reason I think. I am not upset because I am broke, or sick, or lonely. I am upset because I believe something that is not true. Here is what I have noticed. As my mind is healed, I get upset less and less. Things still happen. Sometimes I get sick or get into financial straits, or a relationship goes sideways. But instead of getting upset, I get busy looking at my mind to see what I need to bring to Spirit. Or if I get upset, I remember that it is not for the reason I think.
One more important idea from this lesson is that I cannot keep one upset and let the others go. What does he mean by that? Why not? It seems reasonable to let go of them as I can, and certainly, it is expected that I will work with whatever idea is brought to my attention. But to deliberately choose to exclude one idea as not applying is to reject the entire idea. Notice the word “never” in the lesson’s title.
The idea that something is right one moment or in one circumstance and not the next is the belief in separation, and the reason “I cannot keep this form of upset and let the others go.” To limit this lesson in any way is to defend myself against the lesson. In every circumstance, I do not understand what anything means and so I am never upset for the reason I think. Even if I don’t want this to be true in a particular circumstance, it is still true. All I need to do for the purposes of this exercise is accept this much as true.