God, being Love, is also happiness.
Happiness is an attribute of love. It cannot be apart from it. Nor can it be experienced where love is not. Love has no limits, being everywhere. And therefore joy is everywhere as well. Yet can the mind deny that this is so, believing there are gaps in love where sin can enter, bringing pain instead of joy. This strange belief would limit happiness by redefining love as limited, and introducing opposition in what has no limit and no opposite.
Fear is associated then with love, and its results become the heritage of minds that think what they have made is real. These images, with no reality in truth, bear witness to the fear of God, forgetting being Love, He must be joy. This basic error we will try again to bring to truth today, and teach ourselves:
God, being Love, is also happiness. To fear Him is to be afraid of joy.
Begin your periods of practicing today with this association, which corrects the false belief that God is fear. It also emphasizes happiness belongs to you, because of what He is.
Allow this one correction to be placed within your mind each waking hour today. Then welcome all the happiness it brings as truth replaces fear, and joy becomes what you expect to take the place of pain. God, being Love, it will be given you. Bolster this expectation frequently throughout the day, and quiet all your fears with this assurance, kind and wholly true:
God, being Love, is also happiness. And it is happiness I seek today. I cannot fail, because I seek the truth.
How odd it is that Jesus saw the need to give us a series of happiness lessons. We have to be convinced that we should be happy all the time. For most people, there is strong resistance to this idea. For some, happiness is unexpected and short lived. For others, happiness is common, but certainly not constant. And yet, Jesus relates happiness to God and therefore unlimited. It is available to us at all times in every circumstance, part of our very nature as children of God.
So why does this appear not to be true? We deliberately choose unhappiness. It is the only way it could occur. We do this with the thoughts we choose to believe. I can be very happy and suddenly I will remember something sad or something frightening, and I am not happy anymore. Does anyone else do this? Probably so, I would think. Ego thoughts come into the mind but we don’t have to infuse them with the power to affect us unless we want to. So unhappiness is a choice. Even when something is actually occurring, we have a choice as to how we want to perceive it.
Once I started noticing this phenomenon, I was amazed to realize how often I do this. Here is an example. I would spend an hour with a student talking about the Course, about how it affects our lives, how we use it and how we can use it more consistently. When we hung up, I would be genuinely happy. Then maybe I would have a thought that I should have said something differently, or that I should not have said something. Suddenly, I am not happy. I just chose to believe the one thing that was guaranteed to dampen my happiness in this situation.
Jesus says that God is Love and Love is happiness, so I think that if I avoid happiness, I must be avoiding Love, avoiding God. I would only do this if I were afraid of Him, so unhappiness is fear of God. I have often thought that I am no longer afraid of God, and yet, I keep seeing effects of my fear of God such as unhappiness. Being aware of this, I can change my mind. I can choose to allow Love to be what It is.
This doesn’t mean that I try to control my thoughts, chase away the dark ones or pretend to be happy when I am not. What I do instead is to notice this strange and destructive thinking and remind myself that it is not true and that God loves me and wants only my happiness. These happiness lessons are meant to help us form a new habit.
If your present habit is to follow the ego thoughts to unhappiness, here is a new habit to replace that one. Give those dark thoughts to the Holy Spirit and let the truth flow into your mind. “God, being Love, is also happiness. And it is happiness I seek today. I cannot fail, because I seek the truth.” It is what I am going to do, and I am not going to wait until I need the correction. I am going to remind myself all through the day that the images of unhappiness in my mind are an illusion. I am going to remind myself that the only truth is that God loves me dearly and wants me to be happy.