IV. This Need Not Be, P 2
2 I have said that you cannot change your mind by changing your behavior, but I have also said, and many times, that you can change your mind. When your mood tells you that you have chosen wrongly, and this is so whenever you are not joyous, then know this need not be. In every case you have thought wrongly about some brother God created, and are perceiving images your ego makes in a darkened glass. Think honestly what you have thought that God would not have thought, and what you have not thought that God would have you think. Search sincerely for what you have done and left undone accordingly, and then change your mind to think with God’s. This may seem hard to do, but it is much easier than trying to think against it. Your mind is one with God’s. Denying this and thinking otherwise has held your ego together, but has literally split your mind. As a loving brother I am deeply concerned with your mind, and urge you to follow my example as you look at yourself and at your brother, and see in both the glorious creations of a glorious Father.
Oh, there is lots of good stuff in this paragraph! Jesus has already established that it is not the world that we need to change but out mind. This is emphasized when he says we cannot change our mind by changing our behavior. Here is an example I can think of. Even after I divorced my husband he was still very much a part of my life as my children’s father and because we worked together at the same company. So I still had to deal with him and many of the same issues I had hoped to escape through the divorce.
I soon realized that you can divorce a partner, but not the relationship and I did eventually do the work to heal that relationship. In doing so, I tried treating him like the child of God he is, but inevitably, my true feelings would surface and an argument or harsh words would be the result. What happened to change this situation is that through doing the vigilant work of mind watching and asking for the Atonement in this situation, I eventually began to really want that healing and so accepted the Atonement.
I changed my mind about that man and realized that he is the Son of God. Now I was not just acting like he was God’s child, but I knew he was that holy one, and there were no more slip ups. I knew this had to be done because I was not happy when I was around him and when I thought of him or remembered situations from the past, I would become angry or sad, and often guilty. Jesus says to watch our mood and when it is not joyous then know this need not be.
Jesus says that if I am experiencing feelings that are not joyous then I need to search my mind for dark thoughts about my brother. My experience has been that this means I have found someone guilty, and I believe my judgment. Sometimes it is me and sometimes it is someone else. At first I didn’t always recognize the dark thoughts for what they were. This happened when my sister in law was sick and I was worried.
Worrying about my sister in law when she was sick, at first glance, seems like love, but I learned that it is not really love, but an attack. I believed in her sickness which means I was attacking her invulnerability. This is a different way to think and has taken some practice on my part just to be aware of what I am doing. Now I see that she believes in her sickness and I still believe in it sometimes, but I also know that we can change our mind. I work on keeping an eye on my thoughts so that I will know when I need to ask for help. I accept the Atonement for myself in this situation, and I ask for the Atonement on her behalf as well.
I think I will come back to this paragraph tomorrow and ask for more clarity. I feel very grateful for what Jesus has given us and for Holy Spirit’s help in understanding.