I share God’s Will for happiness for me.
1. You do not want to suffer. ²You may think it buys you something, and may still believe a little that it buys you what you want. ³Yet this belief is surely shaken now, at least enough to let you question it, and to suspect it really makes no sense. ⁴It has not gone as yet, but lacks the roots that once secured it tightly to the dark and hidden secret places of your mind.
One of the first times I saw clearly that I thought suffering was my goal was when I realized that I sometimes chose to be sick so that I could skip work or avoid a social engagement I regretted accepting, Another was when I realized that I enjoyed the attention and proof of love I received when I was sick. The first goal, avoidance, I corrected by learning to say no. Even with getting out of work changed. When I didn’t want to go to work, I called in absent instead of sick.
The second was more stubborn but I began my practice to change my mind by not calling anyone to talk about my sickness, particularly my children. When I would reach for the phone, I would ask myself why it was I thought it was necessary to share this information. Here is another use for suffering I just thought of. When I do something wrong, for instance, when I eat excessively or when I am not hungry, I am feeding the ego appetites and feeling guilty for this, I suffer from stomach upsets and gaining weight. Which leads me to the root cause of suffering.
There is a deeper reason for desiring to suffer, of course. These experiences in my life were just symbols of the root cause which was the need to appease a punishing God so that when we met again, He would have mercy on me since I had suffered so much in the world. I didn’t tell myself that, of course, but it was there. It is there in the mind we share, the result of the tiny mad idea of separation in which we rebelled against the idea that we could not be special. Slowly, as I was healed in one symbolic experience after another, I began to realize that God does not judge me as evil and that He loves me and the root cause is being undone.
2. Today we try to loose its weakened hold still further, and to realize that pain is purposeless, without a cause and with no power to accomplish anything. ²It cannot purchase anything at all. ³It offers nothing, and does not exist. ⁴And everything you think it offers you is lacking in existence, like itself. ⁵You have been slave to nothing. ⁶Be you free today to join the happy Will of God.
The hold suffering had on me has been loosed quite a bit, but it still persists in little ways and so I am dedicated to releasing all beliefs in guilt, even those subtle and elusive thoughts. I know they must still be there by their effects. The little pains and the moments of anxiety or simply the lack of joy. As soon as I notice any of these signs, I rest my mind and then ask for clarity. What thought needs to be questioned? Everything, each thought and its manifestation in the world, represent a belief, either a true belief or an ego belief. Vigilance has allowed me to clear my mind so much that I am happy nearly all the time now, which makes those times when I am not happy harder to tolerate.
3. For several days we will continue to devote our periods of practicing to exercises planned to help you reach the happiness God’s Will has placed in you. ²Here is your home, and here your safety is. ³Here is your peace, and here there is no fear. ⁴Here is salvation. ⁵Here is rest at last.
4. Begin your practice periods today with this acceptance of God’s Will for you:
²I share God’s Will for happiness for me, and I accept it as my function now.
³Then seek this function deep within your mind, for it is there, awaiting but your choice. ⁴You cannot fail to find it when you learn it is your choice, and that you share God’s Will.
I think that sometimes we can have a hidden thought in our mind that happiness is unimportant, that our spiritual journey is the only thing that matters and yet Jesus has made it clear that happiness is the destination. Happiness, love, peace, these are words that symbolize what we are. What if we were getting paid to be happy, that it was our job? Well, happiness is our job. It is possible to always be happy because happiness is in us. We can reach it in meditation and we can live it if we allow it to rise up in us from where it exists rather than trying to find it in the world.
5. Be happy, for your only function here is happiness. ²You have no need to be less loving to God’s Son than He Whose Love created him as loving as Himself. ³Besides these hourly five-minute rests, pause frequently today, to tell yourself that you have now accepted happiness as your one function. ⁴And be sure that you are joining with God’s Will in doing this.
As a final emphasis, Jesus tells us that not only is our function happiness, it is our only function.