I am determined to see things differently.
W-pI.21.1. The idea for today is obviously a continuation and extension of the preceding one. 2 This time, however, specific mind-searching periods are necessary, in addition to applying the idea to particular situations as they may arise. 3 Five practice periods are urged, allowing a full minute for each.
W-pI.21.2. In the practice periods, begin by repeating the idea to yourself. 2 Then close your eyes and search your mind carefully for situations past, present or anticipated that arouse anger in you. 3 The anger may take the form of any reaction ranging from mild irritation to rage. 4 The degree of the emotion you experience does not matter. 5 You will become increasingly aware that a slight twinge of annoyance is nothing but a veil drawn over intense fury.
W-pI.21.3. Try, therefore, not to let the “little” thoughts of anger escape you in the practice periods. 2 Remember that you do not really recognize what arouses anger in you, and nothing that you believe in this connection means anything. 3 You will probably be tempted to dwell more on some situations or persons than on others, on the fallacious grounds that they are more “obvious.” 4 This is not so. 5 It is merely an example of the belief that some forms of attack are more justified than others.
W-pI.21.4. As you search your mind for all the forms in which attack thoughts present themselves, hold each one in mind while you tell yourself:
2 I am determined to see _____ [name of person] differently.
3 I am determined to see _____ [specify the situation] differently.
W-pI.21.5. Try to be as specific as possible. 2 You may, for example, focus your anger on a particular attribute of a particular person, believing that the anger is limited to this aspect. 3 If your perception is suffering from this form of distortion, say:
4 I am determined to see _____ [specify the attribute] in _____ [name of person] differently.
I found yesterday’s lesson very helpful as a short, easily remembered prayer. I am determined to see was something I reminded myself of during the day when I was affected by anything that happened. It was shorthand for, “Look at this with me, Holy Spirit, and heal my mind.” Today’s lesson is even better, I think. Saying that I am determined to see this differently is something I have been doing for a long time, though I usually express it differently. I normally say, “Holy Spirit, show me another way to see this.”
Have you ever gotten caught up in a conversation where you said something badly and upset another person, and in trying to correct the error you just kept digging yourself in deeper? I did that today and it was upsetting. I couldn’t figure out how to extricate myself from the situation without causing more harm. So, I used today’s lesson.
I said that I am determined to see this situation in which I am being misunderstood differently. The solution came immediately. Instead of trying to explain myself, which wasn’t working, I just said that I totally misunderstood the question right from the beginning and that I was sorry and I asked for forgiveness. That seemed to be the only thing to do and it was heartfelt and immediately accepted.
There are two statements in this lesson that have been guiding lights for me when it comes to anger. The first one is this. “5 You will become increasingly aware that a slight twinge of annoyance is nothing but a veil drawn over intense fury.”After reading this, I became hyper-aware of those times I said I was annoyed or aggravated, or even angry. I changed it to enraged or furious. This felt really bad and encouraged me to let it go.
After a while, I understood this sentence on another level. Everything that happens here is simply a representation of the tiny mad idea. When I feel anger about someone or something, that anger was not caused by the person or incident. The situation as I see it is caused by my beliefs and then I experience it.
This means that no matter what person or situation triggers a negative emotion, it was really something in my mind that brought that situation into my life and it was just the effect of the tiny mad idea being experienced again.
Feelings of being abandoned, situations where abandonment seems to occur are representative of the feeling we abandoned God or that He abandoned us. Rage at a person or situation is really rage at God being played out in such a way that it seems to be someone else’s fault. The ego says that we can get rid of our guilt by giving it away and though this never works, we keep trying. Knowing all this, I now have even greater motivation to see this differently. By recognizing that all anger is the same anger, letting each incident be healed through my determination to see differently, I am healing the mind we all share. And I am being self-honest.
The second thing that caught my attention is that we will think that some thoughts are more obvious but we don’t really understand our thinking yet. He says 5 It is merely an example of the belief that some forms of attack are more justified than others. Have I ever thought this was true, that sometimes my anger was justified? Of course, I have. Otherwise, I would have quickly let go of all anger. One thing I can say for sure is that these days there is no anger, no grievance or attack, I will hold onto. I am determined to see every untrue thought differently and also every situation that is the effect of that thought.