I am not a body. I am free.
For I am still as God created me.
1. (190) I choose the joy of God instead of pain.
²Pain is my own idea. ³It is not a Thought of God, but one I thought apart from Him and from His Will. ⁴His Will is joy, and only joy for His beloved Son. ⁵And that I choose, instead of what I made.
⁶I am not a body. ⁷I am free.
⁸For I am still as God created me.
There is physical pain and then there is emotional pain. Neither is natural to us. Both are caused by our thoughts. When we make decisions with our ego rather than with the Holy Spirit, we set ourselves up for suffering. If we have a strong practice of noticing our thoughts, we will learn to reject those that are not true and to keep only those that reflect the Thoughts of God.
In the Rules for Decision in Chapter 30 of the Text, Jesus tells us that we make decisions continuously. Here is what he says about this.
⁷You will not make decisions by yourself whatever you decide. ⁸For they are made with idols or with God. ⁹And you ask help of anti-Christ or Christ, and which you choose will join with you and tell you what to do. (ACIM, T-30.I.14:7-9)
³You always ask advice before you can decide on anything. (ACIM, T-30.I.15:3)
⁴Nothing can be caused without some form of union, be it with a dream of judgment or the Voice for God. (ACIM, T-30.I.16:4)
From the study and practice of the Rules for Decision, I have learned to make my decisions in union with the Holy Spirit. I have learned that He is the better advisor and that His interpretations are true. My trust in Him is unreserved. Both the ego and the Holy Spirit advice according to what they think would bring me happiness, but only the Holy Spirit knows what it is I need to be happy.
I have plenty of history to examine to help me determine that the ego doesn’t know what will bring me joy. In making my decisions with the split mind, I went through periods of excessive drinking, casual drug experimentation, sex, and three marriages. I have sought happiness through the body, through business success, through more money, then less money, in surrounding myself with people, and when that didn’t bring me happiness, I tried solitude. There were hobbies and jobs, parenthood, looking for love with no understanding of love. I have had a life full of seeking and if I learned anything it is that the ego has no idea how to achieve joy.
Surrendering to the Holy Spirit is what finally brought peace and joy into my life. I discovered that through consistent practice, I have instructed my mind to always turn to the Holy Spirit for advice. If I temporarily fall into old habits and depend on the split mind, the effect convinces me to quickly change my mind. I have come to value peace and happiness over any temporary pleasure I might feel when following the ego. The Holy Spirit has not always guided me to what I thought I wanted, but always to what, in the long run, brought me joy. It is joy that God means for me to have.
It is always up to us what choices we make, and these choices will determine for us and all of the Sonship whether we will remain in this hell we made or wake up from it. We are in charge.
³Having chosen to go that way, you place yourself in charge of the journey, where you and only you must remain. (ACIM, T-6.V-A.6:3)
⁴You have a Guide to how to develop them (abilities), but you have no commander except yourself. ⁵This leaves you in charge of the Kingdom, with both a Guide to find it and a means to keep it. (ACIM, T-6.IV.9:4-5)
³Today’s idea places you in charge of the universe, where you belong because of what you are. (ACIM, W-70.2:3)
It behooves us to learn to make all our decisions with the Holy Spirit so that they will bring us Home rather than taking us down more dead-end roads.