I do not perceive my own best interests.
W-pI.24.1. In no situation that arises do you realize the outcome that would make you happy. 2 Therefore, you have no guide to appropriate action, and no way of judging the result. 3 What you do is determined by your perception of the situation, and that perception is wrong. 4 It is inevitable, then, that you will not serve your own best interests. 5 Yet they are your only goal in any situation which is correctly perceived. 6 Otherwise, you will not recognize what they are.
W-pI.24.2. If you realized that you do not perceive your own best interests, you could be taught what they are. 2 But in the presence of your conviction that you do know what they are, you cannot learn. 3 The idea for today is a step toward opening your mind so that learning can begin.
W-pI.24.3. The exercises for today require much more honesty than you are accustomed to using. 2 A few subjects, honestly and carefully considered in each of the five practice periods which should be undertaken today, will be more helpful than a more cursory examination of a large number. 3 Two minutes are suggested for each of the mind-searching periods which the exercises involve.
W-pI.24.4. The practice periods should begin with repeating today’s idea, followed by searching the mind, with closed eyes, for unresolved situations about which you are currently concerned. 2 The emphasis should be on uncovering the outcome you want. 3 You will quickly realize that you have a number of goals in mind as part of the desired outcome, and also that these goals are on different levels and often conflict.
W-pI.24.5. In applying the idea for today, name each situation that occurs to you, and then enumerate carefully as many goals as possible that you would like to be met in its resolution. 2 The form of each application should be roughly as follows:
3 In the situation involving _____, I would like _____ to happen, and _____ to happen,
and so on. 4 Try to cover as many different kinds of outcomes as may honestly occur to you, even if some of them do not appear to be directly related to the situation, or even to be inherent in it at all.
W-pI.24.6. If these exercises are done properly, you will quickly recognize that you are making a large number of demands of the situation which have nothing to do with it. 2 You will also recognize that many of your goals are contradictory, that you have no unified outcome in mind, and that you must experience disappointment in connection with some of your goals, however the situation turns out.
W-pI.24.7. After covering the list of as many hoped-for goals as possible, for each unresolved situation that crosses your mind say to yourself:
2 I do not perceive my own best interests in this situation,
and go on to the next one.
When I first encountered this lesson, I didn’t really believe it. I thought maybe it was possible that sometimes I didn’t know my own best interest in a situation simply because situations so often turned out to be disappointing. But I thought that was probably someone else’s fault. I certainly didn’t believe that I never knew my own best interests until I did this exercise and discovered that it was true. Many of the outcomes I wanted were contradictory.
Because I have learned this lesson very well, I hardly ever think I know my best interest in any situation. I fully accept that. If I find myself wishing for something, I just laugh and let it go. I have no idea what to wish for. I don’t have enough information about anything to make a wish. Also, I have only one goal and that is the peace of God. So, what I want to come of a situation is that it lead to peace.
I suppose if there is anything I could call a goal in my life right now it is that I lose some weight. So, I will use that one.
In this situation in which I want to lose weight, I want to be lighter, to fit in all my clothes, to take the weight off my knees and foot, to be able to go up and down stairs easily, to look better, to overcome emotional eating, to feel more in control, to be happy with myself, to not feel guilty for failing to follow through on my efforts, to not feel unfairly treated as I don’t eat much and yet gain weight easily.
I was a little surprised at the end of this as I see that some of these goals are unreasonable such as losing weight could make me happy. And some are silly, like feeling unfairly treated and feeling guilty. And I say that I want to lose weight but I have been saying that most of my adult like and yet I have never successfully kept off weight for very long and so I must not really want to do this. I also see that the desire to be in control popped up and that surprised me, too, since I so seldom feel that desire anymore having discovered it is not possible.
I wonder, then, what is in my best interest? Since this has been an ongoing goal for most of my adult life, I have taught myself that it is necessary I have this goal met. In that circumstance, how could I be taught otherwise? I think that I am ready to take a leap of faith and let the goal of this unresolved issue. I am ready to be taught. I’ve had this thought before, but I am different now, more open and receptive to the Guide Who has proven Himself to me. Why should I not give Him all parts of my life? It would be silly not to do so.
After talking to Jesus about this, I decided that instead of giving the Holy Spirit my desire to lose weight, I would ask Him to heal my mind of the persistent belief that has led to self-destructive behavior.