continued from Part I
The fifth lesson in a Course of Miracles asks you to work with the idea that “I am never upset for the reason I think.”
They give examples like: “I am not angry with/afraid of/upset with for the reason I think.”
I think that's a great exercise! I have tried practicing it and find it most challenging when I am angry or upset with someone! And most of the time, it takes me a while to realize when I am upset or angry with someone or something, I am actually afraid!
My reaction is based on a fear. Usually that I am not worth loving or I am unsafe in some way. It takes some peeling of the onion layers of my psyche to get to that awareness — but we can all do it.
Which fear has gripped you at this time?
Once you have shone a light on that deep, dark fear, you can start to explore its true source. Is it still relevant? Is it true? Is it YOUR fear? On what is it based?
Soon you will find that this fear might have been embedded when you were little and didn't have the choices and resources you have now — so now you can make an adult decision.
Life is easier when you address the REAL issue and not just the perception of what (or who) you think is the problem.
Victim or Student?
Many people fall into the trap of feeling a victim — helpless and hopeless when things go wrong. They give up their personal responsibility and accountability. They rotate through thoughts like: “Why me? Poor me. This always happens to me. Life is unfair,” etc.
It does not help you nor does it endear you to others! Instead, choose to be an avid student! Learn from what has happened to you — seek the lessons. There are always lessons — that's usually why things happen! Once you see yourself as an eager student and you learn your lessons, you can become a teacher and help others. Thinking or feeling like this shifts your attention away from yourself — and moves you towards serving others.
Serving others and connecting with your higher self, or God, Buddha, Allah, Source, The universe or whatever spiritual beliefs you hold is the fast track to joy!
Be an enthusiastic learner! Be cheerful as you learn and have the experiences that bring you wisdom and insight into yourself.
We get excited and enthusiastic about any other journey on which we embark — if it's a holiday or trip to a new place — we are enthusiastic about it! Well — life is all about your inner journey! To all sorts of unexplored places inside you. Be your own “inner travel” agent — you can plan the journey and experiences you want as much as possible. And then deal with those unexpected and unplanned events in the best way possible — with cheerful enthusiasm.
If this all sounds a bit like Pollyanna to you, or unrealistically optimistic or nauseatingly upbeat, remember, your thoughts and feelings are always a choice!
For me, I choose to focus on the sunshine above the clouds and try to learn my lessons quickly and efficiently! So my “plane” takes off faster and bursts through the clouds more quickly. I even try to en-JOY the scary, stormy parts. OK… I still have a way to go, but I am focused on that!
What we think we want is not always what is really best for us. Sometimes it takes time for us to see that!
Remember, miracles happen all the time — we just don't always know it at the time!
Isn't that exciting?
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