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Choosing Happiness

August 26, 2012 1 Comment

I didn’t start off the day in a great mood.  I was super tired.  My boys woke up at 5:50 a.m. (during my meditation/prayer time) and were not listening at all.  My meditation was weak, even before the boys woke up.  My stomach was bloated.  My hair needed to be washed (for those who don’t know, I have a thick afro so it takes a while to comb through).  I had known all week that my husband was going to have to work this Sunday, but I didn’t plan anything to do with our boys.  The list goes on and on.  I can’t even pretend like I wasn’t frustrated.  It could have easily been “one of those days” if I had given into the negative thoughts I was having.   I would have had an attitude with my husband, been disengaged when talking with people, felt annoyed with the boys all day, and just had an overall “sucky” day. 

While in the shower, I listened to Gary Renard’s Secrets of the Immortal, which started to get me back on the right track, but I was still being stubborn and holding on to some of my frustration.  In that moment, I decided what today’s activity would be.  We would visit a spiritual community that we hadn’t visited in over a month.  I had a feeling that today’s message would be exactly what I needed to hear.  I was feeling better already.  That is, until I heard screams from the other room.  My 3-year old thought it would be “fun” to play in my grapefruit essential oil (which, ironically, is supposed to be a mood lifter) and he got it in his eyes and his 1.5 year old brother’s eyes.  They were screaming at the top of their lungs, and I felt horrible.  I was upset with myself for leaving the bottle within their reach, and I was upset with them for “always getting into everything”.  My husband and I got them cleaned up, and ready to get out of the house.   

The drive over was uneventful.  We arrived to the spiritual center about 15 minutes early, and walked in to the blissful sound of the musical inspiration.  I was still in a “blah” mood, and was praying that the boys wouldn’t act up because that would have been all I needed to set me off.  They sat quietly and cuddled with me as we listened to the music (normally they would have been jumping up and down).  When I went to drop them off in the toddler room, they stayed there with no fuss at all (which also was not normal).  I got back to the santuary just in time for prayer and meditation.  Unlike early this morning, I was able to sink into the sweetness of the presence of God without interruption.  As the minister began to introduce the guest speaker for the day,  I felt a little disappointed that she wasn’t going to be speaking but still believed the message was going to be just what I needed.  

After a brief introduction, the speaker introduced his topic: “Happiness is an inside job”.  I almost fell out of my chair.  That exact line had popped in front of me multiple times over the last week via Facebook status updates, my Twitter feed, and an inspirational email newsletter I subscribe to.  I barely paid attention to it because my ego was telling me “You already know that”.  In that moment, even before the guest speaker uttered another word, I realized what the Spirit was trying to remind me of.  While I have been immersed in the study of the power of the mind and “get” the fact that our thoughts are creating our experiences, I don’t always remember to actively choose another thought that is aligned with Truth when in the thick of moments of frustration.  My happiness is not dependent upon external circumstances, it’s dependent upon my perception of those circumstances.  Or, as today’s speaker said, “You will be happy when you make the decision to be happy.” 

If I remember that in those moments of frustration, it will make all the difference in my day-to-day experience.  I have the power to change my thought and, thus, change my life.  One of the most powerful thought shifters for me is “all things are working together for your good”.  I believe in a power greater than myself, and I call that “power” God.  I know that there is no challenging circumstance that hasn’t turned around and worked out for the highest good for all involved.  How could I not be happy knowing that everything is working together for my good?  The challenge is remembering – that’s where the Holy Spirit comes in…to consistently guide me to gentle reminders of Truth like this one. 

I’m so grateful that opportunities to change my mind, or “choose once again” as A Course in Miracles states, never cease to present themselves.  When I miss the message or choose to think negatively, another opportunity to realign myself with the unconditional love and forgiveness of God is around the corner.  Everything lined up in perfect order today so that I could fully receive the message that had been trying to penetrate my mind for the past week.  We have the power to choose to align with the ego or God in each and every moment.  I release the guilt, shame, blame, judgement, and anger that the ego had me fixated on this morning. 

I choose to align my thoughts with the peace, joy, compassion, kindness, and gentleness of God in response to all that is causing me any sense of frustration.  The result of this choice is happiness – now. 

Everytime I am not happy, I know that I have made the wrong choice and that I have the power to change that.  I don’t have to wait for circumstances to change, I only have to change my mind.  See below for an excerpt from A Course in Miracles that was read aloud by Gary Renard on the Secrets of the Immortal audio I listened to while in the shower.  It really brings it all home.  I hope this helps you as much as it helped me today!  

You always choose between your weakness and the strength of Christ in you. And what you choose is what you think is real. Simply by never using weakness to direct your actions, you have given it no power. And the light of Christ in you is given charge of everything you do. For you have brought your weakness unto Him, and He has given you His strength instead.

Trials are but lessons that you failed to learn presented once again, so where you made a faulty choice before you now can make a better one, and thus escape all pain that what you chose before has brought to you. In every difficulty, all distress, and each perplexity Christ calls to you and gently says, “My brother, choose again.” He would not leave one source of pain unhealed, nor any image left to veil the truth. He would not leave you comfortless, alone in dreams of hell, but would release your mind from everything that hides His face from you. His Holiness is yours because He is the only power that is real in you. His strength is yours because He is the Self that God created as His only Son.

The images you make cannot prevail against what God Himself would have you be. Be never fearful of temptation, then, but see it as it is; another chance to choose again, and let Christ’s strength prevail in every circumstance and every place you raised an image of yourself before. For what appears to hide the face of Christ is powerless before His majesty, and disappears before His holy sight. The saviors of the world, who see like Him, are merely those who choose His strength instead of their own weakness, seen apart from Him. They will redeem the world, for they are joined in all the power of the Will of God. And what they will is only what He wills.

Learn, then, the happy habit of response to all temptation to perceive yourself as weak and miserable with these words:

“I am as God created me. His Son can suffer nothing. And I am His Son.”

Thus is Christ’s strength invited to prevail, replacing all your weakness with the strength that comes from God and that can never fail. And thus are miracles as natural as fear and agony appeared to be before the choice for holiness was made. For in that choice are false distinctions gone, illusory alternatives laid by, and nothing left to interfere with truth.

Keep Shining!


About the Author:

I used to live life shackled by fear, doubt, and worry. I put on a happy face while navigating my day-to-day duties, but I was emotionally drained, stressed, and unhappy. When I hit rock bottom, and was diagnosed with depression and anxiety, I was determined to live life differently. I knew there had to be another way. Out of that determination, and guidance from Spirit, the "Living in the Light" blog was born. It documents my spiritual journey out of the darkness and into the Light. After nine months of publicly sharing my journey, and consciously releasing my attachment to the ego, I experienced a powerful spiritual awakening. I went from living in fear, doubt, worry, and stress to complete inner peace. My greatest passion has become assisting others on their own journey to inner peace. My spiritual memoir, From Stress to Peace: An Intimate Journal on the Journey from Living in Darkness to Living in the Light, is available now on Amazon and Click the tabs at the top of the page to learn more about the From Stress to Peace 21-Day Challenge, Living in the Light Retreats, 1:1 sessions, and the Living in the Light Community - all of which are designed to support your journey to inner peace. I appreciate you taking the time to visit the blog and look forward to supporting you in any way I can!