“Once I evict those destructive thoughts, I fill the void with healthful and helpful thoughts. Thoughts that line up with the Mind of Christ.” …Kathy Carlton Willis
It’s not often that I begin a post with two quotes from the same person. But as I searched for some to enhance this post, these two lit up brightly for me. Kathy Willis is an American author and a contributor to at least eight books. I don’t know much more about her, but the love and wisdom these two quotes portray tells me she is very deserving and fully worthy of quoting.
Forgiveness is the key to happiness …ACIM
The above quote is the Title of Lesson 121 in the Course. The second sentence in the same Lesson continues with this, concerning the title: “Here is the key to meaning in a world which seems to make no sense.” I find this information so enlightening and uplifting because of my firm belief that Life has no other purpose than happiness.
A life devoid of happiness has absolutely no meaning. That’s why Jesus links forgiveness with happiness, and then proceeds to tell those who can hear that it’s the key to meaning in a world which seems to make no sense.
In Lesson 103, he also tells us that “Happiness is an attribute of love. It cannot be apart from it, nor can it be experienced where love is not.” This is the reason why I was so immediately attracted to Kathy Willis’ beautiful quote in the image above: God’s Love shows us how to forgive. His Forgiveness shows us how to love.
“Happiness is the first principle of life. But you must choose it.” …Alexandra Stoddard
Alexandra Stoddard is, amoung other things, a well-know lifestyle philosopher. Her declaration that Happiness is the first principle of life falls right in line with my belief that happiness is not only the first principle of life, but is its only purpose.
Most people believe that happiness depends on some external happening or event. Something like finding the perfect career or the perfect partner, maybe winning the lottery, or receiving a large inheritance. On and on it goes, the list is nearly endless, but when they reach that perceived milestone they soon find it empty and unfulfilling.
The world-famous actor and comedian, Jim Carrey, must have experienced this emptiness and unfulfillment personally. I say this because of his now famous words: “I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.”
You must choose it
As Ms. Stoddard implied if you desire happiness then it’s there for you to choose. But it’s not happiness you’ve chosen if it comes for a while, and then departs your company leaving you more sad than you were before it arrived.
As mentioned above, Happiness is an attribute of love. This love mentioned here is not the romantic emotion we experience in this physical world, which we have mistakenly named love. This is God’s Love, which is the only love there is, as the Course points out in Lesson 127: “There is no love but God’s.”
Even though there’s many, many people who will disagree I’m going to state that it’s impossible to be genuinely happy until we make the decision to become aware of our own reality. Oh I understand there’s those feel-good times of having fun, laughter, of family accomplishments, having a ball, so to speak. But these times of happiness are summed up in this metaphor that every one of us has uttered at one time or another: “All good things must come to an end.”
That’s the way of physicality, everything is temporary, including the bit of perceived happiness we allow ourselves to experience. As the Course explains, “You look for permanence in the impermanent, for love where there is none.”
Learning Requires Repetition
This site may seem repetitive at times, and that’s because it is. It has only one message that it keeps repeating in different forms, which is, as the Course points out: “Nothing but the truth is true and what is false is false.” I keep repeating this, albeit in different ways, because I need to learn it, and the Course also tells us: “This is the hardest lesson you will ever learn, and in the end the only one.”
And now a question rears its head, looks me directly in the eye, and asks, what on earth are you talking about; how can it be difficult to learn that what’s true is true; and what’s false is false?
There I go again, asking questions which, even though I think I know the answers, are difficult to answer clearly and coherently. But that being said, I’m going to attempt to answer them not only clearly and coherently but also plainly and simply, which keeps in character with me, because I’m a plain and simple person with a strong desire to learn.
There’s no Truth in Perception
For starters, the truth is different for each of us, that’s because our understanding is based on perception. Therefore, we see things differently; what is true for you, isn’t necessarily true for me. And vice versa; that which I perceive as truth you may perceive as completely false.
But there are some basic and simple truths that all of us can accept. For example, Rene Descartes concluded that he existed by realizing he was thinking. He didn’t reach that conclusion by understanding he was breathing. or that he could see, or feel, etc. For these are physical activities, and he doubted, and in my opinion rightly so, anything physical even existed. But when he realized he could think, he had to believe his existence was real, albeit not physical. Which prompted him to utter the famous quote: “I think therefore I am.”
And I think that’s a truth that all of us can accept as being true, which shows us that the truth is very simple, and not complicated at all. Which is exactly why we find it so hard to learn, as the Course informs us: “Nothing is so alien to you as the simple truth, and nothing are you less inclined to listen to.”
“Once I evict those destructive thoughts, I fill the void with healthful and helpful thoughts.”
The above quote is by Kathy Willis and is part of my opening quote for this post. It’s those thoughts, which she calls destructive, that keep us from awareness of the truth of our own reality. They’re the negative and false thoughts we hold and keep repeating to ourselves.
We keep telling ourselves things like, life is short, time goes really fast, all good things must come to an end, all things are born to die, sickness is a normal part of life, etc., etc.. But none of these things are true except in our own perception. They have no connection to truth at all, therefore they fill our minds with fear, worry, sadness and other negative stuff most of the time.
The simple truth is, you always were, you are now, and you will always be, as God created you. It matters not how you perceive yourself, what you think you are, or what you tell yourself, this is still the simple truth about you, and it will never change. As the Course tells us, “You are and will forever be exactly as you were created. Light and joy and peace abide in you because God put them there.”
It’s Your Choice
You’re either a body of flesh with your mind trapped inside it, and therefore limited to it. Or you’re a creation of God with an unlimited mind which surrounds and contains everything that’s real. There is no choice in this, you’re either one or the other, and every decision you make depends on which one you believe you are. As the Course points out, “You always choose between your weakness and the strength of Christ in you.”
Even though, as the above quote implies, the strength of Christ can be called upon in our decisions, it does not dwell in a flesh body. Yet the above quote says it’s in you, which can mean nothing other than your true Self is not a body.
And this is the simple choice which we all must make eventually. We must decide if we’re going to call upon the Strength of Christ or our weakness. There’s no such thing as not making this choice, for every moment of our lives we are making decisions, and choosing one or the other. The majority of us always choose weakness because we have been taught and conditioned to believe that we’re no more than physical bodies; weak, frail and vulnerable. Therefore we choose our weakness by default, believing that’s all we are.
But we can consciously choose differently, as Kathy Willis went on to add in my opening quote. She went on to imply that once we evict these destructive thoughts which we hold about ourselves, then those that line up with the Mind of Christ take their place. And it’s these types of thoughts that are brimming and overflowing with his Strength.
I’m going to close this post with a quote from The Buddha. He said, The mind is everything. What you think you become.
Thank you for visiting this blog – I really and truly appreciate it
A POSITIVE MIND HELPS MAKE A HAPPY LIFE
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