The Seeker of Peace


Happiness as an Obligation
December 17, 2008, 10:02 am
Filed under: Forgiveness, God, Suffering | Tags: , , , , , ,

Over the past few days, I’ve come to an important realization: we have an obligation to be happy.

I credit this insight mostly to A Course In Miracles. I recently did Lesson 100, which states, “My part is essential to God’s plan for salvation.” The lesson goes on to explain that my part is to be happy. I can then spread joy to everyone else. Seen this way, wallowing in misery is a downright selfish choice.

It’s been hard for me to be happy. Between my chronic Crohn’s Disease, the stresses of my job, and the continual drumbeat of terrible national and world news (which I must follow thanks to my job), it’s been much easier to be sad and depressed.

One of my recurring self-destructive ego thoughts has been that I don’t deserve to be happy. A Course In Miracles addresses this very directly. Sin is not real, and anything undeserving I think I’ve done is merely illusion. In fact, the workbook covers this in the context of happiness in Lesson 101. However, knowing that intellectually hasn’t made it much easier.

However, seeing happiness as an obligation changes the equation. Regardless of whether I deserve to be happy, I owe it to everyone else to be happy! It’s not selfish to be happy, it’s the ultimate charitable act.

Much of the earlier Course material made sense on an intellectual level, but I had trouble applying it on an emotional level. I understood that feeling guilt was pointless, but my ego kept piling it on. Now, I have a very rational counter to the ego: even if there were some value in the guilt hurting me, it’s wrong to let my guilt hurt the world.

Yesterday and today, I’ve been using the Sedona Method to work on the goal statement, “I allow myself to be happy.” I’ve tried to do that before, but my ego got in my way. Now, I’m rapidly feeling happier than I have in a long time.

I finally understand that we can simply choose to let ourselves be happy. I had heard this before and not believed it. Now, I see that I simply never allowed myself to make the choice!

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1 Comment so far
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While it’s true that we have a choice- the real choice is between listening to the ego’s version of things or listening to the Holy Spirit (which would put us in our right mind). As I understand ACIM, you need not feel guilty for not choosing happiness- rather, it is an opportunity to see how much we prefer to be unhappy rather than experience the peace of God. Ken Wapnick often talks about looking with Jesus at our choice for the ego- which would mean looking at our choice to be unhappy without judgment.

Many thanks for sharing your spiritual journey!

Comment by Roia




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