Miracle #15 - The Peace of God is Everything I Want
Yesterday, two different friends said the same words to me on the telephone during two different conversations: "I want what you have."
They were not referring to my home, my family, my body, my bank account, my education, or anything else that I "have".
They were referring to my happiness and peace of mind - known in the Bible as the "peace that passeth all understanding".
In this world, we are raised to believe that our happiness and peace depend upon outside circumstances.
If we are healthy, have money in the bank, and good relationships, then we can relax and be happy. But as soon as one of those things is threatened - we lose our health, get fired from our job, or our boyfriend dumps us - our happiness and peace go with them.
We don't believe that we can truly be happy when things are not "going our way".
Even if you know that peace and happiness come from within, they can be difficult to feel when everything seems to be falling apart around you.
How do we arrive at this state where we are unaffected by our surroundings?
Yesterday I had a day where many things seemed to go wrong:
The weather was nasty, rainy, cold and dreary
I woke up to 2 sales in my Ebay store, but had no boxes in which to ship them
My daughter missed the bus and I had to take her school
Because I took my daughter to school, I missed breakfast and had to rush to my tai chi class
Then I received a call in the middle of my ACIM study group from the school nurse that my daughter had injured her hand in gym class
I had to drive back to the school to pick my daughter up instead of going home to eat lunch
Basically, I ran out the door at 8:30 and didn't get home until 1:30
In the past, this day would have upset me.
I would have been displeased with the weather, aggravated with my daughter, unhappy at skipping breakfast, annoyed that I had to go back to the high school for a second time, and frustrated that I had lost 5 hours out of my day.
However, yesterday was a wonderful and happy day for me:
I had time to chat with my daughter and enjoy her company during our two drives
My tai chi class was fun - we focused on my favorite weapon and I got to socialize with 2 friends
Someone brought snacks to share at my ACIM study group, so even though I missed breakfast, I got a bite to eat
Someone else at my ACIM study group gifted me with empty boxes that were perfect for my Ebay sales
After a tremendous rain storm, tornado watch and flash flood warnings, we had a gorgeous rainbow
I got phone calls from my two friends (mentioned above) and enjoyed visiting with them both
In short, the same day that would have been an aggravating experience for me in the past was a pleasant experience because of a shift in perception.
In order to arrive at the state of happiness and peacefulness where nothing bothers us, we must be willing to shift our perception.
We must be willing to admit that what we think we know about the world may not be true.
We have to be open and willing to see things differently.
"Seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world." (Text, Chapter 21)
Once we have doubted what we think we know a tiny bit, a little ray of sunshine can pierce the veil of illusion that seems real to us.
We think that things around us are solid - but what if they are not? What if they are just made of atoms and molecules and a whole lot of empty space?
We think that terrorists are trying to kill us - but what if they are not? What if they are people just like us who are so miserable with their lives that they have gone on a rampage and just need some love and kindness?
We think that we are bodies vulnerable to sickness, old age and death, but what if we are not? What if we are eternal, perfect, whole spirits, capable of infinite possibilities?
What if we - and everyone we know - have been wrong about everything?
A Course in Miracles says that depending on a job, a relationship, our health or any material thing for our happiness is idol-worship.
We have made things outside of us, which we believe hold the key to our peace and happiness, into idols.
Only God can give us peace and happiness. Only God is important. The rest is all illusion.
My peace is unperturbed by external circumstances because I know and trust that God's will for me is perfect happiness.
I came to this point by realizing that there is no lasting happiness in this world.
Every time that I achieved a goal in life, I felt a small let-down. I then went on to the next goal, thinking that once I achieved it I would finally be happy. My happiness and peace of mind were paramount but I did not know how to achieve them.
Finally, I just threw my hands up in frustration and realized that I do not know what anything is for!
I relied on Jesus, through this book, to show me what things were for.
I learned that I was not able to see anything properly because I had preconceived ideas about everything.
I learned to drop my beliefs and just be open to look at things another way.
I learned to see things with Christ's vision instead of with my eyeballs.
And I learned how to enjoy life EVERY DAY.
If I did this, you can do it too. And if we all can do it, oh, what a wonderful world!
When everyone feels happy, everyone treats everyone else nicely. We all extend love to another, and life is filled with miracles.
This is the transformation of hell into heaven!
Heaven is chosen consciously. The choice cannot be made until alternatives are accurately seen and understood. All that is veiled in shadows must be raised to understanding, to be judged again, this time with Heaven's help. And all mistakes in judgment that the mind had made before are open to correction as the truth dismisses them as causeless. - Workbook Lesson 138