It's What You Think
It’s not what you do, it’s what you think. What’s the "it" I’m referring to? A state of perfect peace.
We are so conditioned to believe that happiness is a function of circumstance. If only the world were a certain way, then I’d be more positive. If only this person were a certain way, then I’d feel better. If only my bank account were a certain way, then I’d be satisfied. If only my body were a certain way, then I’d be less anxious.
It seems emotions are the result of what’s going on in this thing we call "life".
But what if that’s not true? What if we’ve got it all wrong?
It’s not what’s going on that matters. It’s what you think that makes all the difference.
It doesn’t take much introspection to realize that all emotion is preceded by thought. What is far more difficult to discern is that thoughts are not caused, nor even influenced by external situations; they arise in the mind.
The mind is the source of peace or pain, which in each moment we choose. We will then experience some form of that decision. Any sense of distress or discomfort is the result of the choice for the mind of suffering. The experience in form merely what A Course in Miracles calls "an outward picture of an inward condition."
That the world is not responsible for how we feel is quite liberating. After all, imagine if it were true that peace was conditioned on the world, other people, circumstances, and our body being just so. That would be a sad state of affairs, one we all know only too well.
Yet consider the tremendous release of unconditional joy that can be experienced simply by making a different choice in the mind. That is the truth toward which the great spiritual teachings lead. "It is with your thoughts, then, that we must work, if your perception of the world is to be changed." (W-pI.23.1)
Join me in Thursday’s class where we’ll explore why "it’s what you think" that makes all the difference between suffering and serenity. I look forward to seeing you then.