[Please note: ACIM passages quoted in this article reference the Foundation for Inner Peace (FIP) Edition.]
I wrote in my last post about very painful event in my life, so I thought perhaps it was time for an update. I’m still experiencing emotional ups and downs, but my Course practice continues to help, and today I can honestly say that overall, I’m doing pretty well.
Two practice themes I mentioned in that last post—trust and joy—have become my primary practice themes of late. My goal is to trust my life to the Holy Spirit to such a degree that I experience what I’m calling “unconditional happiness”: Happiness that remains constant regardless of what’s happening in my external life. Reaching that state permanently is a long-range goal to be sure, but I’m trying to move steadily in that direction.
I’ve been getting a lot of mileage out of Lesson 100 lately. The theme of this lesson is that our function is to be joyful, so that everyone who encounters us will, through experiencing our joy, come to realize that God’s Will for them is joy as well. It draws upon a principle that we all understand from personal experience: Our mood is infectious. Our sadness will tend to bring others down, while our joy will tend to lift everyone’s spirits.
For me, there’s something powerful about the idea that my function is joy, and other people are depending on me to find that joy within and share it with them. The realization that my emotional state has such a powerful effect on others gives me a strong incentive to let go of my self-absorbed sadness and cultivate a state that I would want to share with others. Being happy is part of my job. Not a bad job, really.
Just today, I found a line from Lesson 135 that links the trust and joy themes: “Your present trust in Him is the defense that promises a future undisturbed, without a trace of sorrow, and with joy that constantly increases, as this life becomes a holy instant, set in time, but heeding only immortality” (W-pI.135.19:1). There it is in a nutshell: If I will just trust the Holy Spirit to run my life, He will guarantee my happiness.
I’ve been using this line as the focus of my practice today, and it has really lifted my mental state. I’m going to continue working on developing that “present trust in Him.” What would it be like for my entire life to be a holy instant, with joy constantly increasing? That sounds very appealing to me.