Lesson 117 • April 27


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Lesson 117

Review 3

Practice Instructions

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“Let me remember love is happiness and nothing else brings joy” (1:2). One of the things that over time has convinced me of the truth of the Course is this very experience: I am happiest when I am loving. I don’t just mean “I’m happy when I’m in love,” in the romantic sense of the word, although that certainly isn’t excluded. When love flows through me, whether it is in a closely intimate relationship or in something more “distant” (sitting here writing these notes and thinking of all of you, for instance), I am happy. Loving makes me happy. No, more than that: “Love is happiness” (1:2).

(Barry Kaufman wrote a wonderful book called To Love Is to Be Happy With.1 I always thought that was a profound title.)

On the other hand, anger is misery. If I think about how I feel when I am angry, I will notice that I don’t like the way I feel. As much as the Course is about concepts and about changing our mind, often the change of mind is a decision about feelings: “You can begin to change your mind with this: At least I can decide I do not like what I feel now” (T-30.I.10:1-2). Feelings can be very useful when we think about them, and use them as motivators for changing our mind. Anger makes me miserable; loving makes me happy. Therefore, I will choose love. Is that paying attention to feelings, or is it logic? Or both? Whatever it is, it works.

I said that noticing that loving and happiness go together has helped convince me that the Course is true. Here’s why. The Course says we are wholly loving and wholly loveable. It says, “Teach only love, for that is what you are” (T-6.I.20:2). Sometimes I don’t feel as if I am love. Yet if when I love I am happy, love must be my will; it must be my nature. What is happiness, except the freedom to be myself and to fulfill my nature? If I am happy when I love, then I must be love.

That is what this line means: “Love is my heritage, and with it joy” (2:2). My heritage. My nature. What I am. Love belongs to me in truth, and with it happiness, since they are the same thing.

Today, as often as I can, I intend to remind myself: “Love is happiness.” And then, in that moment, to just be the love that I am. If I want to be always happy, let me always be loving. And joyous! Oh, the happiness and joy when the heart opens and lets out the love! May I not cause myself pain today by holding it back. God bless you all!

1. Barry Neil Kaufman, To Love Is to Be Happy With (New York: Fawcett Crest Books, 1977).