See complete instructions in a separate document. A short summary:
- Read the commentary paragraph slowly and personally.
- Pray the prayer, perhaps several times.
- Morning and evening: Repeat the idea and then spend time in Open Mind Meditation.
- Hourly remembrance: Repeat the idea and then spend time in Open Mind Meditation.
- Frequent reminders: Repeat the idea and then spend a quiet moment in meditation.
- Response to temptation: Repeat the idea whenever upset, to restore peace.
- Read the “What Is” section slowly and thoughtfully once during the day.
Practice suggestion: In the spirit of the teaching in this lesson’s opening paragraph, try repeating the following:
I normally wake expecting painful things to come to me.
They seem to fit me because I think I am unholy.
Today I wake expecting only happy things.
They are what really fit me, because I am holy.
Today I ask only for joyful things to come my way. “I will ask for only joyous things the instant I accept my holiness” (1:3). The only reason I experience pain and grief and suffering and loss is because somewhere in my mind I think I deserve it. In some way I think suffering is good for me. I judge myself unholy, in conflict with God and His love, and so I need to be taught a lesson. I need to be rehabilitated. I think suffering and hardship will teach me a lesson. So I send forth an invitation to those kind of thoughts, and by golly they come!
When I accept my holiness, “what would be the use of pain to me?” (1:4). The idea that suffering is necessary is poppycock. We think we learn through our trials. And we do. But what we are learning is not how to become holy; we are learning that we are holy. Once we get ahold of that fact, we don’t need suffering any more. Once we get rid of the idea that we are sinful and guilty, that somehow we need to be whipped into line, we understand that we deserve joy because we are already holy.
We think that if we were to become totally happy too quickly we’d miss something. We are absolutely convinced that our past actions prove that we don’t deserve happiness and are not ready for it. We think some critical element is missing from our personality that only suffering and pain can teach us. Nothing is missing. Nothing is lacking. If the pain, grief, and loss all ended this instant, you would be just fine; you’d be perfect, in fact, because you already are!
It’s as if we have a transmitter in our heads. We have a picture of ourselves as guilty and incomplete. We think suffering is needed to correct that condition. So we broadcast an invitation to pain, suffering, grief, and loss: “Come to me! Help me out. I need to suffer some more.” Because our mind has all the creative power of God, we succeed in our attempt. We make all the suffering happen, at least in appearance.
When we learn to see ourselves as innocent and complete, the perfect creation of the Father, we have no further reason to broadcast such thoughts. Instead we sing, “Send joy only! Send happy things of God. Today I am accepting only the joyous; no suffering allowed.” I am the ruler of the universe (Lesson 253). My mind has complete power to create the experience of life I want. Today, I choose to create joy.