Lesson 5 of The Course In Miracles tells me that "I am never upset for the reason I think." I like to think of myself as quite level-headed and justified if I get upset. Everyone probably feels this way! So why would a spiritual course tell me that I am wrong about this?
The text for the lesson says that "...until you learn that form does not matter, each form becomes a proper subject for the exercises for the day. Applying the same idea to each of them separately is the first step in ultimately recognizing they are all the same." Hmmm, so you are telling me that if I am upset because:
a.) I had to leave Maui
b.) I blew off a workout
c.) I am behind on my website action items
then it is all the same? They sure look like different things to me. But the goal of the lessons is not to question their validity and opt-out if I don't see the point. It is to practice them regardless of how they may rock your little world's perception. So I practiced them as directed, scanning my mind and saying to myself "I am not [worried/upset/angry] about ____ for the reason that I think" whenever I found something that was not copacetic.
There was no magic veil to reality lifted after doing this. It is the cumulative effect of the lessons over the 1-3 years that does the work. Since this is my 2nd time through the lessons, I can offer what this means to me this time around. Keep in mind it was not clear the first time I did the exercise.
Your ability to be in awareness and in tune with divine love is the overriding factor in how you will feel in a given day. In any situation, an event happens externally and then feelings and emotions either happen subconsciously or get chosen consciously. The more in touch with higher awareness and the present moment a person is, the greater the ability to notice emotional feelings being fired off internally.
When the feelings are noticed in the present moment, the conscious individual can determine to feel and experience the emotions, or let the initial feeling drift away and choose a different emotional response. Someone who is in great alignment with divine love will be much more likely to correct their response to situations.
Looking at things that upset me in the short list above, "leaving Maui" was not fun. I felt sadness and irritation at having to leave the island. Noticing these emotions, I consciously agreed that "yes, it does suck terribly to leave Maui." But I then let go of the feeling and focused on what was in front of me instead of running a subconscious script in my head that was triggered by leaving Maui.
There have been times when I am not so present in the moment I feel something I don't want to feel. I may suddenly "wake up" and be staring off into space feeling like crap. I have to piece together the clues and thought-chain that went from one bad thought to another and another to an awful daydream that gave me a pit in my stomach!
For now, simply do the lessons and trust the process will work on you. Here is where you can find lesson 5 of A Course In Miracles.