How to Be Happy and to Have Peace

ACIM Workbook Lesson 20 – for Thursday, January 20, 2011

Affirmation:  “I am determined to see.”

Selected Passage:

“You want to be happy.  You want peace.  You do not have them now, because your mind is totally undisciplined, and you cannot distinguish between joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain, love and fear.  You are now learning how to tell them apart.  And great indeed will be your reward.  (WB31)”


The injunction to repeat today’s affirmation twice an hour may not be easy to follow.  But great will be our reward when we remember.  We are being led to a restructuring of our thoughts, a restructuring that will allow us to distinguish pain from joy.  Believe it or not at this point, Jesus tells us that we do not really know the difference.  In fact, he says elsewhere, we may want that which will actually bring us pain, thinking that therein lies happiness.

We may also get involved in delaying tactics that will keep our salvation from us, learning things that do not count for anything, simply because their value will not last.  To want to learn things that do not count for anything does not make any sense, but then our minds are insane at this point.  We are likely to want that which will hurt us the most.

To get out of this dilemma, we are encouraged throughout ACIM to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  We may know His guidance through feelings, interior words of guidance (that will do no harm, and so discernment is necessary), an inner “knowing,” and following deep prayer.  As time goes on, we will take up other ways that the guidance of the Holy Spirit comes through.  It is enough to know that it is there for all to partake, and each will have his or her unique way of understanding.  The point is that we must be flexible enough to turn on a dime, to alter our rigid ways, and to follow the guidance that comes through.

Our reward will be very great when we live a day without planning, when we let the Holy Spirit take over.  Indeed, unnecessary planning against contingencies to come is one of three ways that we fall away from the grace that Jesus offers to us.  (The other two are attack and judging.)


Dear Father/Mother,

Like everybody else, I want happiness and peace.  And ACIM says that these are worthy goals.  Happiness is not a selfish emotion; peace is our birthright.  May I take steps today to learn the pathway that will lead me to happiness and peace.  Help me to distinguish those things that take these goals farther away from me.

Thank You for the constant guidance of the Holy Spirit.  When I am flexible enough to follow His guidance, then I have a good day.  May I have a good day today.


Author: Celia Hales

I intend "Miracles Each Day" to offer inspiration and insight into A Course in Miracles, A Course of Love, The Way of Mastery, Choose Only Love, Mirari, and similar readings.

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