“When you think of acting out of love, your thoughts of love are based on sentiment and must be challenged. Love is not being nice when you are feeling surly. Love is not doing good deeds of charity and service. Love is not throwing logic to the wind and acting in foolish ways that pass as gaiety but cannot masquerade as joy.” (ACOL, C:4.12)
If we are “acting,” we are indeed acting. Just playing a part in the masquerade that passes for true living in this world. We don’t choose to act in illusion any longer. We choose really to live in love.
If we are feeling irritated, or, as Jesus says, “surly,” then what do we do then? Do we give vent to the emotion that we are feeling?
Surely not. But we can’t suppress it, either. So what do we do?
The best and surest antidote is to pray the bad feeling out of our system. God will answer us when we are lost in the egoic tenor of bad feelings. Of irritability. Of surliness. He knows our limitations, and these bad emotions are a hangover from our days of letting the ego rule us. If we were to ignore the sane solution of praying to get our emotions straightened out, we would be living a lie. Being “nice” is a solution that won’t work, for almost anybody with whom we come in contact will see our negativity below the façade of a sweet face.
If we do charitable deeds, they must come from the heart. Trying to merit heaven won’t work, either. We can’t do anything to merit heaven, for it is beyond the concepts of good and bad. Heaven is there, waiting for us, when we have tried all the pathways to peace, and we have found all but one untenable. The one that works in the genuine emotion of choosing love in every situation without smoothing over negative emotions with niceness. God will help. Without Him, there would be no hope at all.
We are insufficient to save ourselves. Perhaps we have always known this, but the ego has hidden this fact from our minds. But our hearts know this truth, and our hearts also know the way Home.
Listen to the heart in every instance. God will speak through our hearts. Turning one’s mind over to the influence of the heart is the way to make good things happen. The heart is the best thing that we have going for ourselves.