You are Not Who You Think You Are
Maria Felipe’s work is based on a book called A Course in Miracles (ACIM). She explains “This self-study spiritual thought system helps students develop a relationship with the ‘internal teacher’ it calls the Holy Spirit, which in turn helps us change how we see the world on a daily basis.”
We can choose to see the world through the eyes of love or through the eyes of fear. This is the fundamental choice of our everyday life. In the terms of A Course in Miracles, this means deciding between the thought systems of the Holy Spirit or the ego.
The whole world as we experience it exists because most people choose ego — the way of fear — most of the time. That is, we tend to think that we are separate, alone, unworthy, and guilty. Please excuse my Spanish if I suggest that this is all a bunch of caca!
In fact, I call the ego our “cuckoo” voice: It’s the part of the mind that worries, judges, fears, and holds grudges. In short, the ego is out to kill our happy. The good news is that another completely different way of thinking is available to us. The Holy Spirit is right there inside our minds, waiting for the chance to remind us that happiness is our divine right! We have the power to choose freedom, and even though we may forget we have that choice, we always have more opportunities to choose love. The patience and kindness of the Holy Spirit never goes away. Whenever we drift away, the Holy Spirit just waits for our return.
We drift because the ego can be very powerful. It convinces us of two simultaneous, contradictory ideas: The first is that we’re unworthy, unlovable, and just not good enough; and the second is that we’ll somehow find happiness out in the world, even though we don’t really deserve it. Thus, our ego convinces us that if we somehow find the perfect job or relationship, we’ll be happy. If we put tons of cash in the bank, we’ll be happy. If we graduate from college, get a promotion, and so on, we’ll be happy. But as the Course puts it so bluntly: “The ego’s rule is, ‘Seek but do not find’ [and] ‘Try to learn but do not succeed’ ” (ACIM, ch. 12, section V). Obviously, there’s just no way to win with this thought system.
Your Happy Comes from Within
We have two teachers we can choose from. Depending on which thought system we choose, we are literally deciding whether to live in hell (where ego takes us) or heaven (the Holy Spirit’s neighborhood). These are not places in the afterlife; they are the ways we experience existence right now. We will experience our existence exactly as we choose: “Your picture of the world can only mirror what is within. The source of neither light nor darkness can be found without” (ACIM, workbook lesson 73).
For example, when I was going through my divorce, my ex-husband once called to express some anger that left me feeling very sad. My ego reaction came up right away: Who does he think he is? What a jerk! Poor me! I haven’t done anything wrong. He should be paying me alimony… Blah blah blah. After a while I caught on, looked at where my thoughts were taking me, and began to pray: “Holy Spirit, I am feeling very sad. All my thoughts are hurting me now. I must have chosen wrongly, so now I choose again. Heal my mind, Holy Spirit — I want peace instead of this.”
To my surprise, a stillness came over me right away. Soon I even began laughing. I realized that what I was thinking was just coming from my ego, the fear-driven part of my mind, and that I did not need to buy into it! I remembered this principle of the Course: Whatever you accept into your mind has reality for you. It is your acceptance of it that makes it real. The rest of my day was wonderful!
Excerpted from the book Live Your Happy: Get Out of Your Own Way and Find the Love Within.
Maria Felipe is the author of Live Your Happy. After experiencing success as a model and actress, including hosting World Wrestling Federation TV shows, she felt called inward and studied to become a reverend at Pathways of Light, an accredited religious school inspired by A Course in Miracles. She leads monthly services in both Spanish and English at Unity Church in Burbank, CA. Visit her online at www.MariaFelipe.org.