When Happiness Is Elusive

May 21, 2023

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I would wager that everyone on this planet has body issues.  Meaning that there’s something about their body that bothers them – it could be mentally, emotionally or physically disturbing.

As a spiritual counselor I’ve had clients who had body dysmorphia – they appear to be very attractive, very fit, and physically beautiful people who see themselves as ugly, unfit, and their body as being a cause of tremendous suffering because no matter how hard they try they cannot get it to be what they would like – and it’s VERY important to them.

Body dysmorphia is a mental “disorder” that has to do with misperception and identification with the body.  When we think we are our bodies then it invites a whole load of ways to work with the mind. And that’s what bodies are for – challenging the mind.

One of the most basic helpful hints in A Course in Miracles is this:

“Seek not to change the world,

but to change your mind about the world.”

Seek not to change your body, but to change your mind about your body.  This is where the relief from the painful thoughts about our bodies comes.  It can also bring relief from physical pain.  

We can enjoy our bodies without making false idols of them.  

When we feel unworthy of Love we’ll perceive our body as unattractive and unlovable – it doesn’t matter if others think we’re attractive and lovable, we won’t believe them, and so we’ll reject them, or perhaps think of them as undiscerning fools.  

Consider this:  it’s quite common for people in prison, particularly in solitary confinement, to finally find Freedom within the mind.  People whose bodies are intensely challenged have a unique incentive to rise above the battlefield they perceive happening within their body.

All that it takes is a true willingness to see ourselves as Spirit rather than as a body.  We don’t have to figure out HOW to do that, but we do have to ALLOW Spirit to guide us because only Spirit knows the way.

Of course, for most of us, ego thoughts rule the body, and that keeps us revisiting the same beliefs and thoughts looking for an escape from suffering.  When we see ourselves as a body, there’s no escape from the suffering.  

I am not a body, but I have one.  

I have a body to care for and to be kind to.  Trying to change the body is the same as trying to change the world.  Suffering comes automatically with the belief that the world can make us happy or unhappy, which it cannot.

We can have a kind of fleeting happiness when we’re able to reach a new body goal such as fitting into the perfect pants, being able to benchpress a higher weight, running a marathon.  Haven’t we all chased happiness while chasing those body goals?  Maybe we reached them and experienced that fleeting happiness.

Fleeting happiness isn’t true happiness, not Real Joy, instead, what it really is is the release of thinking that we don’t have what we want.  For a moment, we feel happy because we believe we have what we want and it’s no longer escaping us.  

Happiness is fleeting ONLY because we think happiness comes from arranging the world to our satisfaction, which we can only do in small doses.

Someone can win the Academy Award and feel happy, but it won’t last.  It won’t.

In Workbook Lesson #64, ACIM tells us how to achieve true and lasting happiness:

“Only by fulfilling the function given you by God will you be happy.  That is because your function is to be happy by using the means by which happiness becomes inevitable.  There is no other way.  Therefore, every time you choose whether or not to fulfill your function, you are really choosing whether or not to be happy.”

What is our function?  To be the light of the world.  

In other words – to be ourselves – and THAT is not a body.

We can change our mind about our body and have a different experience of our body, but it cannot happen as long as we believe that the body can make us happy or unhappy when it cannot.

If truly changing your mind about your body is of interest, consider this:  let’s be grateful for all the learning bodies allow us.  Check out our new program – Change Your Mind About Your Body using A Course in Miracles principles – this is a 5 month program with a long list of great ACIM teachers including Alan Cohen, Aaron Abke, Lisa Natoli, Gary Renard, Jon Mundy, Bill Free, Cindy Lora Renard, Corinne Zupko and more!  

Follow your intuition instead of what you’ve believed in the past, and it will lead you to realize we’re not bodies, we have bodies, but that’s not what we are or who we are and we can stop thinking that the body is so important that this is where our happiness or misery lies.

We can set ourselves free from these delusions about the body, and all we need is genuine willingness.  How amazing is that?

TODAY:  Sundays With Spirit – Our weekly Sunday spirit celebration all are welcome to join us on zoom – I’m speaking today and Tedd Swartz is our musical inspiration – click here to learn more and sign up to receive the zoom info.  

TODAY:  Q & A for CAMINO WALK in October:  If you’re interested in learning more about my Camino adventure and joining me in Portugal and Spain, we’re having a Q&A zoom call TODAY Sunday, May 21 at 4:30 pm eastern – sign up to learn more and get your questions answered.  Click here now for more info.  

LATEST PODCAST EPISODE!  The most recent episode of my podcast’s topic is Choosing Heaven.  In a world of seeming opposites and the recurring feeling of hell, there’s a way to get to heaven that’s explained in the workbook Lesson 138:  Heaven is the decision I must make.


ACIM, daily prayer, Healing, Inspiration, Jennifer Hadley, Living A Course in Miracles, love, miracles, Peace, prayer, Spirituality

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