Sometimes you have negative, angry thoughts, yet cannot seem to change them. With this exercise, you start the process of using the power of intention and determination to transform your thinking.
Knowing that your anger is a block to your own experience of love, use Lesson 21 to command the mind to see beyond the veil of perception to the knowledge of the heart.
I am determined to see things differently.
The idea for today is obviously a continuation and extension of the preceding one. This time, however, specific mind searching periods are necessary in addition to applying the idea to particular situations as they arise. Five practice periods are urged, allowing a full minute for each.
In the practice periods, begin by repeating the idea to yourself. Then close your eyes and search your mind carefully for situations past, present or anticipated, which arouse anger in you. The anger may take the form of any reaction ranging from mild irritation to rage. The degree of the emotion you experience does not matter. You will become increasingly aware that a slight twinge of annoyance is nothing but a veil drawn over intense fury.
Try, therefore, not to let the "little" thoughts of anger escape you in the practice periods. Remember that you do not really recognize what arouses anger in you, and nothing that you believe in this connection means anything. You will probably be tempted to dwell more on some situations than on others on the fallacious grounds that they are more "obvious." This is not so. It is merely an example of the belief that some forms of attack are more justified than others.
As you search your mind for all the forms in which attack thoughts present themselves, hold each one in mind and tell yourself:
"God, as love, is constantly expanding, flourishing and creating new patterns for the expression and attainment of joy. When our minds, through focus on love, are allowed to be open vessels through which God expresses, our lives become the canvases for the expression of that joy. That's the meaning of our lives. We are here as physical representations of a divine principle. To say that we're on the earth to serve God, means that we're on the earth to love."
— Excerpted from A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles