"Whenever you are not wholly joyous, it is because you have reacted with a lack of love to one of God's creatures. Perceiving this as 'sin,' you become defensive because you expect attack. The decision to react in this way is yours, and can therefore be undone. It cannot be undone by repentance in the usual sense, because this implies guilt. If you allow yourself to feel guilty, you will reinforce the error rather than allow it to be undone for you. . . The first step in the undoing is to recognize that you actively decided wrongly, but can as actively decide otherwise. Be very firm with yourself in this, and keep yourself fully aware that the undoing process, which does not come from you, is nevertheless within you because God placed it there . . . return your thinking to the point at which the error was made, and give it over to the Atonement in peace. Say this to yourself as sincerely as you can, remembering that the Holy Spirit will respond fully to your slightest invitation:
I must have decided wrongly, because I am not at peace.
I made the decision myself, but I can also decide otherwise.
I want to decide otherwise, because I want to be at peace.
I do not feel guilty, because the Holy Spirit will undo all the consequences of my wrong decision if I let Him.
I choose to let Him, by allowing Him to decide for God for me."
ACIM text, pg. 89-90
I fully realize that every moment is a decision either for God or for the ego. You cannot walk with both. (You cannot serve two masters or you will love one and hate the other.) I really have to be on my toes because it is the little things that trip me up. I don't have any BIG problems in terms of the way the world describes problems, but the seeming little ones creep up on me. For example, there are issues with our neighbors and the fact that they don't behave responsibly with their dogs, which impacts not only the dogs but the wildlife in the woods. So yesterday I found myself walking with the ego and becoming angry about the dog thing. My peace went out the window. Finally, when I came home and meditated about it, I gave it over to the Holy Spirit but yet my decision hasn't been fully made because I still find it irritates me, and, as the Course says, there are no small upsets.
"There are no small upsets. They are all equally disturbing to my peace of mind." ACIM Lesson 5
Also, "I am never upset for the reason I think." ACIM Lesson 5
"I am upset because I see something that is not there." ACIM Lesson 6
"I see only the past." ACIM Lesson 7
I am seeing the past behavior of the dogs' owners and the past way the dogs act. Each moment, each encounter with another, is a chance to be "born again" and see them as they are IN THIS MOMENT and not as they were even a MILLISECOND ago. Because time does not exist, only the holy instant exists. And in the holy instant, everyone/everything is as God created them - holy, pure, divine and without any fault. And when I think about ANYTHING through my self versus my Self (my Divine Self guided by the Holy Spirit), my thoughts are meaningless.
Boy, this is very complicated but I GET it! I just have to practice it. This dog thing is an "in my face" thing every morning when I walk and so I'll get plenty of practice.
"If you could accept the world as meaningless and let the truth be written upon it for you, it would make you indescribably happy." ACIM Lesson 12