The first truth: You must choose between your attachment and happiness. You cannot have both. The moment you pick up an attachment, your heart is thrown out of kilter and your ability to lead a joyful, carefree, serene life is destroyed. See how true this is when you apply it to your chosen attachment.

The second truth: Where did your attachment come from? You were not born with it. It sprang from a lie that your society and your culture have told you, or a lie that you have told yourself, namely, that without this or that, without this person or another, you can’t be happy. Just open your eyes and see how false this is. There are hundreds of people who are perfectly happy without this thing or person or situation that you crave and that you have convinced yourself you cannot live without. So, make your choice: Do you want your attachment? Or do you want your freedom and happiness?

The third truth: If you wish to be fully alive, you must develop a sense of perspective. Life is infinitely greater than this trifle your heart is attached to, that which you have given the power to so upset you. Trifle, yes, because if you live long enough, a day will assuredly come when this thing will cease to matter. It will not even be remembered—your own experience will confirm this. Just as, today, you barely remember and are no longer the least bit affected by those tremendous trifles that so disturbed you in the past.

The fourth truth: The fourth truth brings you to the unavoidable conclusion that no thing or person outside of yourself has the power to make you happy or unhappy. Whether you are aware of it or not, it is you and only you who decides to be happy or unhappy—whether you choose to cling to your attachment or not to in any given situation.

As you ponder these truths, you may become aware that your heart is resisting them or that it argues against them and refuses to look at them. That is a sign that you have not yet suffered enough at the hand of your attachments to really want to do something about them. Or, your heart may have no resistance to these truths—if that is so, rejoice. Repentance, the refashioning of the heart, has begun. The kingdom of God—the gratefully carefree life of children—has come within your grasp at last—and you are about to reach out and take possession of it.