[Excerpt from TT: 2005-04-03]
[Tibtyc] Greetings. I read in Messages from Michael: “There is only growth, often difficult, mostly painful because so few of you are willing to learn through joy.” How can we better learn through joy? And how can we learn to like joy, prefer it to pain? That is my question.
[M Entity] To learn to enjoy… JOY does often require a sort of self-brainwashing, or more specifically, an override of the programming from which you currently run. Many of you are raised in cultures that “reward” struggle, ‘hard work’, suffering, victimization, etc. There is a great amount of teaching and imprinting handed down that equates all good things as being frivolous and even, ironically, BAD. Those who struggle through poverty or pain are more likely to be lifted to a kind of honor that has an unquestioned integrity and position. Those who are enjoying life then have the unsavory position of being guilted, or held responsible for taking more than their share from the common. Prosperity, which we define as having a sense of fulfillment throughout your Centers by your own standards, is daunting, particularly for older souls, because of the imprinting and distraction of guilt.
[Tibtyc] Like, Beethoven suffered more than Mozart, thus was a better composer?
[M Entity] It could be said (and has been said), yes.
There are also fears within the Older Soul that having a certain amount of Prosperity will segregate you from what you have come to know as comfortable and familiar. In other words, if you find a healthy, loving relationship, then you will be segregated from those around you who do not. If you were to find an easy funnel of material security, it would then segregate you from those who have not.
[Tibtyc] But it seems that for many of us learning through suffering is more FUN than joy.
[M Entity] It could be described as “fun,” but that would be a misnomer. It is not genuinely “fun” for the Personality; it is painful. It could be said that the value gained on the other side of that pain, though, may be interpreted as “worth it.” There are many ways a fragment can begin to learn through Joy, Prosperity, Pleasure instead of Suffering, Loss, and Pain.
We will describe two of the more popular ways now:
The most direct means of overriding the programming from your culture is through using that programming “against itself,” so to speak. Instead of thinking of your Joy as being something to TAKE or GET from life, it is suggested that you RECEIVE or CREATE it. In other words: you may passively invite the joy, and genuinely acknowledge that joy when it is present. You may actively create that joy, as well, with the intentions of sharing it with at least one other person in some way, so as to divert guilt. The key is in the consciousness used to experience those moments of Joy, whether that Joy is passively attracted or actively created.
[Tibtyc] Sounds like self-remembering.
[M Entity] If you choose to passively allow it, then it may do you some good to create what has come to be called a Gratitude Journal. Without forcing yourself, write down at least 3 things a day that you have genuinely felt grateful for having experienced. If you were to do this for one week, you may find a great amount of Joy being more easily extracted through your experiences. If you were to do this for one month, it would be easy to transform yourself into having the ability to grasp joy from even the worst of scenarios.
[Tibtyc] Grasp joy – but is that learning?
[M Entity] If you are creating Joy, you can do so on a small scale, first: invite a friend to the movies, to coffee, for a walk. Take yourself to the movies, for a coffee, for a walk. In those instances, simply acknowledge that you are in some way allowing your Joy to emanate out and about, affecting the world in a positive way, rather than in a defensive way.
In response to Tibtyc: We would certainly consider the act of grasping joy as having been a great learning experience.
[faldec] not mention it feels good
[M Entity] Do you really believe that you must be pummeled in a classroom in order to learn math? Do you really believe you must be falling from a cliff as your only means to enjoy nature? Do you really believe you must be assaulted as your only means to learn about Love?
[Tibtyc] A part of me does.
[M Entity] We would easily state with great validity that many have learned to enjoy mathematics without an eraser to the head; that many of learned to enjoy nature without bodily impact; that many have learned to enjoy Love without bruises.
The other method of learning to enjoy JOY is really only an extension of the first suggestion: CHOOSE IT.
By this we mean that you ALWAYS HAVE A CHOICE, WITHOUT EXCEPTION. You can extract many dimensions from a single experience, and it can always be your choice to find/allow the JOY. This is why it is easier to remain with less Joy, because your design allows you to extract even the minutest elements of Joy from the worst of scenarios. That ability can be seductive.
[Tibtyc] Like enjoying bad things?
[M Entity] Many of you KNOW you can extract the Joy from the worst, so you settle for a certain level of existence, because you can romanticize it later.
In response to Tibtyc: It is not that you enjoy “bad things,” but rather that you know you can extract the joy from it, if necessary. Most of the time, that extraction is more a means of healing, than a means of True Joy.
[M Entity] True Joy is CHOSEN, CREATED, or ALLOWED. If you find you are extracting Joy from a scenario or experience, then you may do so, but CHOOSE AGAIN, CREATE AGAIN, or INVITE SOMETHING DIFFERENT.
We are not saying, nor are we implying, that you can move through the physical plane without scathing, but we do say that pain, suffering, and loss are not the only forms of learning. They are CHOICES.
This is not to say that you deliberately CHOOSE Pain, Loss, Suffering, but if you find yourself experiencing these states, each always presents an opportunity to choose again. If you find you are overwhelmed and feel that no choice can alleviate that feeling, then choose something especially loving for yourself, such as waiting, seeking help, calling a friend, watching/listening to something inspirational Anything that will allow you to step back for a moment, gain some clarity, and then choose again.
It is not merely poetic that we say, “You are here to learn how to choose, and to choose how to learn.”
It is the truth.