Joy is the inevitable result of gentleness. The open hands of gentleness are always filled.
Joy is the natural result of gentleness,
and gentleness means that fear has subsided.
What could possibly interfere with joy?
Joy is the simple result of choosing to follow the path of gentleness.
The gentle receive what they offer.
For this reason they know joy.
Joy is an extension of gentleness based in the whole mind, just as grief is an extension of the ego mind. We are often choosing which of these cycles we prefer.
Joy is a very simple experience,
therefore it has a difficult time surviving in a complicated society.
We have to be alive in the moment in order to experience joy. Unfortunately many of us have become numbed, deadened, and preoccupied with the past and the future. We believe that we must expose ourselves to endless stimuli and entertainment in order to have what are only fleeting moments of pseduo-joy.
Joy comes from being gentle and tender in our approach to life. This requires a certain amount of sensitivity. Unfortunately many of us were raised in homes that discouraged sensitivity and encouraged guardedness.
Ideally, to become sensitive, we need some close direction during our childhood years, some healthy guidance on how to live. Many of us did not receive this. Our direction often came from television and other forms of media. True sensitivity is developed in children who receive unconditional love and encouragement to explore both the world and themselves.
When we were shamed as children---made to feel that who we are is bad---we begin to withdraw from the world. We may not look like we have removed ourselves. We may be very active in the world, but we have become internally removed and guarded.
With shame we lose the ability to be sensitive.
Joy becomes impossible.
The good news is that it is never too late to become sensitive.
Many of us equate the word sensitive to vulnerability and pain and negative experiences. It is important for you to decide what sensitivity is, and if becoming more sensitive is important to you. Observe and think about those who seem to just live on the planet but do not have any real joy or purpose. Isn't the difference between these two sets of people their ability or inability to be sensitive, to be gentle and tender? Haven't we seen how the joyous are able to reach out, unguarded and without fear? Lack of sensitivity deadens us while we are alive.
For those who may have been shamed as a child,
give the child within you the permission to explore the world.
If you happen to have a child, let them be your teacher. Roll on the grass with them. Smell the smells and listen to the sounds. Go to the beach without a book, and really be at the beach. Go on a walk without a thousand thoughts in your head.
Let yourself live life!
The Art of Trust ~ Jampolsky
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