Learning Through Painful Experiences

Learning Through Painful Experiences

2021 Gathering, Part Eight

Has anybody here had a tough marriage before? Raise your hand. Past, not current. (laughter) We don’t want to create problems.

Sue, let me ask you a question.

Susan: Okay, just don’t ask me how many times I was married. (laughter)

JJ: You’ve had a few relationships. If you could, would you want to strike them from your memory so it was like they didn’t exist anymore, would you do that? Or do you feel the lessons you learned were too valuable to throw away?

Susan: Well, that’s a tough one.

JJ: What do you feel?

Susan: I think that, yeah, I wouldn’t have the three kids that I have if I didn’t have my first marriage. So I want that. I learned a lot. I tell people that my first marriage was learning how to do the physical things, how to garden, how to sew, how to cook. My second marriage was about emotions. My third marriage was about intellect. And my marriage with Michael is about soul.

JJ: You only have one problem with Michael. He’s such a good husband that you’re not learning much through pain. (laughter)

Susan: I think I’ve done that very well. Now we’re learning through happiness. (laughter)

Michael: Flow and grace.

Susan: Yeah. Yeah. We still have things that we have to work through and decide and all of that good stuff. But yeah, it’s really great having a true partner.

JJ: Now, think of some of your difficult relationships. Do you think that your Soul kind of nudged you into them so you could learn something, even though they were difficult?

Susan: Well, when I was fourteen, I was in Midway, Utah, and was told that my husband was twenty-five minutes away. And I married a guy from Kamas, which is twenty-five minutes from Midway. And I didn’t know it for a while.

JJ: And it still didn’t work out, even though you were divinely guided?

Susan: Very divinely guided. And my second husband said a phrase to me, and I was able to remember our pre-earth life together, and that we had decided that we would be together. My third husband, I had a very strong angelic presence tell me to marry him. And so they were all very divinely orchestrated marriages.

JJ: Before we were born, we planned out our lives to a large degree. And some of our greatest learning comes through the most painful experiences.

Who else has had kind of a tough marriage in their past. Shawn has had a tough marriage. Did you learn anything from that tough marriage?

Shawn: I think so. I tell people that don’t know, like Joanne and other friends that this is my way of trying to explain it all. But I think it was something that was foreordained, you know. It’s like, “Shawn needs to learn patience. Who can we get to teach Shawn patience?” (laughter)

So I think rather than criticize my former spouse . . . I’ve never called her my Ex. She’s my former spouse. But rather than criticize her, I look to her as if she is somebody who’s supposed to teach me or somebody that I wanted to be taught by, in one form or another.

JJ: Yeah, you think of the difficult people in our lives, and they are our greatest teachers. I love this statement from A Course in Miracles. It says, “there is one person in your life who is the most difficult person for you.” And it says, “you know who this person is.” (laughter) And then it says, “this person is your savior.”

And it tells us that when you can see the Christ in that person, then you are saved. What you project out there and then take in is all a process that’s going on internally within you. We cannot enter heaven until we see heaven everywhere that we look.

It’s interesting that in the Gospel of Thomas, when they ask Jesus where the kingdom of God is, he says, “it’s wherever you look.” He says, “it’s everywhere.” (laughter) And it is everywhere if we look with the right perception if we look with the right attitude.

We interpret everything that is out there, that seems to be out there. And everything that is out there is created by mind, and created by some decision made by higher intelligence, somewhere. It’s all made by the power of decision. And it’s all interpreted by our minds and how we decide to interpret them. And that determines whether we have heaven on earth or hell on earth. This earth existence that we’re in can be heaven or hell.

For most people, it’s more hell than heaven. But, if a person decides to see the love of God everywhere, the Christ in everyone, then he can turn his existence from hell to heaven.

I had a very difficult first marriage. I won’t go into all the details. I could tell you some funny stories.

Curtis: We want to hear the stories. (laughter)

JJ: I’ll tell you one that’s kind of funny.

My wife was very hard to get along with, and she wanted me to go get her a bunch of peaches to can. So I went down to a peach orchard nearby, and they had these big, beautiful peaches and then they had these scrawny looking peaches that were on sale for a lot cheaper.

And the guy selling them said, “these scrawny looking peaches . . . you know some of them have little bruises, but they taste really good. They even taste better than our quality peaches that we get top dollar on.” And he gave me one, and I ate it, and it tasted really good, so I said, “give me a bunch of these.”

So I took them home, and I brought them in the house, and she said, “what? You expect me to peel these bruised peaches?” She became really angry and just laid into me like crazy. Then she took that box of peaches out in the front road, and she got in the car, and she ran over them. (laughter) And the peaches just splattered all over the place. Then she just took off in the car.

And I looked around and thought, “Boy, how many people saw that in the neighborhood? That’s so embarrassing.” (laughter) So anyway, I went out and I picked up all the peaches in the road and took them back in the house. And then she came back after a while, and she came in and she saw those peaches that I brought back in, laying there on the table, and she grabbed one and ate it. And she said, “Wow, these are really good!” (laughter) She said, “why don’t you go get some more?”

So anyway, that’s just one of a hundred different stories I could tell. She was good fodder for stories. I could tell a lot of stories in connection with my first wife.

But I felt like it was a curse from God until I could finally accept . . . I thought, “Well, Lord, if you want me to be married to her for the rest of my life, if that’s what I’ve got to do, then I put myself in a state and I just accept it.”

And you know what happened when I did that? When I really accepted? I tried to accept throughout the marriage, and it was very difficult. But when I really did with sincerity . . . I thought, if this is what I have to live with – because the inner spirit kept telling me I needed to remain with her, or else I would regret it – I thought, “why?” And then finally, I yielded to that. I thought, “okay, I completely accept.”

And shortly after that, I got this message. “Okay, you finally learned the lesson. If you want to leave her, that’s fine now.” (laughter)

Audience member:
How shortly?

JJ: How shortly after? Immediately. (laughter)

But that was a great lesson for me to learn. I not only learned to see the Christ within the most obnoxious person within my reality, but I learned to accept the relationship with her. Accepting that was something that was very important for me to learn. It may not be what you have to learn, but it was what was for me to learn.

All of us have had some difficult relationship. It might’ve been with our parents. It might’ve been with somebody in business. It might’ve been a spouse, or a child. But there’s something to learn there that really important.

I almost feel spoiled being married to Artie. We’ve been married thirty-three years, and she hasn’t given me a lot of trouble . . . you know, she sets me straight on a number of items . . . but the marriage has been great. And I almost feel sometimes, maybe I’m not learning enough being married to her. (laughter)

Artie: Oh, I’ll teach you more if you want it. (laughter)

JJ: Yeah, she’ll get out the whip. (laughter)

Okay, any other questions on the first Key of Decision? Yeah, Ed.

Ed: In life, often we have karma and things that show up in our lives. In other lives we may have been abusive, and in this life, we have to experience the opposite.

JJ: Ed is telling us about karma here, how in a past life we may have done something to warrant this. Yeah, with my first wife, that’s another thing I learned is in a past life, I screwed up somewhat and deserved her in this life. (laughter)

Ed: There’s an ancient saying that says, “what you do for another, so doeth for yourself.”

JJ: Yeah. Does anyone feel that way – that you’ve had a difficult relationship with somebody that maybe you’ve known in a past life?

Curtis: Did you feel like you had to complete some karmic tie with this first marriage?

JJ: Yeah, I’ve felt that way.

Curtis: And now you’re liberated.

JJ: I hope so. (laughter) I hope so. I don’t want to go through that peach thing again. (laughter)

Actually, that was one of the easier things. Any other comment on this before we move on?

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