JdR Podcast 301
Opening Your Heart: Being Okay with Pain
The Questioner feels guilty and trapped in her inability to deal with the pain of others. She knows that separating from them or confronting them doesn't help. John shows her how a simple return to openness and softness of heart allows the cycle of their pain and hers to end... in her.
"It’s only what you deeply, quietly, know within that tells you the truth. What you most deeply know the truth of is openness and softness of heart."
—John de Ruiter
With John de Ruiter from the February 2, 2017, Tiruvannamalai, India Retreat
Q: Good afternoon, sir. My problem is I feel when I go into a negative environment of people, or people with a lot of pain or ego, I feel all of it and then I try to stay away from those people or environments and it’s not always possible because some are friends, family members, and so I don’t know how to deal with it. I might have some of it in me, too, but I see it more clearly when I see it in other people. I think I need help because that’s a big challenge for me.
John: Your being pained by other people’s pain makes their pain worse. For you to be free of your self you need to be deeply, quietly okay within concerning other people’s pain. If you’re not okay with someone’s pain you can’t see that one. It’s only your deep, quiet okayness with the pain of others that lets you see them. Okayness sees. Not-okayness is blind.
When you’re deeply okay with others being in pain, then when someone who is in pain comes to you, they are seen by you despite their pain. They experience being seen regardless of their pain.
Q: I have been dealing with it sometimes by staying away from those people, hurting people also by saying “I can’t handle your negativity.” Then after saying it, I feel guilty and I feel all their pain again. I don’t know if I’m feeling their pain or feeling my guilt, so I go in this cycle again and again.
John: The cycle isn’t real. The cycle ending in you is real. The cycle doesn’t need to end in anyone else: just you.
Q: Yes, it has to end at a deeper level. I ended it at the intellectual level and so that’s why it never ends.
John: You try to be okay with pain and you do that for pain relief, so your okayness with pain isn’t authentic. When it’s authentic you are okay in it, without any focus on results. It isn’t about the results. You are warmly okay, deeply, quietly okay in the midst of pain because that okayness is what is most deeply real to you. That’s what’s true for you.
Q: Yes. How to move out of it?
John: By deeply, not needing to get out of it. Pain is your prison and you are, like love, okay in prison. You have no fight in you about prison. You’re not separating from it, you’re not giving up in it; you’re just sweetly, deeply, quietly, open. Being that open is your deepest reason for living.
Q: Most of the time I feel like I have to resolve everything with people I have hurt, so I have to just let go of those feelings?
John: Which means deeply, quietly, letting go of listening to your self, listening to what you think and feel to tell you the truth. It’s only what you deeply, quietly, know within that tells you the truth.
Q: Because that’s what I don’t know: if it’s the truth or it’s just a mixture of truth and my intellect.That’s where I get stuck.
John: What you most deeply know the truth of is openness and softness of heart. What you deeply know within is to be like this (John opens his hand) instead of being like this (John closes his hand) and that’s your life – your real life.
Q: Yes, yes. So that means I don’t know how to open so far.
John: You know how to open. You open when you lie down. You open when your head reaches the pillow. You open when you’re hungry and you eat, you’re thirsty, and you drink. You open when someone smiles to you. You open when someone’s kind to you. When you feel good in your body and in your self, you open. When you don’t feel good in your body and in your self, you don’t open. It isn’t because you’re not able to. It’s because you live taking to heart what you feel instead of taking to heart beingness that you most quietly know within.
Q: Thank you.
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