JdR Podcast 388
Co-parenting With Your Ex: How to Stay Clear and Open
Is it possible to navigate the difficulties that arise in divorce and co-parenting from the peaceful way of being that's known in meditation? John and the questioner explore how to live and move from all-weather inner peace.
"It isn’t about any kind of fair relating or fair relationship. Where you give and where you don’t give it’s because of a deep, quiet clarity. The reference in that isn’t your self. Clarity needs to mean more to you than your self."
—John de Ruiter
With John de Ruiter from the March 30, 2020, Interactive Live Stream
Q: I’ve had this struggle with my ex-husband and dealing with his, I call it “lower energy,” and anger and bitterness. I’m wondering how I can move forward in being true to who I am, show up for my two daughters in a way I can be true to myself and they can be true to who they are. And prevent myself from going down the path of all the conditioning that happened when we were in that relationship together, that I feel that I am now past.
John: When he is the way that you’re saying that he is, leave your self out of it. Make no reference to your self in that. So it isn’t about what you think in that, it isn’t about how it makes you feel, it isn’t about your self. If you’re going to be what you really are within the situation, you won’t be going by what you think and feel in your self. You won’t be going by what you think or what you feel concerning his way with you or his behaviour with you, or his level with you. Your self won’t be your frame of reference in your relationship with him. Your heart will be your frame of reference.
Q: It feels right when I am in that space and I hold that love and kindness and caring, but it’s not far from that place to the place of having to interact and set boundaries, or do things in the human world that we have to do, and since we’re still co-parenting for the next ten, twelve years, how do you do from this place of love and from the heart?
John: First, without setting boundaries. If you are quick to set boundaries you’ll make your relationship with your husband about your self. Be slow to set boundaries. Set no boundaries just because of what you think and what you feel. It doesn’t matter really what you think and what you feel, what really matters is your deep quiet clarity.
Differentiate between your deepest and most quiet clarity, and what you think and feel. It’s so easy to project clarity on what you think and feel, calling that your clarity when all it is is a depth of feeling and a strength of thought.
Q: Sometimes it feels as if I give in or give to another person just because they ask, and in the end I’m not getting the things that I would like or I request. If I keep giving then I don’t get anything in return, am I not then allowing the other person to take advantage of me and enabling that behaviour instead of just saying “well, I give because I want this to work out, I want this to be peaceful …”?
John: None of that will work. Don’t give because of a result in mind. Don’t give to get something back from him. It isn’t about any kind of fair relating or fair relationship. Where you give and where you don’t give it’s because of a deep, quiet clarity. The reference in that isn’t your self. Clarity needs to mean more to you than your self. If it doesn’t, you will keep being your self to your husband.
Q: You said that we have these eternal bonds with the people we meet, and obviously I will have this eternal bond with my ex-husband as well. I’m sure that there’s great learning in this relationship and I can see this as a great opportunity to bring myself from my self and my feelings and my thoughts, and land in more clarity where I can just be true to who I am regardless of what he does. At least that’s my greatest wish. How do I use that as a strength and to get the things that I desire?
John: You want to get the things that you desire. If you’re looking to get the things that you desire you are looking to have control. It matters more for you to be quieted in your clarity than for you to have control. What you desire doesn’t really mean anything. It means something only to your sense of self. Your self isn’t real. You are real if you’re being what you really are. If you’re being your self then you are also not real. You’ll be in a polarization of experience. You’ll be relating to what you like and what you don’t like, what you want, what you need and your self will be the centre of that.
Q: Well that’s what I desire!
John: You be what you are after you’ve died, you be that, toward your self and your husband. You won’t be your self. The value of your self doesn’t begin until you’re being what you really are within all of the space of your self. Where your self is your frame of reference, you are not real. You’re separate from the real, from what you really are.
Q: So in essence, regardless of what I decide to do, if it’s inspired by my being or my self or my true self, then I guess it doesn’t depend on outcome. What does it then rely on? How do I navigate through all of that?
John: Your experience of reality is going to be based on your self. Your experience of reality and reality is not the same. If you take your self to heart, your sense of reality is going to be a projection of your past. What you’ve believed reality to be is what you’ll be projecting onto reality. What you think and feel is real isn’t the same as what is real. The real quietly nurtures you from the inside out. It isn’t dependent on any condition on the outside. So the real is first what you really are.
If you had your husband’s self you would be the way that he is. If you had someone else’s self you would be the way that person is. Your self isn’t special just because it’s yours. It isn’t your self or your sense of self that’s real.
Q: I get that.
John: Then what you want and what you don’t want, what you like and what you don’t like, what you desire, what you think, what you feel in your relationship: all of that isn’t it. The real is deeper than all of that.
Q: How do I connect to that more often, besides meditation?
John: You be what you come to in meditation, you be in that, you be that, instead of you being your self concerning your life, your relationship. When you leave your meditation you resume your self. What was the value, then, of the meditation? If you leave that space for your self, you sell out on that space – for your self. You can be in your heart when you lie down to go to sleep, but it doesn’t mean very much if you don’t stay in your heart in your day, regardless of your circumstances, regardless of who you’re with and regardless of how someone treats you.
Q: When I’m not meditating, how can I focus back to who I am and not get lost in the thoughts and the feelings and “I like this and I don’t like that?”
John: You get lost in your thoughts and feelings because your thoughts and your feelings matter more to you than what you really are. Your thoughts and feelings matter more to you than that deep peace within. You’ll abandon that peace, you’ll abandon that space that’s easy for you to come into when you meditate: you’ll abandon that as soon as something affects your self; as soon as something is hopeful to a thought or a feeling of yours, or crosses a thought or a feeling of yours. Then you’ll give your power to how much that matters to you. You’ll take to heart what you think and what you feel. You’ll take your self to heart just because something affects your self.
Your self is not the value. Your self isn’t the value just because it’s your experience. What you really are isn’t your experience. It’s not going to be your experience, in your life, without you being what you really are, unconditionally, and at any personal expense.
Q: So that’s something that I have learned to do, to pay attention to our thoughts and our feelings and our experiences, and not really pay attention to the peace. So even though the peace feels much more real, it gets dismissed by the cognitive, rational brain that I have used for so many years.
John: What you’re used to is rationalizing what you feel. You’ve used your capacity to reason in service to what you feel, which is false. That just makes much of your self. Thought and feeling is for what you directly know the truth of. You have thought and you have feeling, first, so that you’re able to feel what you really are and as what you really are you’re able to think. What you’re used to is thinking and feeling not for what you really are but for your self, so it’s a self-oriented thinking and feeling which is fundamentally irrational.
Q: So you’re saying that shifting to thinking and feeling through my true self is …?
John: Yes, but then you can’t begin with thought or feeling.
Q: Right. It has to go the other way around.
John: So it’s you being what you quietly realize within, when you meditate: you being that regardless of what you think and what you feel. Don’t be quick to make what you really are practical. If you move too quickly to give what you really are thought and feeling, you’ll resume your patterned ways of thought and feeling which is you being your polarized self, your not-real self.
Q: So, it requires a lot more slowing down so I can stay in the clarity and what feels true to me, regardless of a judgment.
John: Not what feels true to you, because there you will feel your self. It’s what you most deeply quietly know within that isn’t informed by thought or feeling. It will leave you with almost nothing. It will leave you being openness, being softness. It will leave you at peace – a peace that isn’t connected to anything outside of your self and it isn’t connected to your self. You are just unconditionally at peace. You’re not at peace for any reason.
When you are directly being what you know the truth of within, it’s going to be a beingness. It’s going to be almost nothing. It isn’t going to offer anything to your self. It’ll end, you being that will end all self-importance. For your self that’s like the end of your life. Your sense of self isn’t what you’re centred in anymore. What affects your sense of individuality isn’t going to be your centre anymore. You’re no longer about you, the individual. You’re no longer about your self. What you are about from the perspective of your self is nothing and no one: at peace; you at peace within without being something or somebody.
Q: And without trying to make sense of it.
John: Yes. If you try to make sense of it, you’ll try to make it practical and you’ll make your self the centre of all of that. This spells the end of your personal identity – all of your personal reasons for living.
Q: Many moments I taste that. It’s not something you can put words to; it just is. But then I want to make sense of it and then I get out of it again.
John: It’s not in keeping with what you want out of life. It isn’t in keeping with your personal life. It isn’t in keeping with the life you want to have. Whatever you make of your life will be gone when you die, and anything you make of your life in leaving your heart is a waste of your life.
It doesn’t really matter what kind of life you have. What matters is that you are gentled and quieted in your heart in whatever it is you do. It isn’t important what you do; what is important is what you are being in whatever you do. From a sense of self, it’s doing that matters. From a sense of being quieted in your heart, it’s beingness that matters.
Q: How do I stay in that beingness with my children?
John: Don’t make them about your self. Don’t make them about how you feel. It doesn’t matter how they make you feel.
Q: How do I inspire them to be in their being?
John: You being what you are when you’re meditating while you speak to them, while you are doing whatever you do with them.
If you are being your self with them you are pushing them to be themselves. You’re pushing them to identify with their self. You are telling them what to be by what you are being. Your words don’t mean anything. Your words have meaning when you are being what you really are. In that, you will be slow to speak. When you speak quickly, just because of a feeling, a thought, just because of something occurring around your self or happening to your self, if you speak quickly, you’re speaking for your self. It’s a self-oriented speaking. When you feel any kind of heat rising inside, when you feel the fire come up because someone hurts you or offends you, that’s where it is critical to not speak.
When your heart is touched toward whatever because you are being in your heart toward whatever, then it matters that that’s free to come through your voice. Your voice then belongs to your heart and not to your self. Your voice doesn’t belong to your desires. Your voice belongs to the nurture in your heart.
Q: I notice that when the heat rises or the cues from the body that we sometimes want to express, there’s also these cues and signs from the other place of the heart where I have noticed being in synchronicity with other people or being in heart-opening with other people, or being in a situation at the right time I feel tingling and tremendous heat in the body. So those cues come from different places, right?
John: Yes, that’s also fair-weather beingness: that you are relaxed when the weather inside is favourable to you, when the circumstances are favourable to you relaxing within. It’s fair-weather beingness, very conditional beingness: that you’ll open under certain circumstances. You’ll open in the company that feels nurturing to you, and as soon as you are in company that doesn’t feel nurturing to you but feels offensive to you, you won’t open. You won’t be what you really are. You’ll be the weather that you feel back to that person. You’ll be offended. You’ll be troubled. You’ll be disturbed. You’ll be unhappy.
If you want to be what you really are, be that in a not-real relationship. Be it in your relationship that isn’t real. It’ll cut right through your self. It’ll cut right through all of your wants and needs. It’ll cut through your value of your self, all of your projected value of your self. It’ll leave you only with your heart.
If you’d like a picture of your self, don’t relate to your self when you are in favourable circumstances or with what feels like, seems like nurturing people to you. That will give you a false sense of self. If you’d like a snapshot of what your self is like, refer to how you feel when you’re under pressure, when you are with those who put a lot of pressure on you.
The value of meditation ripens under pressure and in difficulty, not when you’re quiet and your body is still.
Q: So landing in that peaceful place in all weather because I’m not judging the weather or the people.
Q: So, I don’t strive for a certain weather. I just be under all the weathers.
John: All-weather inner peace. If it isn’t all-weather you’re fooling your self.
Q: But those sensations that I was referring to, aren’t they an indication of being in that peace?
John: Yes. But that’s also fair-weather peace, just like you’ll be at peace when your head reaches the pillow.
Q: Because most of the time when I have these sensations it’s because the weather is nice.
John: Yes. For you to follow through with this, you’ll live not being your sword anymore. Your sword is your thinking and your feeling. It lies down under favourable circumstances. It rests, but when you feel offended or injured your sword rises. It rises inside of your body with thought and feeling, and then you manifest your sword through your eyes, your face, your mouth.
When someone offends you, be quick to let your sword rest. Don’t be quick to pick it up. If you can’t live without your sword you’ll live using your sword all for your self. Live without your sword, and later you’ll start to realize how and where to use it.
Good night, and see you later.
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