JdR Podcast 277
Healing Pain and Trauma: The Development of Profound Character
How does one deal with the emotional trauma of sexual abuse? What is the value of our past and its memories? In this deep and intricate dialogue, John shows us how opening in the present can heal the past, reconfiguring our body and our self.
"When you are triggered in your self, what is being brought up in your body is something of your past that openness and softness didn’t move through, so the opportunity is available again."
—John de Ruiter
With John de Ruiter from the November 15, 2013 Tuval, Israel Retreat
Q: You were talking about responsibility and how there’s a part of us that doesn’t want to fully take it. I was wondering why I give my energy to so many fears, and prefer that to being responsible. How is it to have more responsibility?
John: When you are in all you know, you know much more than your self. When you are in all you know, you will value wisdom more than your self. When you do what you know, your self will stretch and change. Your life will change. When you are being and doing what you know, it is at full expense to your self. It will be at a cost to your self. You’ll be living, moving your self past its own comforts. Instead of living your self, you’ll live your clarity.
Q: The fears only originate from the self?
John: They originate from you closing and hardening your heart while you’re in your self.
Q: So there’s truth in them. They show me something truthful underneath, like a sign that I’m not open.
Q: And open is just soft towards anything.
John: Not necessarily soft toward something, but specifically you opening and softening in your heart while you’re in your self.
Q: Noticing when I’m closed, then softening.
John: When you are honest within what is closed, you open. Honesty opens and softens.
Q: What’s the value of the past and the stories that I can still feel caught in?
John: You can share a story if you’re opening and softening in the telling of your story. If the opening and the softening remove the value of the story, then in opening and softening you have no story.
Q: This story I already told you: years ago I went through some sexual abuse. I completely suppressed it. I was young; I was twenty-one. I had to go through many years of meeting it again with different therapists and psychologists just to feel that I’m okay with it. There are still parts of me that are not free from it. How to really be free from a trauma or thoughts about it or anything that doesn’t serve the heart anymore?
John: The value of your past is that you’re able to learn from opening and softening within an instance of your past, which changes the perspective that you have on what occurred. What openness and softness of heart has moved all through, openness and softness of heart is finished with. For openness and softness, your past is available.
Q: There’s no need to work on it or push it away in any form?
John: You don’t need to work on it. You don’t need to go and get it. When life touches upon it and brings it back up into your awareness, then you re-experience it in your body. For openness and softness of heart, that’s a gift. It’s an opportunity for openness and softness to realize levels, within, that it’s not known before. It’s the opportunity for your real beingness to be embodied.
When something triggers your past, it’s triggered in your body. You are embodying your past. As soon as you experience where you are embodying your past, that space belongs to your being. Wherever your past is in your body, as soon as that is touched upon, that’s the space in your body that belongs to your being. Your body doesn’t belong to your past. Your body belongs to your being.
You embody your past whether you realize it or not. As soon as something is triggered in your body that connects you to your past, that is a wide-open and present door for your being to come into your body.
John: By responding to what comes up in your body that puts you back into your past. Then you’re in a depth of body that was, before, known through pain. What was known through pain is available to your being. The deeper the pain, the deeper the level of your beingness that’s able to move into your body.
Embodying your own being is you earning your own being, earning your being in your body. When you earn your own being in the context of your body, the deeper levels of your body open. You no longer experience your body in the way that you experience your self. You experience your body on the deeper levels of being. In that way you realize, physically, how to move as a deeper level.
You know how to move your body as a surface level. When something upsets you, you embody that upset. The upset is real in your body. It moves your body. In that way you experience being controlled by your patterns. When the deeper levels of your body open, you are learning in real and physical ways to be controlled by your own deeper beingness. It’s what makes your being physical.
You can’t see your own being until the deeper levels of your body open. When the deeper levels of your body open, then the deeper levels of your own being are physically palpable. They are physically real. In that way, the levels of your body, as they open, open up physically the levels of your being. As you remain open in the deeper levels of your body, you are embodying your own being. You move, physically, as a body of being.
When you are triggered in your self, what is being brought up in your body is something of your past that openness and softness didn’t move through, so the opportunity is available again. It’s your opportunity to integrate being in a body.
Q: It feels like I have to invent myself again, to give it birth again in some ways.
John: Yes. You’re able to re-create your self. You’re able to use the level of your self to give form to what you are as a being. You’re able to make your self just like your own being so that your self is the matching form to your own being.
Q: So is there real value in pain or injury, in that sense, for anyone?
John: The deeper your pain, the more deeply you’re able to realize your own being.
Q: I remember the night when it happened, this experience of being taken down like that by someone. I wonder if there’s anything on the level of doing that I should do: not from a place of anger and not being able to integrate it, but responding to it in a way that is not just passive or that lives a life on the inside, that takes it in and integrates it?
John: Within the circumstance, your real opportunity is for you to be what you know in your heart in the midst of a circumstance that is greatly affecting your self. It’s what brings about an experienced depth of being. Your next opportunity is to do something about what is occurring, or to do something about what has occurred, without compromising the deeper beingness, within, that you have already responded to.
Q: So there is room for emotions regarding it. Not self-pity, but feeling pain and experiencing it.
John: The emotion that’s in it shows you what to let go of which makes room for you deeply feeling. That depth of feeling that takes the place of emotion is what the deeper levels of your body come into, so then you feel the deeper levels of you, the deeper levels of your body. You feel them through your own deeper beingness. In that way you embody your own being, in having been victimized.
Q: I shouldn’t ignore feelings but I also shouldn’t stay with them … just diving deeper through them.
John: As soon as you feel, that is the space in your body that belongs to your own being. Then for you to feel is for you to awaken to your own being. If it isn’t that, then for you to feel is for you to awaken to your own will.
For you to feel is for you to come into the emotion – the reaction to the feeling. The gift of negative emotion is that you are in present use of your own will in a way that is un-integrated in your self. Negative emotion is the un-integrated use of your own will. In the midst of that, you are able to open and to soften in your heart. As soon as you do, your willfulness turns into willingness.
The willingness is in direct relationship with what you know in your heart. Willingness puts you into your body. Willingness takes you out of your own un-integrated mind, and willingness puts you into heart-full thought. It’s the joining of thought and beingness.
Q: You’re allowing me to move inside and to find ways to do it myself or alone.
John: To move as a being in a body, instead of you moving as an un-integrated self in a body. When you move as a being in a body, with every movement you integrate the self you have. You open and re-make the self you have. With each little movement as a being in your body, form is used. It isn’t just the movement of your being in a body, but with that movement your self is included because your self is in your body. When you move as a deeper level of your body, the movement of that deeper level changes the configuration of the level of your body which pertains to your self. Moving as a being in your body is the reconfiguration of your self. That reconfiguration hurts. Change hurts.
Q: More than being in an un-integrated place?
John: When you are in the un-integration of your self, then it hurts so bad. When you’re opening and softening in the midst of it, then it hurts so good. Either way you will hurt.
Q: Integrating those places can also open up space for diseases to heal or go away, or have the body free from them? Or it’s just okay to live with a disease?
John: Any illness present that is there because of you living in what isn’t integrated in your self will heal when you are moving as a being in your body instead of moving as that un-integrated self in your body. When you move as a being in your body, you are moving as a being in the form of your self which moves out of your self that beingness – the distorted beingness – that pertains to what is not integrated in your self. With that change of form in your self is the release of illness.
Everything that is an offense to your self is an opening to your own being, for your own being to be as a fountain that comes up into your self. When the offense to your self is taken to heart you close your heart to your own being, while your self is being offended, which is you locking-in the distortion in your self, and your self becomes worse. Every little knock that your self goes through, everything which affects your self, everything which hits and knocks your self is your opportunity as awareness to bring what you really are into real form. A being, knocked, loves. An un-integrated self, knocked, reacts.
When you are profoundly honest in the midst of the reaction, you soften within that reaction. Then while your self is in movement it changes. It becomes a little bit more like your own being. You’re not born to embody your un-integrated self; you’re born to embody your own being which is the integration of your self. Your self becomes as your own being. The embodiment of your being, in the context of your self, is the development of profound character.
For you to have a self is for you to be promised profound character. It comes with difficulty. It comes when you open and soften in the midst of difficulty. When you open and soften in the midst of difficulty, you know more than what your self is like and, in the movement of that more, your self becomes as what you know, and then there is a little bit of real character that wasn’t there before. Real character is the formation of your self that intimately matches your own being.
Q: The self has to continuously allow it.
John: Your self doesn’t allow anything; you allow. You allow what you know while you are mid-stream in your self, which brings your own deeper beingness into the stream of your self, which changes the stream of your self.
Q: I used to be so confused. I started this conversation with this feeling that the self shouldn’t be there, the self should be gone, the self is all an illusion.
John: Your self is good. If there’s any illusion, it is in your relationship with your self. Your self is good. Your relationship with your self might not be good.
Q: That all comes from wanting to control and having those distortions?
John: The illusion occurs when you believe your self to tell you about what is deeper, within, than your self is. When you believe your self to tell you the truth, you separate from your own heart. When you believe the little bit that you know the truth of in your heart, while you’re in your self, your self opens and softens and you begin to embody a little bit more of the truth you know.
Q: So, as the relationship to the self is … ?
John: Honest … honest to what you know. Then your self is your means of embodiment.
When you were confused, it is because you wouldn’t open and soften to what you knew. When you’re not opening and softening to what you know in your heart, then you cannot have authentic clarity in your self. When you are confused, that is your opportunity to embody your subtle mind. When you are confused, you are embodying your accustomed mind – your coarse mind.
Your subtle mind moves in the same way as your own being. When you are confused, look to the little bit that you know the truth of in your heart. That little bit of real knowledge in your heart then comes up into your self and, as it does, you realize clarity in your self. From within that tiny little bit of clarity you’re able to address the confusion. What answers confusion is your clarity.
Where there is confusion, there is opportunity for the movement of your real clarity. However tiny a little bit that clarity is, it works. When you are coming from that clarity and that clarity comes from what you know the truth of in your heart, you’re able to put your own confusion into perspective. As soon as your own confusion is put into perspective, you have put confusion into its proper place. Its proper place is that it is answerable; you’re able to answer it.
When clarity is spoken to confusion, confusion hears clarity and your subtle mind is in flow in the midst of your coarse mind. It’s the beingness of your subtle mind that teaches and opens your coarse mind.
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