John explains what depression actually is and the real opportunity in the midst of it. Instead of focusing on the difficulty, there is something you can do with your attention that is subtle, simple, real and good.
Q: I’ve just had an operation for breast cancer and the doctors tell me I should do chemotherapy. I’ve decided not to because if I don’t learn to love and respect myself I will have cancer again in a few years, anyway. I’m hoping you can open my heart a bit more.
John: How is taking chemotherapy in conflict with what’s loveable in you? Openness and softness of heart going through chemotherapy … how adorable.
Q: I don’t want to do the chemotherapy and I believe I don’t have to do it if I can open my heart enough to softness and kindness. I don’t know if this belief will get rid of it. Sometimes I doubt I can do it by myself, and then I’m afraid.
John: In whatever direction you take, how you are being within in all of this matters more than the outcome. Identify, within, what it is within you, what quality in you, what delicacy in you is worth dying for and then live for that. Every outcome is secondary to that. The result doesn’t matter as much as what you’re being in it.
Love being what is lovelier than your self. Love being what is lovelier than what your self is, that is within you.
Q: I just have to remember more often that everything is inside me. It makes me feel better because I’m always focused on the outside for appreciation.
John: You have been living for what hasn’t been worth dying for. Anything, within, that you know is lovelier than what your self is is worth being … for as long as you live. That matters more than anything that you can have, including long life.
Q: I agree with you. What is a long life without having really lived?
John: Then there’s no fundamental loss in having cancer.
Like being kissed, within, by goodness, within. That’s how you ran about when you were really little. You can again. It doesn’t matter whether you feel weak or strong, clear or not.