Excerpt from a dialogue with John de Ruiter on April 28, 2010
Q: We have a lot of stress at home because my husband doesn’t have full time work. We’ve talked about how he gets himself into these situations but he doesn’t seem to want to hear anything from me. It’s his learning, but it’s also very hard for me.
John: It’s very hard unless you make it easy.
Q: I think I should love him more rather than put pressure on him to listen to me, yet if I think he doesn’t want to listen I close my heart. I want the best for him, but I also think I need to let go and go my own way.
John: Loving him more is difficult. Loving him isn’t. If you are loving him, then in your heart what else is there?
Q: We don’t communicate and we don’t understand each other.
John: If you are loving him – not loving him more, but simply, in your heart, loving him – there is no fear, and love communicates as nothing else can.
Q: But if we don’t communicate, then at that moment there is no love.
John: Then return to the best part. The best part is, in your heart, simply loving him. Then comes communication on your part. When that doesn’t work, return again to the better part: loving him. Loving him means that you are unconditionally coming from dearness in all of your heart toward him. That dearness means more than any result. As soon as needing a result means more and has your heart, then the dearness is gone and what you’ll have in your heart toward him is a need.
Q: What about the letting go and going my own way; not putting him under pressure?
John: You can put him under pressure as long as it is dearness in your heart that is putting him under pressure. Then he is under dearest pressure. The moment that negative emotion comes up in you, before it has any chance to come out, surrender in your heart to dearness within. Negative emotion relates only to one thing when it cannot get its way and that’s the use of force.
Q: That’s what I do when I don’t get something. I hit harder! I know it doesn’t work, so I try a softer way most of the time.
John: Instead of using a bigger hammer when something doesn’t work, use the softest touch in your heart that you know, the softest touch in your heart that doesn’t back down. Dearness, in what it is, doesn’t back down. It can’t be faced-down. The softest touch has the finest backbone and to be that touch requires your whole heart. Your whole heart being in is essence of real backbone. If there’s anything that all of your heart isn’t really in, then you’ll use force of will and emotion to make up for the lack.
Q: I have a softer touch now than I had in my youth, but it’s still not easy for me if the other takes no notice of me. I need to learn to use the backbone of softness.
John: If you need to use force because you are not being seen or listened to, then it is you within your own heart that is not really seeing and listening. If you love listening within your heart, you won’t be using force when something isn’t working. If listening, really listening your way through and really, in your heart, seeing your way through isn’t working then the use of force isn’t going to add anything good. If you are in your heart and loving listening within, you’ll be able to listen your way through much more easily. You’ll be able to find your way outside of you in a way that you couldn’t before.
The real listening in your heart is what shows you the way when something seems not to be working. If you use your will and your emotions instead, then you’ll break whatever doesn’t work. Your loving him more is really difficult, but simply loving him isn’t really difficult. Remember that whatever you are using in a situation, you are teaching him to use the same. Begin with dearness and then let dearness develop skill in being able to move through a situation. But if you step out of dearness and into the use of will and emotion, it is that which will increase. You’ll develop in the skill of being able to break things.
Q: Can you give another description of coming from dearness?
John: Openness and softness of heart, listening and seeing, and then doing.
If delicateness of heart, openness and softness of heart, knows not to move on something, then the mightiest storm against that isn’t going to move it from what it knows. At the end of the storm there is the same openness and softness of heart, the same delicateness of heart being what it knows, and the mighty storm couldn’t change it. It didn’t need to use will and emotion against the storm. The storm is on a different level even though it is completely felt in all of your self. What you are remaining in, in your heart, is on a different level from what your self is experiencing. Through the difficulties that you would be having in your self while maintaining such a heart in the midst of a storm, your self will become as your heart is. You’ll mostly see the change in that after the storm.
To keep confidence during the storm you don’t need any confidence during the storm. It is really listening within your heart that has you, in your heart, stable in a storm. In everything – in your self, your life and your relationship – love, in all of your heart, really listening within all of your heart.
When you are really listening with all of your heart to that which is in all of your heart, then the ears of your heart will be completely together. Then your heart is truly like this: (John draws a heart shape in the air) two ears, really listening.