Excerpt from a dialogue with John de Ruiter on August 31, 2000
Q: My daughter is 17 years old and I’m wondering what I can do for the best to heal the ways she may have been hurt by us whilst growing up. How can we parents become truly one with our children for everyone’s sake?
John: By letting tenderness replace worry, letting tenderness replace concern. Your concern doesn’t touch her heart; your tenderness does. Your concern separates you from her. Your concern for her is truly more about you than her, whereas your tenderness for her is genuinely for her.
Q: If the concern is generally for me, what must I do to relieve that concern?
John: By being tender with you. When you’re gentle with yourself, then that gentleness will extend toward her. If you’re concerned for her, you’re not being gentle with yourself. Love includes another; it doesn’t look at another, which is what concern is. Concern is letting what you are looking at in her reflect what you are uncomfortable with, instead of just simply living with your whole heart including her. Then you’re never looking at her and you can always see her.
When you really see her then there’s nothing that you see that needs to change; then worry, concern and judgment are gone. When all that there is within you towards her is clean tenderness, she hears that, and when she does then any kind of holding within her automatically lets go.
Q: I can hear that and feel it.
John: Your tenderness is her tension relief. Your concern only increases her tension; then she not only has to deal with herself but she also has to deal with you. If she knows she doesn’t have to deal with you that invites her to not have to deal with herself, which allows her to open up. Then the opening just happens.
Q: Thank you for helping me to see this.