Q: I’m so grateful to have met you in Rishikesh. I felt some healing had happened when I stopped my practice of self-enquiry, but now I feel as if my self has come back stronger than before!
John: It’s not stronger; you just didn’t realize how strong it was. When you’re busy with a practice, the strength of your self goes into that practice.
As you profoundly open, that opens you up to experience your self as it actually is – not as you believed it to be and not as you’ve made it to be. As you profoundly open, that inadvertently gives permission for your subconsciousness to heave up into your conscious self, which brings up everything that you’ve stuffed into your basement: everything for decades that you didn’t want to deal with that was easier to just suppress and walk away from.
As you profoundly open, all of that is finally free to come up into your home. Everything that you’ve thrown into your basement comes up into your living quarters, giving you a more accurate experience of the whole of your self, not your partitioned self. It can make it seem as if you profoundly open and everything goes backwards.
Q: Yes. It feels as if my behaviour is led by habits and patterns, especially in relationships. I still find that really hard.
John: For you to be what you really are in all of your self, the first that you’ll be coming into in a relationship is how to receive injury and offense instead of taking injury and offense.
Q: Can you say more about this?
John: Receiving injury without trying to balance the injury: receiving the injury without reaction; receiving the injury in a way that gives space for what you really are to move instead of moving in your self, and as your self balancing the injury, which puts you further out of balance.
Q: I feel I have a pattern of avoidance of conflict.
John: Hardness in your heart will deflect, where openness and softness in your heart lets in and receives everything.
Openness and softness of heart doesn’t stop letting in. It doesn’t take it in but lets it in. An unkindness to you is free to go everywhere inside of you. You won’t harden to protect anything of you. You won’t harden so that you don’t feel the pain of it or don’t want to deal with it. You won’t deflect. You won’t react.
As openness of softness of heart you will feel everything, including what you really are in the midst of that.
In hardening to what occurs in your self in your environment and from others, the first feeling you lose is that of what you really are. You lose most delicate feeling. In being what you really are, you won’t feel hurt by others. You’ll feel all that it does to your self: you’ll feel the hurt, you’ll feel the injury. It’s what you really are that feels it, which opens up the depth of what you really are.
In that way, the greater the difficulty that you are in, the more deeply you come to know you, the more deeply you’ll realize what you really are. When it is your only resource in difficulty, that is what comes up in all of your difficulty.
When you are real in a relationship, that the other is dear to you will mean more to you than how you feel in the relationship, which turns you into flow. It turns you into what you would like to have from the other; most delicate meaning that remains connected way into the other.
Q: Are you telling me to connect more?
John: As this, to any tiny little bit in him that is also this – regardless of how covered up it is.
You can imagine the other in a traumatic accident, barely conscious in a hospital. It doesn’t matter what difficulty you were in, what will come naturally to you if you’re at all quieted inside is that, as dearness, you’ll be reaching to him. You’ll be able to feel the other instead of feeling how your self is affected by the other.
Q: Is this some work I need to do specifically on relationships?
John: It’s not a work but it is a surrender to beingness that you know the truth of within, you surrendering to opening and softening in your heart unconditionally and at any personal expense.
You existing with your heart opened and not closing it for any reason will put you right into what you really are.