Q: I want to ask you about my son. He’s so pure and kind, and he’s very sensitive. He accepts simple boundaries, like when it’s time to go to bed or to do his homework, but he can also be extremely reactive and pressured. A recent example of this is when I told him to get ready for school. He cried, saying he was afraid and didn’t want to go. He can even make himself physically ill. I’m very loving and soft with him but his sensitivity seems extreme. How can I make him stronger, or less sensitive?
John: Shift his sensitivity from the emotions that he feels into what he’s feeling beneath the emotion. Guide his awareness from the one level to the deeper level. Shift his awareness back and forth so that he realizes how easy it is for him to move from one to the other.
Q: Do you mean if he says, for example, “I’m afraid to go to school tomorrow”, I should guide him to understand what is the feeling beneath this fear?
John: Each level that you bring him to, what he feels will be different. When you guide him through each level, and you guide him back and forth, he becomes empowered. He realizes that he’s able to shift his sensitivity and his awareness from one level to another level. He realizes a hidden ability, so instead of being controlled by his experience he realizes that he’s able to shift the level of his experience; that he’s able to guide his experience from a surface, strong level to a deeper and quieter level, and he’s in control of that.
Q: Is there something I need to teach him, or talk to him about regarding the fact that he’s an only child living with separated parents?
John: Guide him to see that pain and difficulty aren’t what determine his experience, and that he’s able to shift his sensitivity and his awareness from one level to a deeper level, where he feels more delicately and quietly. There, his experience isn’t controlled by what he thinks.
He begins to realize that he’s able to feel and think because of something that he knows, instead of feeling and thinking because a feeling or thought arises in his experience and he’s controlled by it. Then what you’re guiding him into is the realization of the difference between his self and him. It won’t empower his self. The power in his self goes to him. He realizes and then loves being able to guide himself. When he realizes that, he may even play with it by inviting difficulty, or even throwing himself into difficulty so that he can exercise this deeper ability.
When you empower what is deeper in a child than his experience, the child opens and really goes. They realize not just how to play on the outside, but how to play within what is unseen in the inside. They’re at play in realizing their powers.
Q: He often invents and plays with imaginary creatures and characters that have different powers. I think he’d do that easily.
John: Direct that into the real and you’ll really have his attention. You’re guiding him into coming into real power that he’s able to be in, that in practical ways controls his experience.
When he’s disturbed and upset, it’s because he’s experiencing a limitation to his power. As soon as he realizes that he can shift his awareness from one level to another – that his powers aren’t limited to just the level that he’s experiencing – when he shifts to a different level, he has a different power there that has control over the level that he’s shifted out of. That’s really exciting for him to realize. When children really get it, they’ll even possibly look for a terrible difficulty because they want to test their deeper levels of power. They want to see how well it really works.
Teach a child how to untie knots and the child will ask you to tie them up. They want to use what they realize and learn. There, difficulty isn’t seen the same way any more. He’ll grow up without aversion to pain and difficulty. The more that you guide him from level to level, the more quickly he grows. When that’s the kind of guidance that you give him, he’ll be always really listening to you because when you speak, in his experience, you’re giving him new powers.
Q: Thank you.