Q: I don’t really understand how to take care of people who are suffering or in difficulty.
John: There needs to be a fundamental acceptance that we’re not going to get it all right, either toward our selves or toward others. Unless you start with that, you’re going to have an unreasonable expectation of your self. Your self is not perfect, so you’re incapable of being in situations and responding to them perfectly. If you could really see, then the very best that you’re capable of in your self is going to have lack, even if you don’t see it.
Q: How does the forming and shaping of the circumstance come into this?
John: It begins with being in your heart and from there looking at the circumstance. If you’re not coming from your heart you’ll be standing in your self with your self glasses on. You’ll be using your past to judge the circumstance. The real goodness in you is not in your self but in your heart.
It doesn’t matter how you use your self from within your heart to address the circumstance. It is going to have lack in it. If you understand that, you can be relaxed. Your self is like a child. You know that when a child addresses a circumstance there’s lack. There’s a beauty in it, and you can see the lack that’s there, while that lack doesn’t take away from the beauty. That’s a part of it. When you have a heart understanding toward a child, what you see is the perfection, and the perfection includes the lack.
Q: It seems a lot harder. Children are so naturally sweet and it’s easy to see.
John: They’re not always naturally sweet. They’re not integrated in themselves, so they can swing from easily being in their heart to getting caught in themselves, and they don’t even realize cognitively what’s happened.
Q: I just meant I find it harder to see that beauty or lack of beauty in the self in the way that you’re talking about a child.
John: Then look at it carefully. Do you know that this is true? If you know it is true then you need to live with it being true. If you don’t, you’ll be hard on your self. You’ll have unrealistic expectations of your self.
Q: Do we have a responsibility to care for somebody if we see that they are in difficulty?
John: We have a responsibility if we see somebody in difficulty, but that is something you can’t really assess with the use of your self. You can’t use only your thinking and feeling to determine what to do with what you see. You need to discern what you know within what you feel and what you think. It’s what you know in what you feel and think that is going to have the access into the circumstance or into someone else.
If you’re just packaging a response in your self, you’re not really going to meet the person. If what you’re using is your self to address another self, you’re going to draw that person to themselves.
If they’re in difficulty, being drawn into the self is not what they need.