Q: I want to ask you about grief. I remember you telling us about the importance of pain or letting ourselves feel hurt because it lets us into our hearts and our beings, keeping open and soft, but what is the effect of grief when we mourn someone we love who is no longer with us?
John: If you’re opening in the midst of your self while your self has suffered loss, you’ll experience the grief of that. When you’re opening in the midst of that loss, the grief enables you to really deeply feel what you’ve lost, without you closing.
If you close within what you’ve lost, you’ll also have grief and the grief will harden you. There, the grief is all about your self. That kind of grief won’t crack you open. It won’t open your self. It closes and seals your self within the loss. That loss becomes a permanent form in your self and it continues, embedded in your subconsciousness.
Q: So if the memory of the loss keeps bouncing back, it means that I’ve closed something in the process of the grief?
John: If it comes back and each time it comes back it delicately cracks you open in your self, that’s a goodness, but if the grief makes you feel and think that you are hard done by and something bad has happened to your self, that grief separates you from your heart.
Q: How do I know that it’s a good kind of grief?
John: When you’re being like your own being in the midst of loss in your self, you’ll have grief in your self, but it will be a tender and a delicate grief, the kind of grief that cracks your self open. It opens your self. It softens your self.
When you take to heart the loss, you’ll harden in your heart, and the grief that you’ll experience in your self will be neither tender nor delicate. What you’ll experience in your self is that you’ve been hard done by. You’ll experience in your thinking and in your feeling that something really bad has happened to your self, that something that belongs to you has been taken away, and you harden within the loss of that.
It’s like the difference between having tears of tenderness within loss and having tears of bitterness within loss. The tears of tenderness within loss soften your self; the tears of bitterness harden your self.
To grieve means that you can really feel, within your self, the loss. Softness can feel loss in your self. Hardness can also feel loss.