Q: I notice in my intimate, sexual relationships that I can be in a moment of openness, comfort and radiance, and then if I’m spoken to in a way that feels aggressive, unkind or mean I’m very quick to close my heart and my being. I really don’t enjoy that experience. What should I do when my heart feels hurt?
John: Quite simply, at absolutely any cost, don’t close.
Q: How? That feels like the only way to feel safe.
John: You don’t need to feel safe. As soon as you have a fundamental need of safety, you must close. You will close, and as soon as you do, you separate from essence of safety and you secure your loss of innocence.
Q: So it’s not about leaving the room or having to remove my self to go someplace that feels better. I can still stay. This is where I get confused.
John: You can do either, but in the midst of whatever it is that you do, open.
Q: To what?
John: Openness doesn’t have an object. This openness is what you really are. You cannot be deeply happy if you’re not opening. You opening unconditionally, without the focus of object or result, is what singularly makes you happy.
Q: So no matter where I am, with whom, what’s going on or how I feel, I open. Is that what you’re saying?
John: Yes. Injury and offence will continue but instead of taking it, you’ll receive it. It’s in receiving it that you’re free of it. It’s in taking injury and offence that you lock injury and offence into your self.
Q: Once I receive it, what do I do with it?
John: It will pass all the way through you. The gift of that is it shows you how deep you go. It will keep revealing to you the depths of your being.
Q: So when injury and harshness come my way, it’s an opportunity to experience the depths of my being?
John: By you opening, yes. All of the resources of closing are your conditioning. All of the resources of opening are your being.
Q: So the thought that opening is scary is just my conditioning?
John: Yes, but when you are honest to what you know in your heart, you love opening.
Q: I do.
John: Nothing prevents you: not your past, not your conditioned self, not your circumstances and not others. That means that when you open, you are free.
Q: And is it also okay to invite people and circumstances that support opening?
John: You don’t need to invite it all in. It will all come. As you close, it all comes. As you open, it all comes. You love opening.
Q: I’ll get a T-shirt that says that! I get really sad when I’m closed.
John: That’s good. All of the results of your closing are so good. When it makes you miserable and angry, that’s so good. That means that you don’t really get away with fooling your self.
In that way, even when you close, help is coming.
Q: That’s a nice way to look at it.