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The Antidote to Social Anxiety

In this dialogue a man shares the difficulty of having social anxiety, a state that has him wanting to avoid social situations altogether. Revealing the true source of his anxiety, John describes how it's possible for him to replace the tension he experiences with joy.

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This dialogue also appeared on VOD-000

Video Transcript

With John de Ruiter from the November 2, 2018 Poleg Beach, Israel Event

Q: Years ago, I had a really strong social anxiety. I did a lot of work of awareness and therapy and stuff. It kind of faded away, and the last few months I feel something similar to that, but not exactly. Maybe it’s because I’m trying to be more and more in what is real, and what is deep and honest. And it makes me, most of the time, want to be alone and not mix, get involved with life, with people.

John: And then you still won’t be in your heart. Then you’re seeking privacy for your self so that you can escape the difficulties of your self, escaping the lack in your self. The lack in your self isn’t a problem; there isn’t anything wrong with the lack that’s in your self. When you return to your heart and you live unconditionally from your heart, regardless of your self, at any personal cost, the warmth of being that naturally fills your heart when you’re being in your heart, that warmth of being fills your self. Then you are warmth of being in the midst of the lack. You are nurturing warmth in the midst of social difficulty. You are taken by the warmth in your heart in the midst of social difficulty, instead of you being taken by the experience of that difficulty.  

Q: When I try to do that, being warm in my heart in the mix of my self coming up, it’s painful, also in my body and emotionally.

John: It’s painful because you’re divided in it: you’re not all in it, you’re not all in your heart. The pain is your inner conflict. It comes from you being loyal to your beliefs, your core beliefs, while you’re trying to return to your heart, which doesn’t work. For you to belong to your heart, you can’t take your beliefs with you, you can’t take your self with you – just you. You can’t take your difficulties with you. When it is an honest return to your heart, all that’s there in your heart is you: not your life, not your personality, not your self, just this nurturing you. You don’t need therapy; you need to be you, purely. 

Q: I can feel it now when I am sitting in front of you. Can you show me how I can do it more often in my life when I find that difficulties come up? How can I rely more in my heart?

John: By you liking that your heart matters more than all of your life.

Q: Scary

John: Scary for your self, but home for you. 

Q: My self tells me there is no defenses and it’s impossible, but deeper I can see that I don’t really need any defenses. It’s confusing on a daily basis.

John: Without any deep, inner defenses, what will you lose? You won’t lose anything that’s real.  You will lose much of what’s artificial. That’s the beginning of you coming back into balance. It’s not too big. First, it is really home for you. 

Q: It’s familiar and unfamiliar at the same time. It’s pleasant and unpleasant at the same time.

John: It’s pleasant for you because it’s home for you. It’s unpleasant for you, in your self, where you still have some interests in the investments in your self. It puts those investments under tension. 

Q: Yes.

John: Where you are givenness to the deepest in your heart, that investment is gone and the tension in your self is gone. Joy of you replaces the tension in your self. All of this brings you right back into your first love. It brings you back to the beloved within. 

Q: It’s so nice to see that.

John: And you’re free to be like this in the midst of awkward social situations. It doesn’t matter what’s expected of you; this is what you’re going to be. 

Q: What about the forms I see in you?

John: What about them?

Q: It’s nice! It’s changing a lot and I wonder if there is some meaning to that or it’s just my hallucinations.

John: No. You’re not hallucinating; you’re seeing. You’re seeing differently because you are deeper within than anything to do with your self, so then you are seeing as a being. You’re not used to seeing as a being. 

Q: Well good, then! It’s good. It’s good to see as a being.

John: Welcome back. 

Q: Thank you for showing me this.

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