Q: I hope to get more ability and clarity. I saw that I took my self to heart for a long time and I feel embarrassing and awkward.
John: Instead of feeling embarrassed and awkward in your self, with a little shift you can be sweetly embarrassed and sweetly awkward. That puts you in your heart while you’re in your self. When you feel deflated in your self, that comes from an ego reference that you’ve developed, and with just a little shift you can dislodge that. The ego is an importance that you give to your self through the use of your thinking and your emotion. As soon as you realize that, you can see it for what it is and any amount of softening in the midst of that relieves you. It relieves you of the pressure of self-importance. Then you’ll see where you inflate your self or deflate your self and you realize that that is simply an ego.
Q: Is seeing it as the ego the same as seeing it as a thought that I’m identified with?
John: See that you’re giving your self importance that your self doesn’t need. Your self is okay as is.
Q: It is so different from what I wanted it to be or to have.
John: Your self will develop naturally if you put no expectation on it. When you impose an expectation on it, you’re giving importance where importance isn’t required. With that sense of importance put onto your self, your self will then inflate and deflate. You’ll be projecting onto it ups and downs. When you soften in relationship to your self, your self naturally comes back into balance.
Q: I can be okay with it without needing to change it first?
Q: There are so many ‘shoulds.’ I thought I only can be okay with me when I follow my ‘shoulds,’ but I don’t follow them .
John: When you follow your ‘shoulds,’ you follow your self. When you follow your self, your self masters you. Instead of following and doing what you should do, enjoy doing what you know in your heart. There isn’t a ‘should’ attached to that.
Q: What do I do with those ‘shoulds?’ Will knowing tell me something if I’m not using the ‘shoulds?’ What would be an example of the knowing speaking?
John: The ‘should’ is a projection onto your self. A knowing is a simple truth on its own.
Q: What to do with the ‘shoulds?’ I have a long list.
John: Relax as awareness within all of them. As you relax as awareness, the energy of the ‘should’ dissipates. What remains in you as awareness is then simply what you know. As you enjoy what you know, you move what you know. It’s one with you. It’s your love.
Q: Yet, when I ask what I know about anything, there’s emptiness.
John: Then you’re asking what you think. You’re mistaking what you know to be an object. The simplest of what you know is a way of being, a way of being that you realize in your heart, lovelier than any way of being in your self. As soon as you know it, you love it because it is how what you really are moves. It’s like realizing the beloved within. As you reside in that, your self is relieved of all of the projections that you’ve put on it. With the projections and expectations removed, your self beautifully learns. It learns from you. It learns from what you’re being and it becomes the same.
When you project onto your self, your self becomes a performance. It will perform for every projection. When you put no projections on your self, your self learns. The self functions like the innocence of a small child. The more that you put onto a child, the more that the child performs. When you see a child without projections and without expectations, the child relaxes and sees. When the child is seeing you, the child is seeing from what it really is. It’s drawing up from what it really is and it moves in that, which gives development to that within the child, instead of the child developing out of performance.
Q: There is one thought where I feel pressure to perform. I want to ask you to relieve me from this pressure. I might stay here for a year and go to school and teach. I think I would develop a lot of different skills to deal with bigger challenges. I want to ask you if you’re okay with that.
John: It’s about what you know in your heart and what clarity you have in your self. Move with your clarity, but hold it lightly. If you hold it lightly while you move in it, you won’t be invested in it. That makes your own clarity like a kindness. If you invest emotion in your clarity, the emotional investment blinds you.
Q: To hold it lightly offers to change it.
John: Yes. As you move within your clarity, you are quick to see. With an emotional investment, you’ll be stubborn to see. Openness loves seeing. Add no investment to your clarity and, as you move, your clarity deepens. Your own clarity serves you as a kindness. The emotions that you use to hold your clarity together take away from the energy that goes into your own action. Your simplicity of heart within the clarity moves your clarity the most. A simple heart lets the mind be clear.