Letting go with love
Elizabeth: Okay so you’ve been through recently an experience, and you’ve come to see a lot more about relationship and how it works. Would you like to tell the story about that?
Jenny: So I think it’s — almost a year and a half ago now. I spoke about it briefly before. But I got asked to come to South Africa. And that was mainly because of a story I’d told about my eating disorders and my struggles. But the guys that asked — said would myself and my husband Rudi go and work with the clinic where their daughter was, and also with their daughter?
And I got really excited about the idea of coming to Cape Town. The idea of working with different people. And it was like, “Yes, 100%.” And actually really wasn’t that keen, not because he didn’t want to help, but he was just fatigued. And he was tired, and we had a lot of traveling happening. And so a couple of weeks before — he pulled out and asked one of our best friends, Dave to come with us. To come with me and do the project. It was cool. One of my best friends, excellent. Have a lovely time. Share the Principles.
And didn’t have any thinking about it at all. And then when we came to start working in South Africa with the clinic — And seeing the homelessness. And I spoke about seeing Dave with one of the homeless people, where he just stopped the car. He got out, hugged them. Asked how could he help. And then driving away from that, and just seeing the raw, pure disbelief in the injustice. Love, compassion. Like someone fully just expressing and experiencing. And I saw something in that shifted and changed something within me, which I can’t describe.
But it also came at a time where I had an experience of — one night just being in total and utter grief. And Dave went off and gave me the space to be in that. Of just grieving this person I created. So I came across the Principles, and it helped my life so much. But I hadn’t realised I created another character. And then I hadn’t realised how helpful that had been for such a long time. But in some ways, it’d then become this new prison of, “I’m a 3 Principles Facilitator, I eat like this. I’m perfect. I’m trying to be something.”
And I didn’t know I’d done that. And my eating disorders have kind of been replaced by my healthy eating, which is so much more helpful. But still so much thought included in trying to maintain that, and the amount of exercise I did and different things. And I just recognised that as a complete creation. And like I had no idea where the emotion came from. But I just — it was raw. Really, really raw. And woke up the next day and just felt like a completely different person.
And I knew then that I was going to leave a marriage. I had no idea how it was going to happen. And I think it’s been an interesting time. Because then that coincides with me falling in love with my best friend. And so it’s hard for people to separate those things. But I wanted to talk about it publicly. Because I know that for me it was quite hard. Because I’d had the understanding that if you knew these Principles, then your relationship worked out. If you knew these Principles, then your marriage stayed together.
And I’d come from a background where, if you’re married, you’re married. And you make it work, you make it work. But the thing is with Rudi and I, that we didn’t have a bad relationship. We’d done incredible stuff together. He’s one of my dear friends. But I realised I hadn’t been honest to myself, probably throughout the relationship. I met him on my first course. So they were very much tied into one another. And in so many ways, he’d parented me and looked after me and has been an incredible part of my life. And still continues to be so.
So to come home from that three weeks and have to then have that conversation — for him was totally out of the blue. But he has handled it in an incredible way. There’s been a huge amount of grief, anger, sadness. We have experienced the whole range of emotion. And we have now managed to come through and still have a friendship, which we’re redefining. It’s a new relationship. And it’s not the one that he thought we were going to have, and it’s not the one I thought we were going to have. But it’s a more honest one. And I think we managed to have these conversations with each other that previously we weren’t able to handle the truth of.
And I think I realised that I’d made up all of these ideas about what it meant to be a 3 Principles person. And it was still a made up concept. It was still all made up. And I’d got attached to my identity as a somebody. And I think through that experience, and then — when I got home, I needed a bit of space. So I went and stayed with a friend called Paul in Wales. And he’s had his own incredible experiences about life. And we hardly spoke about anything, but just — when I was there, it felt — The certainty and the knowing that this is what I needed to do, was just —
Again, I didn’t have words for it. And then the thinking about how to untangle a life and how to leave. And my idea of people’s hurt, and the idea of telling my nieces, and the idea of — how do we separate the camera equipment? Random thoughts that went through. But I recognised that I didn’t have to do life. I didn’t have to make decisions. I didn’t have to force anything. Life would happen. And I’ve had such incredible friendships develop through it.
One of the ones that I’m so grateful to is Terry Rubenstein, Because I had no idea why, ’cause we’d — I’d never had like one to one conversations with her before really. I’d just seen her at all the events. And we’d sort of always had a mutual love for one another. But I phoned her up and told her everything. And she was just so beautifully unjudgemental and kind. And then she said — she met me in London and she kind of had like a bit of an agenda. Like oh she needs to try and make her marriage work for six months and then see how she feels, and all of this stuff. She had all these ideas.
Then she met me. But she met someone that she hadn’t met before. Because she said it was a visible difference from the person she’d known. And she said she just shut up and got humbled. And just loved and supported me. And so many people within the community, and not in the community — like my brother in law. Because again, this is another — the tangled bit. My sister is married to my ex-husband’s brother. So it was two brothers and two sisters. But he has shown me so much love, kindness and respect. And also Dave — so much love, kindness and respect.
And we’ve just run a couple of retreats where it’s been Rudi and his new partner, Asia and myself and Dave. And then we’ve had other facilitators. And we’ve all been there and had lunch together and — And it wasn’t always easy. And it has been ups and downs. And there has been a lot of — a depth of sadness and grief. But then a depth of joy and peace and aliveness. And an authenticity that’s come, which I didn’t imagine. And I think — I had no idea if my decision was going to affect my business, my friendships, my families.
But it was almost like I knew, I just had to be true to this. True to myself. Because I’d been kidding myself so much in my life. And I love that the Principles is — it’s almost like it’s this point, there’s this starting point to open you up to more. To more, to the unknown, to the unknown. And I had no idea that life was going to unfold in the way that it has. If you’d asked me two years ago, I would’ve said this was an impossibility.
I was not somebody that fell in love with someone else when I was married. I was not someone who changed overnight — again, because I’d found my true me. And I just think I’ve seen that we are constantly in the feeling of thought and thought changes. So who I thought I was, or who I think I am is a creation and is not a fixed thing in time. And that has freed me to be whatever, experience whatever. And sometimes I’m shy, and sometimes I’m really confident. And sometimes I’m loud, and sometimes I’m down. And sometimes I’m judgemental.
But all of those things I’ve seen as thought. So none of it defines me or fixes me or affects my relationships. And I think I have been able to be more honest in all of my relationships through this experience. And I think — it felt at the time I wasn’t — It’s — And I remember everyone going, “You’re just getting caught up in all the spiritual bullshit to justify your decisions.” And I just said, “If you want to think that, then you can think that.” But for me, I know that this is what I need to do, and it’s right for me, and it’s right for everyone else around me. Because me not being true to myself is not helpful for everyone around me.
And I think — Rudi and I have really had these incredible conversations, where I’ve acknowledged how much he’s put into — not only through Principles movies, but Innate Well-being. How much faith he had in me as a facilitator, and how he really gently helped me to start co-facilitate with him. Initially it’d be like 90% him, and I’d chip in. And he has just — in so many ways, encouraged and inspired me. The hours he’s put into the movie site.
But also, I’ve just started to acknowledge what I brought to the movie site, and what I brought to the business. ’Cause I don’t think I’ve ever really seen that before. And like it’s even — I can see it — feel myself getting uncomfortable saying it, but I’m starting to be able to acknowledge that I have something to offer. And I don’t know if I’d really seen that before. It was almost, “Oh everyone really likes Rudi, and then I kind of just come with him.”
So I — I wasn’t confident in myself in the same way. And I think that’s come through me being true to myself and breaking away and not pleasing people. Not doing what everyone else thought I should do. Not what everyone else thought was right for me. But I’ve done what was right for me. And I’ve learnt and grown an incredible amount this year. And I’m so grateful that Rudi is willing to have the relationship he does have with me. And to let go and forgive. And that we can all now rebuild and have different friendships and things.
But even if that hadn’t been the case, I would’ve still wanted to be true to me. ’Cause I didn’t realise how important that was. And I didn’t realise how attached to our creations we get. But for me it’s been the most — I thought I’d found freedom when I came across the Principles, because I freed myself from a construction. I didn’t realise that I then just created something else and got attached to it. And I’m sure I’ll continue to do that. But it feels like there’s like a, a constant creation destruction. I create something, and I destroy it again. And it’s less — All of it has become more fluid and less kind of — less important.
And I think I’ve become less important to myself, at the same time starting to acknowledge that I can give something to the world. That we are all important. And I think I’ve loved — over the last year, living up in the Lake District with Dave and his family. Have all come to mean an incredible amount to me. His dog, Rusty, who I’ve just fallen in love with — and is showing me more about the presence and forgiveness and love and just energy for life than anything.
And the relationship I’ve got with Dave’s sister. Who had her own incredible experience of waking up to the Principles on a Dicken Bettinger course that she’d been kind of forced to go on. But the way that she now sees life, she hasn’t done a huge amount of training. But these Principles have woken something up with her. Where she now just shares and learns. And it’s shown me how natural this already is. That it’s already happening. That more training in the Principles isn’t necessarily the right direction. Because we get attached to the Principles — is a thing that changed us.
We’re actually — I think, what Syd was trying to do is reintroduce us to ourselves. And learn from ourselves, learn from within, learn from within. And I realised how I had also made the 3 Principles an outside thing that I needed to get into the world, I needed to save people. People needed to know the 3 Principles. But I’m aware now, it’s a language to communicate something. But I can also find my own words with whoever I’m with. And I think I’ve been really inspired by the way — Up in the Lake District, seeing how much Dave’s family sees nature and in awe of birds and different types of grass. And presence with stuff that I hadn’t even seen.
As a 3 Principles person, I was all into spirituality and I hadn’t realised how much — just the magic that’s everywhere I’d missed. And how, when we talk about looking within — I have been looking within me, in a way. But not looking into the truth of life. It’s in everything. So hearing Dave’s metaphors about the trees and how he sees the Principles in nature. It just expanded what I thought the Principles were. Expanded what I thought thought was. And I realised I’d made thought very cognitive.
And I knew it was a power, but I’d made it about thinking in some ways. Where to see it as something that runs through our everything, it’s the universe. I’ve just gone, “I don’t know what these Principles are.” Like I have got a way to share something in words that describes something that’s indescribable. But I’ve realised how much I don’t know. And I think the evolution and the change and the shift that’s happened within me in this last year and a half, I couldn’t have imagined. It’s like I feel like I’m night and day different and changing, changing, changing so quickly and seeing so much more. That I feel so grateful to have had the experience.
And for the people around me to — They’ve had their upsets, and they’ve had their own opinions. But really kind of stepped back and let me explore this. And I’ve no idea what I’ll be saying in a day’s time or a moment’s time, let alone a year’s time. But I really hope that by sharing something that is very personal and has been very raw, and I have grieved and been brought to my knees. I remember Keith Blebben saying to me, “Thought is powerful. It’ll bring you to your knees.” I’ve been brought to my knees through thought. But I’ve also been shown so much beauty and —
But to recognise that the 3 Principles is purely, purely, purely a way of describing what’s happening. It’s not telling you who to be, how to be, what to do. It doesn’t say, “Stay in a relationship, leave a relationship.” But you start to recognise what’s actually happening You clear up the misunderstanding of where your feeling comes from. It makes living so much easier. You know then what’s best for you. No one else does.
I listened to a call — Alan Watts thing on YouTube. And he said something like, “The monkey saying to the fish, ‘Let me help you by taking the fish and putting him up in the tree.’” And what I heard in that was how often we think we know what’s best for other people, given how we see life — what’s best for us. And this whole experience has made me recognise that I want to get curious about people and how they see life and what’s best for them, and draw that from them.
I’ve seen through this how I’ve over-taught. I’ve over-taught the Principles. Rather than drawing it out from people and pointing out where people are already seeing it. And it’s been a huge evolution in the way that I share. And a freedom to share, without needing to be a particular way, or in a particular format or — A freedom to fully share what I see about life. And that’s so much easier than trying to teach someone else’s incredible, incredible ideas about how they see life. So it’s like an authenticity that happens. Which I think has allowed other people to be more authentic around me.
And I’ve had so much — I’ve loved it on some of our retreats where people say, “Well, we heard Rudi speak about the experience, and we just thought you must be a cow. But we’ve met you, and actually you’re really nice too.” And it’s been so nice of me to be able to have feedback. Because I have been someone my whole life who has feared feedback, rejection, judgement, people being annoyed with me. And it’s like I open myself up — not only to my family — potentially being judgemental, upset, angry.
But actually through the movie site, Rudi and I became so visible — it was suddenly a whole community of people being aware of what was going on in my private life. And I have been someone who’s wanted to keep my private life private. So the Principles in a way, has been incredible. ’Cause I share all kinds of stories on tape, on courses, on how the — why did I share that? But I can’t help but share it. Because it’s relevant in that it’s pointing to something. The story in itself is not relevant. But what it’s pointing to is what happens when we open up to the truth of what is. We clear up our misunderstanding about how life works.
We have no idea what’s going to happen next.