The Inner Narrator and Its Impact
You are probably aware of the voice in your head, the inner narrator commenting on you and your life. Rather than being in the moment, it judges the moment. This human proclivity does not mean something is wrong with you, and it is not something to fix or change about yourself. However, I have found it helpful to be mindful of the quality of thinking it shares with me.
Recently I haven't been feeling well for an extended period. Due to a mild autoimmune disorder flare-up, I haven't been my usual self with my normal energy levels. In the past, I would have pushed through and not made adjustments to my lifestyle or my schedule. But this time, I slowed down and took space for myself. I opened up to Angus and let him know I needed to rest, and asked him if he would be willing to step up in certain areas so I could do that.
Slowing Down and Listening to the Wisdom of the Body
During this process, I noticed the internal pressure I felt in myself. I hadn't been as conscious of it before. The inner discomfort with taking it easy. The subtle self-judgment with myself for not feeling 100%. I realized how this internal discomfort and the shame associated with self-judgment came from my critical inner narrative telling me I wasn't good enough. It told me I needed to do more and produce to be worthy. I wasn't safe to rest and that my world would fall apart if I let go and surrendered.
Instead of judging myself for revisiting all this thinking I thought I had detached from years ago, I was curious about it. I hadn't realized that these thoughts were still operating, but this new layer, more subtle than before, was coming into focus. I felt grateful to be able to recognize it for what it was – conditioned thinking, limiting beliefs, and misunderstandings designed to try and keep me safe in the world by telling me what I needed to do to be worthy and lovable. But not truth, not wisdom, just a manifestation of my true nature through the distorted lens of my belief system.
Revisiting this discomfort with more awareness allowed me to act differently than in the past. I stayed committed to listening to the wisdom of my body and following its inner prompts rather than overriding the signals and functioning over them.
The Positive Impact of Self-Care on Relationships
This made me think about the impact of how I treat myself in my relationship. Taking care of myself positively impacted my relationship, not just with myself but also with Angus. My ability to love and be gentle with myself reflected my being more grateful and open-hearted toward him.
Previously, while caught up in my pushing-through coping mechanism, I would have been more resentful, judgmental, and critical of him. This would have resulted in less kindness, tenderness, and empathy in our relationship, with a resulting decrease in the rapport that would have rippled into our sex life and general relationship satisfaction. It probably wouldn't have been terminal for our relationship, but it would have been an extra stressor when I had the least bandwidth to deal with it.
Listen to Your Inner Compass of Love
I am sharing this here so you can hopefully become more aware of the subtleties of your inner narrator's tendency to be hard on you and unkind. Seeing this thinking for what it is and being aware of it can help you wake up to the more profound, loving impulse within you that expresses your aliveness and health. Listen to that. Familiarize yourself with this other knowing that speaks to you from the depths of your being. It may feel inconvenient to listen to it. I felt that way for years. But even if it does, I encourage you to be curious about it. Listen, even if it doesn't make sense to your intellect or fit into your expectations of how things should be or how you should be.
Through my ongoing journey of waking up to the love within, I discovered a different kind of safety within myself, one that isn't based on external factors like money or productivity. Instead, it is a deeper knowing that reveals itself to me that says it is okay to walk the path of love and gentleness with myself to cede to its call. It is a compass point that guides me towards love and gentleness with myself, and I hope it inspires you to do the same.
Rohini Ross is co-founder of “The Rewilders.” Listen to her podcast, with her partner Angus Ross, Rewilding Love. They believe too many good relationships fall apart because couples give up thinking their relationship problems can’t be solved. In the first season of the Rewilding Love Podcast, Rohini and Angus help a couple on the brink of divorce due to conflict. Angus and Rohini also co-facilitate private couple's intensive retreat programs that rewild relationships back to their natural state of love. Rohini is also the author of the ebook Marriage, and she and Angus are co-founders of The 29-Day Rewilding Experience and The Rewilders Community. You can follow Rohini on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. To learn more about her work and subscribe to her blog visit: TheRewilders.org.