I listened to this episode of the Emerald podcast, The Revolution Will Not Be Psychologized, and loved the distinction Joshua Schrei makes between western psychology and other communal forms of healing. This aligns with The Rewilders' view that personal healing and relationship transformation comes from a deeper understanding of our impersonal nature rather than delving into the individual content of our thoughts, feelings, and experiences and trying to improve ourselves that way.
Our focus is to support our clients with having a deeper experience of their true nature. That experience is the real source of transformation and healing. Rather than delving into the infinite content of personal psychology, we start with the impersonal and look to what is universal and true for all of us – our essence of love. Knowing who we are at a deeper level experientially fuels individual healing and transformation, and all our relationships benefit from this.
Recognition of Interdependence
Rather than trying to resolve relationship conflict by focusing on learning behavioral strategies and techniques, look to the interconnectedness of all things, including people. The recognition of oneness results in greater empathy and understanding. We are all part of the larger web of being rather than isolated individuals. Seeing this interconnectedness makes it easier to recognize how our thoughts, feelings, and actions impact others and how the suffering of another is our suffering. There is no real separation.
Seeing the Unity Behind Separate Realities
We each live in our subjective realities. No one sees or experiences things the same way. Neuroscientist David Eagleman explains this from a neurological perspective in his book, The Brain: The Story of You:
What if I told you that the world around you, with its rich colors, textures, sounds, and scents is an illusion, a show put on for you by your brain? If you could perceive reality as it really is, you would be shocked by its colorless, odorless, tasteless silence. Outside your brain, there is just energy and matter…Although it feels like the touch is happening in your fingers, in fact it’s all happening in the mission control center of the brain…Seeing isn’t happening in your eyes; hearing isn’t taking place in your ears; smell isn’t happening in your nose. All of your sensory experiences are taking place in storms of activity within the computational material of your brain.
We create our experience. Understanding this helps us have room for the diversity of perspectives in relationships, but behind that, diversity is the unity of all things. Seeing this helps us approach relationships with greater compassion and understanding. It makes room for the validity of a diversity of experiences and perspectives while also recognizing that our experiences are ultimately expressions of the same underlying and unchanging reality of consciousness.
Detaching From the Negative Inner Narrative
Recognizing we are not our thoughts is also hugely helpful for relationships. We can forget who we are and create limiting and distorted narratives based on faulty assumptions about ourselves. When we get caught up in this way, there is often a negative impact on our relationships resulting from how we behave. It is easy to take out our pain and suffering on those we love the most when struggling. Understanding that, although we can’t change or control our thoughts, we don’t have to identify with them, and they don’t mean anything about us is freeing. We don’t need to be attached to our erroneous stories about ourselves. This helps us to approach our relationships with more clarity and open-heartedness, allowing us to be more present and responsive to ourselves and the needs of others.
Relationships Are Mirrors
It may look like our intimate relationships are there for personal happiness and satisfaction. But the joy of relationships is fully available to us when we see they provide us opportunities for growth, learning, and healing. Intimacy with another reveals blind spots and misunderstandings within ourselves. Relationship conflicts, challenges, and struggles, rather than being relationship issues, are opportunities for self-reflection and healing on our journey of spiritual awakening. This does not mean we have to stay with our partner, but we can decide from the perspective of deeper understanding and connection with Self rather than reactivity. To be in an alive relationship that invites us to wake up more fully to who we are, we need to connect deeply with our partner by being open and honest about our fears, insecurities, and weaknesses and allowing ourselves to be seen and accepted just as we are. This forces us to confront our fears, limitations, and misunderstandings about ourselves. This process can be challenging and requires vulnerability, but embracing it allows us to open our hearts more fully so we can experience the love that is our nature more fully.
Love Is Our True Nature
Love is not simply an emotion we experience. It is also a fundamental aspect of who we are. When we connect with someone deeply and authentically and experience love, they are not giving us love, we are, instead, experiencing the love that is within ourselves. The source of love is within us. We do not need to search for love outside ourselves or try to find the "perfect" partner to experience love. Instead, we can cultivate a deeper connection with our inner being, which is the source of all love and will be reflected to us by others. When we are in touch with our true nature of love, we naturally extend that love to others and give from the overflow.
For real, sustainable change in your relationship, look in the direction of waking up to your true nature of love so you can approach your relationship with greater awareness, compassion, and acceptance and navigate relationship challenges with greater ease and grace. Angus and I have been greatly impacted by the non-dual spiritual teachings of Sydney Banks. His teachings were the catalyst for transforming our relationship. And there are many non-dual spiritual teachers, both current and past, who share a similar profound message of hope for humanity that stems from the universal rather than the psychological.
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.