I am doing an interview for an upcoming online series with Kim Root, The Art of a Peaceful Mind: How to Find Peace, Inner Strength and Confidently Tap Into Your Intuition. I am speaking to peace of mind in relationships. As I was thinking about the interview, it struck me how ironic it is that the people we are closest to and who we love the most are usually the people with whom we can be the most reactive and have the least peace of mind.
I am pretty even keel most of the time. I am laid back, polite, and stable with most people, but when it comes to my kids and my husband Angus another side can come out. The full package of my humanness reveals itself. This used to look like a problem to me. I used to spend a lot of time trying to improve myself and be a better person, but now I actually wish I was naturally more of myself in all of my relationships. I don’t do it intentionally, but I can see how I filter and edit myself in my other relationships. I am more guarded and less relaxed.
And I would have thought this was a problem too in the past. I should be more authentic and real. Why aren’t I more like Angus who is just himself whatever context you put him in. But my wishing for that is just another form of trying to be different and thinking somehow that life would be better if I were different.
It is amazing how much time we can spend trying to fix our personalities and trying to make ourselves better. There is an infinite amount of work we can do on ourselves. And there is nothing wrong with this if it is fun and enjoyable, but so often the goal is to fix ourselves so we can feel better. That is the trap. Our feelings are always going to come and go. Some will feel good, some will feel bad. No matter how much work we do on ourselves that is not going to change. Thoughts come and go. Feelings come and go. Our behavior shifts.
Trying to change this is a burden. Seeing how this works is freedom.
Freedom to see the human experience and to also know we are not just that. When we look in the direction of the source of who we are — the mystery that can never be known by our human mind — we open to the fullness of who we are. This makes the comings and goings of our emotional experience so much easier to be with.
There is such comfort in knowing I am bigger than any feeling I will ever experience. No emotion is going to take me down. No thought is going to annihilate me. What is there to be afraid of when I AM not that which is changing and shifting. When I AM not that which can be improved or that which regresses. There is such freedom in having a reference point that who I AM, who we all are, is not this personal self that looks separate and flawed.
Why is this important to me? What is the use of seeing this? Only that everything changes from this vantage point. My self-absorption becomes less because I am less worried about this personal self that I get to experience and play the game of life with. I am more curious about the experience of dropping out of that identification and coming home to the oneness that is within. Not physically within, but the internal experience of that.
Now there is no way that the two can meet. And there is no point in working to try and get the two to meet. This is freedom. The letting go of seeking. The realization that the personal self does not need to be worried about the impersonal self. The reference point of where we all come from is the deeper self. That which is universal and the same. We are all unique emanations of that one source. All apparently different, yet all creating our experience the same way from the same source.
Seeing this makes the game of being human more fun and light-hearted. How this helps me in my relationships is it takes the pressure off. Seeing the fluid nature of my human experience allows me to get over my upset more easily. It allows me to have more room for my humanness and the humanness of others in my life. I take things less personally, and when I do take them personally I get over it quicker.
Seeing the fluid nature of who we are and knowing there is nothing to do or fix in how I show up or in how anyone shows up, simplifies things and everything gets better from there. What is there to do if I am not thinking about how I am doing and how I am coming across and what I need to do to be happy? There is just the freedom to do what occurs to me moment to moment and to live life in service to that.
Surrendering to life living through me. Not knowing what I’m up to or where I’m going. Simply allowing myself to be me and to do what makes sense. Isn’t that what is happening anyway. I just make up the weight of meaning instead of allowing the lightness of being to remain unexplained.
I am not saying I do this all the time. I still create meaning, but I am less attached to the meaning I create, and I am more open and curious about the capacity I have to create. The practicality of this is in the lightness. It is in the freedom. When we are not weighed down we rise to the occasion and to new heights that we have never imagined before in effortless ways that astonish the personal mind that thinks it can only achieve through effort and hard work. It is not our doing. It is our being that creates. The more we experience who we are. The less we get in the way of our creative beingness.
And as a result, Angus and I are coming up to 25 years of marriage. If you had asked us fifteen years ago neither of us would have probably bet on our marriage lasting. I have never been happier in our relationship. I have never felt as good in my own skin, and I have never been as accepting of myself when I don’t feel good in my own skin.
And all it takes is seeing you are not your feelings, thoughts or your behaviors. And in seeing what you are not, you get to look in the direction of who you are. And allow your own realizations to flow from there.
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 this 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 couples' intensives 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 Rewilding Community. You can follow Rohini on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. To learn more about her work and subscribe to her blog visit: TheRewilders.org.