My email management has hit an all-time low. I’m hopefully not letting the important ones lapse, but I’m sure there will be hurt feelings along the way. I love responding to reader and listener emails. The ones that get me stuck are the ones with a next action. I could just create a task list to get them out of my email inbox. That would be the thing to do, but old habits die hard. And doing that would have me fall into the trap of out of sight out of mind. Then I would have to create a new habit of looking at that list to get things done. As you can tell I am in a “complainy” mood. I should be grateful to be so busy. I should be happy that I am in demand. I should be more generous and open-hearted.
I remember being on a modeling shoot in Mauritius. The photographer asked me how I liked being a model. I told him how homesick I felt and how I was exhausted by all the travel. He didn’t like that and he didn’t like me after that. Looking back I can understand that he must have thought I was completely spoilt and ungrateful for the incredible good fortune that I was experiencing to be that busy with work in a profession where 90% of the participants struggle to get by.
I can feel my own judgments against myself with this current situation. It means something about me that I haven’t figured this out. 399 emails is a measure of my incompetence. 400 now, my incompetence is growing. It is amazing how real it feels that something outside of me can mean something about my value and worth as a human being.
I am sure that some would think it ridiculous that I get my knickers in a twist about email. It is so arbitrary. What will it be tomorrow? Where will I hang my self-worth hat?
Angus would hope that it would be connected to how the house looks, but that one doesn’t hook me. Even though right now our youngest daughter just moved back home and our living room is full of her things and looks rather shambolic, I feel secure knowing it will get handled, and don’t feel an inner compunction to tidy things along. I feel no distress there. And my menopausal body that is changing shape and getting softer in places that make me wonder will my regular pants fit when I am no longer wearing track pants every day as part of my pandemic chic? That doesn’t get my goat. And there are plenty of other things that look a whole lot more like more important measures of my worth than email: the quality of my mothering, wifing, my ability to be loving, but they aren’t drawing my attention. It is so arbitrary.
Writing is helping me to get perspective. It is now looking a bit more ridiculous to me that I feel the internal pressure I do to get through my emails. I want that empty inbox high even though it won’t last for more than a nanosecond. I have the idea that when I achieve that goal then I can relax. Get this done, then I can rest. The grass is greener over there. How do I get over there? Just like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, the rainbow keeps moving. I don’t get there. I never arrive.
This is just another reminder to stop chasing it. To stop running after the illusion. To stop seeking my wellbeing outside of myself.
Sure I can have a moan and wail about my emails. Nothing wrong with a bit of gnashing of teeth. That is part of the human experience. But instead of having my suffering drive my behavior innocently thinking it is going to fix “the problem.” I can be with my upset. Be with my misunderstanding. Be with my feelings and do nothing. Simply be. It is in the being that I remember my worth isn’t defined by anything outside me. Who I am is innately worthy and lovable with all of my human frailties and quirks.
It doesn’t matter if I get off on the wrong foot with a photographer or if someone is angry with me because their email has not been replied to. Their dislike or upset is a reflection of their state of mind. I am just being me doing my best and I can have compassion for the upset one as well as myself.
I can love myself even with my negativity and complaining. My glass is half empty demeanor does not mean I am unworthy. It just means I am human with moods that go up and down. Sometimes I give voice to my low mood thinking. And sometimes I am just grateful. Grateful for it all.
What I am seeing more and more is that the "gratitude for it" all state of mind is not negated by my low mood thoughts and feelings. It is bigger than all of my experience. It encompasses everything. From that space within myself, I am simply grateful for being able to feel no matter what I am feeling. I am grateful for the experience of being independent of my thoughts, feelings, and the situation I am in. I am grateful for I am.
So what started as an email lament ends up being a reminder that none of it is wrong or bad. All of it is for my learning and awakening. And nothing isn’t righted by getting present and connecting with the reservoir of love that is my true nature. I hope you don’t mind the circuitous route we took to get here and the journey was helpful.
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.