The Principles understanding applies to all areas of life just like gravity applies to all areas on earth, but the area that I experienced and continue to witness dramatic and inspiring results both for myself and others is in relationships. When I came across the understanding I thought Angus and I had a good marriage. We had, in the past, had very difficult times, but we were on more solid ground. But, when I got a deeper experience of my wellbeing and absolute okayness no matter what my emotional, mental, or physical experience, it had a profound impact on our relationship. Me understanding more about the nature of thoughts and feelings helped me to be less anxious and afraid. This helped me to see life and Angus more clearly so I took things less personally. As a result, I was more neutral in the face of other people’s upset and my own.
I was able to take my destabilized feelings and thoughts less seriously as well as Angus’. This left me feeling more grounded and settled. And it took our marriage to a new level of intimacy that I did not know was possible. I was able to relax and be fully in. I was no longer afraid of being intimate. I hadn’t realized it, but I had a guard up that was supposed to stop me from being devastated if Angus left me or something happened to him. I wasn’t aware that I was trying to protect myself in this way. I didn’t see that I believed my okayness was dependent on not being hurt, but it was there nonetheless. It had me hold back. It stopped me from fully trusting Angus and more importantly trusting myself to be okay no matter what happens in my life.
When I saw my feelings had nothing to do with me being okay, it liberated me to love more fully and to live more freely. I saw I no longer needed to get life right so I could avoid certain feelings. The freedom of being okay with all of my feelings was the greatest gift. Previously, I had to summon up the courage to do the things I wanted to do when they scared me. I wasn’t willing to not do them, but it did feel miserable to push through my fear and do it anyway. I was in a battle with my anxiety and insecurity.
Recognizing in an experiential way that I am more than my feeling experience helped my feelings to shrink down to a manageable size so I no longer felt I needed to do battle with them. I realized I could have feelings of upset, anxiety, or unworthiness, but there was no need for me to engage with them, try to fix them, or push through them because they took up less space inside of me. I had space around my emotional experience rather than being fully submerged in it. I was surprised when I realized this is freedom. I thought freedom was going to come from not having negative emotional experiences. Instead, I found freedom was in being okay independent of my emotional experience. So much easier than trying to ward off negative emotions. I realized I was able to have my normal human emotional experience while also experiencing what is beyond that. Feeling the space within which the human experience occurs and identifying with that too not just the emotions made life so much easier especially my relationship with Angus.
I was able to stop being brave and pushing through my insecurity. That wasn’t required anymore. It was like a detour all of a sudden appeared to me that I had not seen before. I didn’t need to go through my feelings. I could go around them. I want to be clear this is not some kind of emotional by-pass, repression, or denial. I would still feel my feelings, but they would just not hijack me. I could have them, without them having me.
With more inner spaciousness, my intimacy with Angus deepened dramatically. I no longer needed to protect myself from getting hurt. I knew I could survive any hurt that came my way. I might not like it, but I could be okay with it. This allowed me to stop judging Angus so harshly. Previously I was so critical of him because it helped me to keep my distance. If I judged him as not good enough then I didn’t need to be all in, in the relationship. If I wasn’t all in then I couldn’t get hurt. That was my crazy, irrational safety net. It diminished how open my heart was and not just to Angus, but to life!
This all disappeared without effort when I had a deeper experience of wellbeing. I saw I could be all in and love Angus full out and suffer if something happened to him or he left me. I recognized I could handle any disappointment and devastation I might feel. Rather than preparing for the worst I just accepted him, loved him and opened my heart to him in all of his glorious humanness. This also helped me to be okay with myself in all of my humanness.
My encouragement is for you to look in the direction of your wellbeing. Look in the direction of who you are beyond your feelings and thoughts. Look to the space that is around them and feel into the experience of all of who you are. Knowing this space within you is your safety net. It is freedom. It is what allows you to live life full out and be okay with all of the knocks and bruises that are part of the journey.
Rohini Ross is passionate about helping people wake up to their full potential. She is a transformative coach, leadership consultant, a regular blogger for Thrive Global, and author of the short-read Marriage (The Soul-Centered Series Book 1) available on Amazon. You can get her free ebook Relationships here. Rohini currently has an international coaching and consulting practice based in Los Angeles helping individuals, couples, and professionals embrace all of who they are so they can experience greater levels of well-being, resiliency, and success. She is also the founder of The Soul-Centered Series: Psychology, Spirituality, and the Teachings of Sydney Banks. You can follow Rohini on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and watch her Vlogs with her husband. To learn more about her work go to her website, rohiniross.com.