As the early bird price for The Soul-Centered Series is drawing to a close, I am immersed in conversations with people enrolling in the 7-month program. I feel so grateful to connect with people from all over the world and talk about an understanding that has transformed my life and the lives of so many people I work with and know personally.
What I am particularly grateful for is the impact of this understanding on my experience of relationships, and especially my relationship with my husband Angus. I see now how I used to focus on trying to fix things out there. I tried to improve him, tried to improve our communications, tried to improve myself, tried to learn techniques for better sex, tried different practices to experience more intimacy and on and on…
The one direction I wasn’t looking was inward toward experiencing my true nature more fully. Though I wanted to do so –– and to awaken in consciousness to a greater degree –– I thought I had to heal my psychology in order to do so. This turns out to be the opposite of how it really works.
Now I see it’s the other way around: psychology heals and rearranges itself from having an experience of a deeper connection with Self. That is the only direction that needs to be looked in because it takes care of what is needed for the individual.
It is not, however, a linear process. There is a deeper wisdom that is unfolding so I can’t say –– ‘look in the direction of your true nature, drop out of your conceptual mind and experience the oneness of life –– and then you will have a better relationship.’ Just like I can’t say that opening to your Authentic Self will give you more money, a better business, less weight, or more Instagram followers. There is no 1:1 relationship between outer things and a greater inner realization of our true nature. But what a deeper connection with who you truly are does do, is to give you more peace of mind and greater inner freedom. From there, life unfolds in often magnificent and seemingly magical ways.
This is what happened for me in my relationship with Angus. After years of trying to fix and improve our relationship, and finally resigning myself to it being good enough, the shift happened when I had a deeper experience of wellbeing and security that came from inside of me. Nothing had changed on the outside. But from this experience, I saw Angus completely differently. I found myself not being rattled by his humanness in the ways I used to be.
Previously, I would often take Angus’s low mood behaviors personally. It would look to me like he needed to change in order for me to feel okay. I would then focus on what I thought he needed to change in order for me to have a nicer experience of our relationship. None of this worked, and it just left him feeling criticized and unappreciated. Goodwill and rapport would decrease between us. This brought out the worst in us both.
Then, all of a sudden, without even trying, I saw his low moods with compassion as an expression of his suffering. I’m not saying I see it this way all the time even now, but my first experience of seeing his low mood as his suffering was revolutionary for me. Instead of needing him to be different and in a better mood so I could feel better, I felt empathy and love for him. I didn’t react to his reactivity. Instead, I was kind and calm. Rather than proceeding on a negative downward spiral with each of us reacting to the other in a tit for tat conflict, my neutral and loving presence helped him to stabilize. Instead of me being critical while he was suffering, I finally showed up in a way that was supportive.
This was possible only because I saw more clearly for myself that my wellbeing is found within and cannot be taken from me. I was residing with a deeper feeling of connection to my okayness –– no matter what. From there, our relationship radically improved though I had thought it was good enough as it was at that time. I was not expecting to experience even deeper levels of connection and intimacy with him. I had resigned myself to middle-aged sex and was not expecting it to be rekindled like newlyweds.
None of these unexpected improvements were the result of working on our relationship. None of this came from him changing –– though we both did change. The transformation in our relationship did not result from us getting better in our behavior or improving our personalities. These were by-products that happened. But it started with me having an experience of being immersed in an understanding of the Principles that helped me see how I had been constantly striving and looking outward to find greater inner peace. I thought I needed to have less emotional upset in my life in order to experience greater peace.
I didn’t realize that my trying to have less emotional upset was actually magnifying my experience of upset and taking me further away from the peace I was so desperate to experience more fully and more often.
The understanding shared by Sydney Banks helped me to get comfortable with my emotions. I stopped trying to fix myself and relaxed into who I am and how I am from moment to moment. It helped me to see the benefit of looking inward and getting reflective. I felt immense relief as I dropped into an experience of inner freedom and peace that I had never felt before. This became a new reference point. Even though I don’t always feel that level of equanimity, I know in a more profound way that I am okay even when I don’t feel okay.
This is one of the gifts the understanding has given me. It impacts every area of my life, most especially by showing me how another person’s behavior does not and cannot cause me distress.
It really used to look to me like Angus’s upset was the source of my distress. But from having a deeper connection with my innate wellbeing and peace of mind, I saw that I could feel safe and secure independent of what he was feeling and doing. I experienced my capacity to love him even when he wasn’t at his best. I recognized that my previous upset with him was not caused by him. My upset was a result of me getting destabilized by identifying with my own insecure and anxious thoughts.
Angus did not cause me to feel that way. He was not a trigger for my experience. That experience was inside of me because of my habitual negative mental narrative, and I would simply find something to lock onto and blame it on. This just happened to most frequently be him.
It was like I was being driven crazy by noise. And I would look for the source of the noise outside of myself and find something noisy to blame –– while being completely oblivious to the real source being the massive explosion of judgment coming from inside my own head.
That is how powerful thought is. It is constant and it can look real and true. But even more powerful than thought is the source of thought. The true self from which all thought arises. Looking beyond thought to the Self is what dramatically improved my marriage. It had nothing to do with Angus changing and didn’t result from my working on myself or on our relationship. It had everything to do with me coming home to a deeper connection with the impersonal love that resides within.
I can’t guarantee that this understanding will change your relationship, but I can say it is one of the most simple and profound ways I have been pointed toward my true nature. And this has had a positive impact on every area of my life including and especially my marriage.
My heart is filled with so much gratitude for the understanding of the Principles and for the joy I have in sharing this understanding with others. If you want to have a conversation about the 7-month Soul-Centered Series program email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can set up a time to speak.
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 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.