If you missed the first two parts of this series you can read them by clicking here:
Rewilding Your Relationship Even if You Feel, Discouraged, Disheartened or Desperate Part 1
Make Room For Humanness Part 2
Part 3 Love is Your Natural State
We tend to be attracted to people who will push our buttons. It feels like the innate intelligence behind life knows exactly who we need to be with in order to help us wake up in consciousness. Often at the beginning of a romantic relationship, there is a period of time when all we see is the good in our partner. We feel on top of the world and love everything about them. There is often a highly charged sexual chemistry during this time. We accept our partner. We don’t try to change them. We find their foibles cute or endearing. We aren’t threatened by their frailties, and we rejoice in all their virtues.
This is known as the honeymoon period of a romantic relationship. It is often pathologized as a time when people lose their minds. Then there is the fall from grace when your partner goes from appearing amazing and perfect to more irritating or annoying and perhaps even driving you crazy.
Some would say, this is when sh*t gets real. You have come back down to earth and are finally seeing things clearly. However, I disagree with this. The honeymoon period is actually when you are seeing things most clearly. It is an experience of grace that lets you know what is possible in your relationship when you are in your natural state of love and aren’t fettered by judgments. You see your partner most clearly at this time because you have an open mind and an open heart.
However, as you get to know someone you see them with less perspective and altitude and more through the lens of your personal conditioning. You drop out of the wild state of freedom and fall into a more limited point of view that is focused on trying to get your needs and wants met by your partner. This is, of course, impossible. Every partner will fall short in some or many areas. This leads to disappointment and often heartache. This switch from the good feelings of the natural state of love to the painful experience of disappointment is not, however, a reflection of the relationship or a reflection of your partner. It is a reflection of a change in your state of mind or said another way, a shift in your level of consciousness.
The shift from the honeymoon stage into the stage of coming back down to earth and disillusionment is not a sign of waking up to reality. It reflects going back to sleep into old programming. This is not wrong or bad. It is simply part of the journey of waking up. Just like someone who has experienced a high level of consciousness after taking a hallucinogen, they don’t sustain that awareness fully when they come down from the experience. But it does show them what is available and possible. (This is not an endorsement for hallucinogens. It is just a metaphor.)
Falling in love in a head over heels way gives us a temporary reprieve from a busy mind full of judgments. We have the experience of what it is like to be present, to be fully embodied, and to live in the moment. We feel our natural state of love that is free and full of joy. Unfortunately, people usually make the mistake of attributing this experience to their partner. They see the wonderful feelings they are having as coming from their partner, not the result of experiencing their natural state more fully. So when feelings drop, it makes sense that the partner is blamed. But it isn’t the partner’s fault. They haven’t changed. They are the same person. They are just being seen from a more limited vantage point, but if we believe they made us feel good, then it makes sense that they are now responsible for making us feel bad.
But that is isn’t the way it works. It is our own thoughts of fear and insecurity that are the culprits. They were temporarily cleared from our mind during the honeymoon period, but then they come back with a vengeance. We feel scared and insecure. We get attached and afraid of losing what we have become attached to. Our partner is now seen as the source of our wellbeing, and it is very anxiety-provoking to believe the source of our wellbeing is outside of us. This false belief changes how we see our partner.
Someone that looked incredibly charming and free who was never on time for things now looks irresponsible and untrustworthy because they are never on time for things. The same behavior with a new meaning. The behavior didn’t change. What changed is the level of consciousness of the person creating the meaning. A behavior goes from being impersonal and not meaning anything about you, to personal meaning something about you. For example, if you loved me you would be on time. If you cared about me, you wouldn’t be late. And the internal dialogue flows from there, “What is wrong with me that I am with someone who doesn’t respect me enough to be on time. I am not good enough. I am not lovable.” It all goes downhill from there.
The other person hasn’t changed, but your behavior toward them now has. They feel the judgment. They feel the criticism. They feel the disappointment, and oftentimes they take that personally. They don’t see the change in your behavior as a reflection of a drop in your mood, state of mind, or consciousness. They take it personally and feel hurt. They make it mean something about them. They get defensive. They get judgmental and think you are controlling and needy. They say to themselves, “I don’t need this kind of hassle. I’m not going to let my life be dictated by someone else.” They push you away because they would rather be angry than feel the painful feelings of guilt and shame that arise when they believe they are responsible for disappointing you. They are being told your upset is their fault, and they believe you even though they will deny it. Their upset lets you know they have taken it on.
We don’t experience other people directly. We experience our own thoughts that we identify with. When you fell in love and were in the honeymoon phase all of those beautiful feelings were coming from inside of you. They are what is there when the mind quiets and you experience your true nature. Then the mind gets filled up with your own thoughts of insecurity and you lose touch with those beautiful feelings and instead feel more anxious and insecure. That is also coming from inside of you and not from anyone outside of you. But if this is not understood, an external explanation is looked for and your partner is an easy target to blame because they genuinely look different even though they haven’t changed. You actually see their behavior differently. It feels true to you even though days, weeks, months, or years earlier, the same behavior wasn’t an issue.
The rewilding opportunity is to have room for your own shifts in consciousness and to understand the impact of your shifts in consciousness on your relationships, particularly your intimate relationships. From a high level of consciousness, you will love everyone. This doesn’t mean you will choose to be in personal relationships with everyone, but navigating the shifts between the personal and impersonal perspectives in romantic relationships is a beautiful learning curve for waking up to the truth of who you are.
The insecurities and fears that we identify with as a natural result of getting close to another human reveal to us our misunderstandings around who we are and where our safety and security lies. On the personal level opening our heart to another feels vulnerable. It feels like we can be hurt. It feels like we might not be okay if the other person leaves us or something happens to them. It looks like they cause our happiness and our unhappiness. These are the misunderstandings in action. This is the conditioned mind at play. These are the lies we have learned to believe and limit ourselves by living as if they are true.
The untamed, rewilded state is about freeing ourselves from these conditioned lies and returning to the truth of who we are. Returning to our natural state of love that is within us and that cannot be taken away from us. It is about seeing that love is our true nature and no one or no thing diminishes this. Our access to that experience is not determined by another person, their behavior, or circumstances. It is determined by how much we identify with the limitations of our learned conditioning and the extent to which we forget that our natural state is love.
When we fall in love, we experience our natural state, but we misattribute the experience to coming from the person we are in love with. Rewilding your relationship is a remembering of who you are and a claiming the truth that your natural state is love. You do this for yourself, not your partner. You claim your authentic empowerment and inner freedom because it is your birthright. And then your relationship rewilds itself.
When you open to your natural, unconditioned state there is room for all of you. Your emotional ups and downs are not a problem. There is wisdom in all of it. There is space for both personal and impersonal love. There is a recognition that your experience is a reflection of the thoughts you identify with. You remember that your experience does not come from another person. There is a knowing of your “okayness” and wellbeing no matter what. This gives you a profound foundation to be in the human experience and to share your human experience with another. It is not about perfecting the human experience. It is about having an anchor and foundation beyond the human experience. To be grounded in that which is unchanging and constant, so the ups and downs of the human experience become more graceful and enjoyable.
As Gangaji said, “When you know you are bigger than what you feel, you can feel everything.”
The rewilded state has room for all of the human experience, and this freedom brings out the best in us. It allows the love, compassion, empathy, wisdom, the creativity of our true nature the freedom to be expressed, and that dominates the landscape of the relationship. There will still be the weeds of our human frailties, but they will not take over and dominate. The health of the system will maintain balance and harmony while having space for it all. Beyond the honeymoon phase and the disgruntled phase, a rewilded relationship is a state of embodied aliveness that has room for humanness and connection with the natural and unchanging state of love.
The fall from the honeymoon period may feel like a fall from grace, but it is actually grace in action. It is the gift of seeing your own misconceptions and misunderstandings. It provides the opportunity to be able to love all of you and all of your partner — the good, the bad, and the ugly. The honeymoon experience lets you see what is possible, but in order to find your way back there, it is not about fixing the relationship or changing your partner. It is about looking within to the truth of who you are and waking up to that more fully in a sustainable way. By genuinely being willing to discard the limitations of thought that tell you who you are not, you get to experience who you are.
This requires a willingness and strength of heart. The taming and conditioning of your mind is very limiting, but it is familiar and comfortable. Letting go of this means being willing to step into the unknown and being open to seeing what gets revealed. You do have to confront your fears, but not with willpower and domination. Rather with a willingness to feel the discomfort of stepping outside of your comfort zone by following what feels true rather than staying with what is known. Your conditioning will scream, “No! Don’t be crazy! Protect yourself! You can’t trust them. That isn’t safe! What are you doing! Stop! Stop! Please, stop!” But your heart knows what is true. Your heart knows the way. Ignore the screams and follow the feeling of freedom and love. That will take you back to the experience of impersonal love while still having a personal relationship. You could say it is the best of both worlds. You don’t get there through personal effort and willpower. You get there by allowing the love that is your true nature to rewild you back to your natural state.
Rohini Ross is passionate about helping people wake up to their potential. She is a transformative coach, leadership consultant, regular contributor to Thrive Global, and author of the short-read Marriage. 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. Rohini is the co-founder of The 29-Day Rewilding Experience and The Rewilding Community. You can subscribe to Rohini’s weekly blog on her website, rohiniross.com. You can also 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.