The worst ten days of my life were when I took a road trip with my ex-boyfriend. We were driving around the coast of Ireland – and instead of enjoying the beautiful scenery, he used this precious time to dig in and tell me how unsatisfied he was with our relationship – for ten torturous days, I was bullied, shouted-at, put down, and told over and over how selfish and uncommitted I was about our relationship, and that if our twelve-year relationship was going to last, I would have to change my ways.

That drive was exhausting.

The discord in our relationship had been going on for about five years, and so by the end of that road trip, I knew I had to leave – I was so done with listening to him. I was fed-up living this way. When I eventually moved out, I discovered that leaving was the best thing I ever did because I got to experience what life was like without carrying around this extra heavy, and burdensome baggage of always hearing his complaints. I got a taste of the (unbearable) lightness of being.

Fortunately, traveling companions come and go in life. And if we’re lucky, we eventually get wise and decisive about who we choose to travel through life with. We can stop the car and tell them to get out. But there’s one companion that’s always traveling with us – our mind. And it’s not always the ideal traveling companion.

I’ve discovered that my mind can be just as much of a bully, and just as critical and judgmental, as my ex. There seems to be no end to the advice it churns out:

Don’t bother writing a book, no one will read it…

If you leave your partner, you’ll ruin your life…

You’ll never find a relationship – there’s too much competition

You’re such an imposteryou’re just not good enough