S2 EP109 – Are You Fearful of Commitment?

Episode Summary

Discover the underlying reasons you might be fearful of committing to a relationship, or to a job, or even to your personal and spiritual growth. Learn how to heal commitment phobia.


Hi everyone. This is Dr. Margaret Paul with the Inner Bonding podcast and today I will be talking about the fear of commitment, also called commitment phobia.

Commitment phobia stems from the fear of being controlled, the fear of losing yourself. It’s a fear of engulfment. It’s a fear that if you are in a committed relationship, or some other form of commitment, you’re going to lose yourself, and underneath that fear of losing yourself – underneath the fear of engulfment is the fear of rejection, because the only reason that you would give yourself up in a relationship or friendship or a work situation, is to avoid rejection. That’s why people give themselves up. They allow themselves to be controlled. They allow themselves to be engulfed because they think that if they give themselves up and do what somebody else wants them to do, if they people please, then they won’t be rejected. But the problem is that the moment you give yourself up to avoid somebody else rejection, you’ve rejecting yourself. And so what causes actually causes commitment phobia is self-abandonment, self-rejection.

When you’re making what somebody else feels about you more important than how you feel about yourself, when you make somebody else loving you or approving of you more important than loving yourself and approving of yourself, then you’re rejecting yourself. And when you reject yourself, that feels bad inside. When you’re willing to give yourself up to not be rejected by somebody else, you’re going to end up feeling pretty awful, because you’ve already rejected yourself. You’re going to end up feeling you’ve got to get out of this relationship or the work situation, but it’s not because there’s necessarily something wrong with the relationship or the work, but because you are giving yourself up, you’re rejecting yourself, you’re abandoning yourself and that’s always going feel bad. So in any relationship, and it doesn’t matter what kind of relationship it’s with – a parent with, a partner, a a friend, a boss or co-worker, we always have to be willing to lose the other person rather than lose ourselves in order to create a loving relationship.

When we were children, we obviously could not do that because we couldn’t take care of ourselves. Many of us learned when we were young, that we had to give ourselves up, that we had to people please, that we had to sacrifice who we really are in order to try to avoid punishment or get some approval, which often gets confused with love. Love and approval are not the same thing. Love doesn’t have an agenda and love doesn’t come and go – it’s not conditional. Most of us didn’t get real love. We got approval when we did things right and disapproval when we did things wrong, and for a child it’s really scary to have that come and go. So, of course, many of us learned to give ourselves up in one way or another.

Those of you who have a commitment phobia might have given yourself up in order not to be rejected by a parent, but now today, to heal from your fear of commitment, you need to be willing to lose the other person rather than lose yourself. When you attach your self-worth to how others feel about you, then getting close to somebody can feel dangerous. If you’re telling yourself that if this person loves you, you’re okay, but if this person doesn’t, then you’re not good enough, then that makes it very scary to be in a relationship. It’s like, you have this little kid, which is your feeling self, and you’re handing him or her away to this other person and saying to that child, “That person has to like you for you to be okay. And if that person doesn’t like you, then you’re not okay. And I’m not going to be the one to love you.” So if that person doesn’t, that’s pretty scary.

Commitment phobia comes from the fear of engulfment, which comes from the fear of rejection, which comes from self-abandonment and not being willing to lose the other person, being willing to lose yourself rather than lose them, and attaching your self-worth to how others feel about you.

And then there is the fear of pain. Many of us had a lot of pain as we were growing up, a lot of loneliness, a lot of heartbreak, a lot of grief, and a lot of helplessness over how we were being treated. And it’s so hard when you’re a little child to not have love that you can rely on, to not have people there that really get you and connect to you and to tune into you.

It was so hard and painful for many of us, and we were too little to manage that pain. So we learned many ways of not feeling the heartbreak, the loneliness, the grief, and the helplessness over others. We learned to avoid our feelings and try to have control over getting love and avoiding pain. And one of the ways that we might have learned was to give ourselves up and make others responsible for defining our worth. And that, as I said, leads to the fear of commitment.

You also might have found subtle ways of resisting the control so that you didn’t completely lose yourself, and this resistance might now be showing up in both your work and your relationships.

My clients often ask me, “How do I know if the person is a very good match for me when I’m just generally afraid to commit?” The problem is that until you are operating from your loving adult rather than your wounded self, you can’t actually know. Even if the person is a good match for you, you’re going to be afraid to commit if you’re afraid of losing yourself in the relationship. When you stop rejecting yourself, you eventually stop being afraid of rejection, so you stop giving yourself up to avoid rejection.

My clients often tell me that they have a pattern of getting involved with unavailable men, which indicates that they are also unavailable. When you are available for an intimate relationship because of no longer abandoning yourself, you won’t be attracted to unavailable people.

My client, Andrea, said, “I have this terrible feeling in my gut when I’m interested in a guy, so I think I’ve got a commitment problem. I’ve tried for so long to have a loving relationship. I’ve always wanted to have that wonderful man in my life, but I’ve had nothing but failed relationships. Even when I felt that I loved a man, I got this terrible feeling of fear in the pit of my stomach, and I’ve felt that way with every guy that I’ve ever been with.”

I asked Andrea to breath into the fear in her stomach and get present with it. I said to her, “See if you can imagine that the fear is that little girl in you. And she’s really, really scared of something. And see if you can find a place in you that wants responsibility for something you might be doing or telling her that’s causing the fear right now.” I then asked Andrea to breathe into her heart is step 2 of Inner Bonding, opening to learning and inviting the love and compassion of her higher self into her heart. I knew from previous sessions that she had a connection with her higher self. Then, in Step 3, I asked her to ask the fear how she was treating herself and what she was telling herself that caused the fear, and then move back into her body and let the fear answer.

Her inner child said, “I’m scared because I may not be loved. I might be rejected.”

I asked her to ask her inner child how she, as her wounded self, was rejecting herself. When you’re in a relationship, what do you do that scares your little girl and makes her feel unsafe and rejected? Ask her why she isn’t feeling loved by you. She told me that she told her inner child that she has to be perfect in every relationship. Of course, that made her inner child feel rejected by her – that she’s not good enough the way she is.

“When you tell her that she has to be perfect,” I asked her, “how does that feel inside?”

“It hurts,” she said.

“And it scares your little girl to tell her that she has to act perfectly and say the right thing or she’s not going to be loved – that you’re not going to love her unless she does everything right, and that the man has to love her for her to be okay. If you had an actual child and instead of you loving the child, you went around to neighbors and knocked on their doors and said, ‘Do you want this kid? If you like her and you take care of her, then she’s okay. But if you don’t want her and you reject her, she’s not okay.’ That child’s going to feel very scared, unloved, and rejected by you.”

“That’s exactly what I’ve been doing,” said Andrea. “But how do I love her more?

“Since you have a spiritual connection,” I said, “I’d like you right now to open to that connection. Ask your higher guidance, ‘What’s the first thing that I need to do to be loving to my little girl? What’s one thing that I can do right now?

“Accept every part of her,” Andrea said.

“Are you willing to start to practice that right now?” I asked. “It will make a very big difference if you start accepting her rather than judging her and telling her she’s got to be perfect.”

“Yes,” she said. “I will. And she is so glad she doesn’t have to be perfect anymore.”

“How does that feel inside right now?” I asked her.

“That feels really good,” she said. “I feel relief.”

The feeling of relief is her inner guidance letting her know that she is on the right track with learning to love herself.

My client Nathan told me that he has a phobia of being in a committed relationship. He told me that, “My last relationship ended in heartbreak and, even though I have a deep desire to be in a loving relationship, I’m afraid of opening up again. I seem unable to open to the possibility of a new relationship. It took everything I had to break up with the last woman and rebuild my life. How do I open up again to the possibility? It’s very frightening. It is the deepest desire I have but I’m so scared of getting hurt again.”

As we explored his last relationship, it soon became apparent that Nathan completely abandoned himself in his last relationship, and in all his previous relationships. “Self-abandonment,” I told him, ‘Is the primary reason for relationship failure. I’ve worked with couples for many years and over and over, the reason that the relationship is failing is because each person is abandoning themselves. They haven’t learned how to take loving care of themselves, how to fill themselves up with love so they have love to share with their partner. The fear of getting hurt goes away when you learn to love yourself.”

My client Jody said, “I know I have a fear of engulfment. I’m 43 and I’ve been in four committed relationships with four wonderful men, and I’ve left every one of them. Even when I keep trying to date them again to see if I can make it work, each time, I just leave again. I always start to feel like I’m in a cage, almost like I’m suffocating.”

“Jody,” I asked, “How do you give yourself up? What do you do? How do you sacrifice yourself in a relationship?”

“I try to be perfect,” she said. “I’m always available for sex, and always there for them. I’m trying to be a loving and accepting woman, but then I end up feeling suffocated.”

“What I hear,” I said to her, “is that you’re trying to be loving and accepting of him rather than loving and accepting of you. You have your focus on being this loving and accepting woman with your man, which is fine. We do need to be loving and accepting with our partner, but not to the exclusion of being loving and accepting of yourself. And I hear you not focusing on what would be loving and accepting to you. And when you’re not focusing on that, you’re going to end up feeling suffocated. It sounds like you go into a relationship taking responsibility for him rather than taking responsibility for you. If you were also focusing on taking responsibility for your own feelings, you would not end up feel suffocated. When you’re focused on being loving and accepting of him, you’re bypassing you. For now, in your next relationship, I encourage you to focus on being loving and accepting with yourself. Whatever is truly loving to you is also going to be loving to him. There’s no way to be loving to ourselves and be unloving to somebody else, because it’s not loving to ourselves to be unloving to somebody else. The focus needs to be on you first. Are you willing to try that?”

“Yes,” she said. “And I’m a sole parent to my young daughter. I think I need to do the same thing with her.”

“Right,” I said. “Half of good parenting is being there for your child, and the other half of good parenting is role modeling being there for yourself, and taking personal responsibility for your own feelings. Your child needs to see you role model that. And that’s what the practice of inner bonding is about.”

A question I often get from my clients is, “How can you tell if someone is commitment phobic and is there a way to resolve it?” Often, you can’t always tell at the beginning because very often commitment phobic people come on strong because they really do want a relationship, and they really do want to connect. They come on strong and they’re terrific and wonderful at the beginning. And then they find themselves like Jody feeling trapped and engulfed and they don’t understand why, and they go away. So if somebody’s coming on really strong and fast, that’s often a sign of commitment phobia.

Of course there’s a way to resolve it, but only if somebody is willing to do their inner bonding work. But if somebody continues to think that they have to give themselves up in a relationship, they’re always going to end up feeling engulfed and smothered and they’re eventually going to leave that relationship.

Now Dr. Erika Chopich and I are going to talk about various aspects of being commitment phobic other than in a relationship. Mostly, I wanted to pick her brilliant brain on this topic, and here is what she said.

“We make many different kinds of commitments. We not only make commitments to our family members, but also to our jobs and to causes and to ourselves. But I see many people who say they want to make the commitment, but and as they approach it closer and closer, they back away and just give up. I think part of the problem is all commitment requires some sacrifice. There’s something you must sacrifice to commit. Maybe it’s your time, or money, or your feeling of control. People who were raised with very controlling parents would have a very difficult time making a commitment that requires some form of sacrifice, but it’s a blessed sacrifice. It’s not an acquiescence. It’s something you freely choose to give but people often get stuck right at that moment.

“Like the new woman we hired in the barn who is well qualified. She was enthusiastic and energetic, and she started off very well, and as she started to grow more and more comfortable in the barn with the horses and with our barn team and she started to feel the healing and the love coming from her peers and from the horses, she became increasingly inefficient and increasingly uncommitted, until she just fell by the wayside of her own choosing. It looked to me that as her bond with the animals and the crew grew stronger, she almost swam upstream to distance herself from it all, until she left. It looked very much to me like she was commitment phobic because in her mind it would become all-consuming, and she would be lost. I suspect that that’s how she grew up – that if she made a commitment to her family, to her parents, she would end up being consumed. That’s likely where her phobia came from. She was probably terrified of being hurt because if she got close to us and the horses, she might get hurt, and it seemed like she was afraid of becoming lost or losing her freedom in some way – that she would have to give herself up to not be hurt, not be rejected. But if she had taken a different tract and opened her heart to what she was loving so very much, without the wounded self coming in and saying, “Yes, you like it here, but you’re gonna lose yourself,’ it would have had a different outcome. I find it very sad that her intent to protect was greater than her intent to love herself.”

Erika went on to say, “I used to see the same thing when I was the administrator of the Los Angeles Free Clinic. We had many volunteers because it takes an entire army to offer something like that to your community, and people would come in all fired up wanting to volunteer, wanting to make a difference, and wanting to help, and I would slowly see that fire in them begin to dwindle until it was extinguished, and they lost interest. It was the same pattern where they wanted to embrace the cause and give it their all, but they also did not want it to become so important to them that they were vulnerable to being hurt or consumed. They were fearful that if they loved what they were doing, they would lose their freedom and their joy, when the reality is they got the deepest joy from giving.

“They lose interest because what they are fearing from their wounded self and protecting against that, is more important than sharing their love. How many times do you see someone commit to something wonderful or attached to something wonderful, and then let it die because their wounded self is saying, ‘This is gonna overtake you, it’s gonna overtake your life, you’re gonna lose your freedom, you won’t be a free spirit anymore and you’ll have to sacrifice, and you know that sacrifice is bad.’ But sacrifices is not bad when it’s done in love. Spiritually, some sacrifice is required of us like when we give to our children, or when I give up my free time to tend to an animal. Yes I sacrificed my free time, but I do it out of love for them. Their intention shifts to protecting against their fears and then they’re really lost and they walk away feeling bad about themselves.”

“It seems to me,” I said, “that it’s important to take a look at the word ‘sacrifice,’ because if they’re sacrificing themselves, they’re giving themselves up. They’re sacrificing their integrity and that’s a form of control.”

“Right,’ she said, “but if they’re choosing to sacrifice their time in order to love, that’s completely different. I openly and knowingly sacrificed a great deal when I was running Hope America to go and work with the homeless. I was sacrificing all my vacation time, all my free time, to go and care for them, but I did it with love and I did it because it was the right thing to do. It made me grow and it helped them to heal. It’s a sacrifice for a greater good that you want to do because it helps you to grow spiritually and it helps others. My ego wounded self doesn’t come into that. It’s a higher purpose and it brings me joy and peace, but people get hung up on the word, on the idea of sacrificing because they think it means the self will be lost. No, the self grows and it’s enhanced and that’s different than caretaking, which is a form of control where you sacrifice yourself. When you sacrifice for the good, or the greater good of another as with parenting, it has nothing to do with your ego wounded self. It has everything to do with your God connection.

“I think sometimes when people make a commitment, they don’t fully make it from an aware place. They don’t have an internal dialogue that says, ‘Is this really what I want to do? Is this something I really want to sacrifice for? Is this something I can do in love? They just go into it kind of like the wind, like the breeze pushes them into it but they don’t think it through and they don’t explore it and they’re not prepared to deal with whatever obstacles come in their way. When obstacles come their way, they just fade away and it’s kind of like the river bouncing off the rocks as it flows. They don’t ever look at the rock or say this is beautiful, or look at the gorgeous pool it just made for the fish to live in. They just don’t see it. They let the rock get in their way and they stop flowing. When I want to make a commitment, I really talk to myself. I do my internal dialogue and I check it all out and when I realize yes, I want to do this out of love and service because it has meaning for me and it makes me happy and peaceful, and then it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice.

“But to the wounded self, when somebody is caretaking, they’ll sacrifice everything to keep their relationship going the way they want it to, but what they don’t realize is they’re actually exerting a form of control and that has little to do with love or spirit. They’ve just become a workhorse for the other person in order to keep the relationship, whether it’s a work relationship, a child parent relationship, a friendship, or a primary relationship. It’s all about intention and helping yourself to grow and stretch your wings, spread those wings and soar. Yes, commitment is involved and so is sacrifice.

“Can a rose bloom without sacrificing itself? In order to fully bloom it must invite in the pollinators and risk burning in the sun, risk disease. It can stay closed up in a bud but it will wither and die on the vine without fulfilling itself. If the flower chooses to bloom and open like we see in nature, then it’s also saying, “’I’m willing to not be afraid. I’m willing to sacrifice my safety to offer beauty,’ and that’s the exact same thing we do.”

“When the Rose blooms it not only fulfills itself, but it offers seeds and continuation whereas the bud just dies on the vine. Without offering anything no one ever experiences it, no one ever can smell it’s healing fragrance. It’s just gone.”

Now let’s talk about what heals this commitment phobia. The Inner Bonding process is an incredible process for healing commitment phobia, because it’s about learning to love yourself rather than continue to abandon and reject yourself.

When you learn to stay present in your body with your feelings throughout the day, and you’re developing the loving adult part of you, then you take loving action for yourself even in the face of rejection or engulfment. The loving adult will not sacrifice yourself to get love. You will not tell yourself that you have to give yourself up and sacrifice yourself in order to please this other person so that you won’t be rejected. You won’t need to because you are loving yourself. The loving adult speaks up for us with our truth rather than comply or resist.

Also, the loving adult learns about who we really are on the inner level, our our authentic soul self, and learn to not take it personally when people are being rejecting. The loving adult sets limits against somebody trying to control you, and instead of giving in or resisting, decides for yourself what is in your highest good.

But the conundrum is that is you if you are commitment phobic, you might resist practicing Inner Bonding, and then you will stay stuck with your commitment phobia. You might be afraid that if you open to your spiritual connection, you will be controlled by your higher power and lose yourself. 

The practice of the 6 steps of Inner Bonding is an incredibly powerful process for healing not only commitment phobia, and not only the fear of rejection and the fear of engulfment, but also for healing anxiety, depression, guilt, shame, anger, emptiness, aloneness, and jealousy – the painful feelings resulting from self-abandonment.

Inner Bonding creates the new neural pathways in the brain for the loving adult, which is what heals us on a very deep level.

I encourage you to take my 30-day home study courses to learn to love yourself, to learn to have loving relationships, and to learn to connect with your spiritual guidance Love Yourself, Wildly, Deeply, Joyously in Love and Unlocking Your Inner Wisdom.

My recent books will also be a big help to you: The Inner Bonding Workbook: Six Steps to Healing Yourself and Connecting With Your Divine Guidance,  Diet for Divine Connection: Beyond Junk Foods and Junk Thoughts to At-Will Spiritual Connection, and 6 Steps to Total Self-Healing: The Inner Bonding Process

And, of course, we have much to offer you at our website at https:www.innerbonding.com.

I’m sending you my love and my blessings.


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S2 EP108 – Healthy Vitality – It’s Not Just Physical

Episode Summary

In this podcast Dr. Margaret Paul talks about both physical and emotional vitality and how connected they are.


Hi everyone. This is Dr. Margaret Paul with the Inner Bonding Podcast. And today I want to talk about both physical and emotional vitality and how connected they are.

Again, Dr. Erika Chopich, the co-creator of Inner Bonding, and I had a conversation about this topic. For those of you new to Inner Bonding, Erika and I have been best friends for 38 years, and now in our elder years we share a Colorado home and ranch as Golden Girls.

To give you some background, Erika came from a very abusive childhood, and like so many people with abusive background, her immune system was compromised, and she suffered with autoimmune disease for many years, which is now in remission. But both of us got COVID before anyone knew about COVID, and Erika has been struggling with long COVID. Yet , with all this, she maintains incredible vitality and lightness of being. I’m often in awe of how she does this, so of course, given that this is today’s topic, I wanted to talk with her about it. I want her to join me in doing these podcasts and maybe she will, but until she does, I will speak for her. I asked Erika her thoughts about healthy vitality, and this what she said. 

“I think when people think of their own vitality, they don’t always trust it – like they’re being tricked into believing things are that good and they feel some lightness of being, but it won’t last. They worry that the other shoe is about to drop, or something will go wrong, so they don’t fully embrace it because of this lack trust. They think, ‘Things are fine now but it won’t last, and bad things will happen.’ But it’s not true that just because life can be challenging, you can’t maintain your lightness of being and your vitality all the way through the challenges. But we’re not taught to see it that way. We’re taught that the external controls the internal, but it doesn’t have to be that way. I’ve had such challenges recently and I try to maintain my vitality and keep my physical health, first with a solid healthy diet and everything I can do to support my physical health, and then when I open to my lightness of being and my spiritual connection, everything follows and I’m able to maintain a higher level of vitality than I should be able to at my age and with the challenges I have.”

“But,” I asked her, “how do you do that? How do you maintain the emotional vitality through physical challenges and emotional challenges?” I’ve always been in awe of Erika’s ability to maintain her sense of vitality.

“The first thing I do is notice the beauty around me and the beauty of other people and the beauty of the animals and where we live. I just notice the beauty and just noticing something that catches your eye like that or maybe a beautiful sky like we had the other morning opens the heart. It just opens the heart and with an open heart that sort of morphs into my sense of humor and my lightness of being, and as long as I embrace that and hang on to that, there’s little that can disturb it. The only way it goes downhill is if I disconnect spiritually. If I disconnect spiritually everything falls apart and everything starts looking dark and ugly and alone, so it’s clearly that you’re the pilot in command of your own aircraft and you really do get to decide whether you soar or crash just based on your own internal intention in that moment. If things are getting really tough and it’s hurting my body and I’m getting very tired and annoyed because it’s not going right, so now what do I do? Do I crash along with it or do I go, ‘OK that’s sort of stinks, but that’s funny over here,’ and I find the humor in it, the joke in it. I see how wonderful it is that I have those two choices right in front of me and that I can make either choice and make it go up or down – fill it with light or fill it with darkness. I realize there’s choice. I see the wonder in that and how I could easily just get irritated and discouraged and go down, or I can see the power in the fact that it’s entirely up to me and choose the lightness and laugh it off.

“I can do that and so can everyone, but they don’t think to. If the task is too tough and too taxing, let your inner child help with it.”

I asked her, “How do you let your inner child help with it?”

“My inner child knows how to make a task fun how, to make it be a game. My child comes out to help me with a really difficult task I’m struggling with. I just see it through different eyes. I see it through the eyes of youth, the eyes of that childlike quality that says, ‘You know what? There’s something fun here,’ and you go right towards it and everything shifts.

“I could not do any of that if I eat MacDonald’s. I wouldn’t have the energy flow in my body. It would all be blocked. You know if I was eating processed foods or a high sugar diet, or if you’re using things like recreational drugs or alcohol, you’re not going to be able to do that. The flow will be blocked. So the physical vitality has to be there. It’s the foundation for the house and without it everything else just falls. The walls will fall away from the house without a solid foundation. The healthy diet is the foundation of your house the rest that we’re talking about follows.

“One of the skills we both have is being able to pull order from chaos, and part of being able to do this is my lightness of being. If you’re in your lightness of being and you’re connected with your inner child and your spiritual guidance, and you’re confronted with chaos, you’ll see the order and be able to pull it out and extract it, without being overwhelmed by it. Even in my relationships, if I get annoyed or if a relationship starts to become chaotic and disjointed, if I’m in my lightness of being and I’m in the right alignment in my life, I can see the order within that chaos within that mixture of goo and pull the order out of the chaos and make things right again. It’s like saying, ‘wait a minute you’re not really annoying me, I’m just tired, it’s mine. Or the chaos could be you let me down and disappointed me, and then I realize, no, actually I probably did that myself. It’s what I’m assigning to it and the order starts to come into clarity and now I can address whatever the issue is. It’s like if there’s a huge storm brewing over the mountains, I can either see the dark clouds and panic or I can see the wonderful animals or other interesting shapes in the clouds as they emerge where I am, and where my intention is allows me to see the beauty in the clouds, not the storm.

“This morning in the barn when Leia was terrified by herd of elk, she turned the whole barn into chaos. The other horses were spooked. we couldn’t even groom her, and it was just pandemonium, and what I did was stop a minute and think, ‘wait a minute, this isn’t normal for my horse.’ So what is her issue and I realized as I connected to her heart that she was so terrified that she couldn’t even control the adrenaline in her body. She wasn’t trying to act out. She was just terrified even though she was being very very careful not to step on me or get too close to me. You could see in her eyes that she was just terrified. So I thought what does she need? My soothing her won’t work when she’s running that high in adrenaline. So I took her outside and I took her halter off and she immediately ran and ran and ran and ran till she ran all that adrenaline down and then she came up to me with her head down, and she sort of said thanks mom and I slipped her halter back on I put her through a few paces to see if she was centered. I had her walk, stop, and back with me to see if she was centered again and she was. Then it was safe to walk her back in the barn, but it was my lightness of being that enabled me to pull the order out of that chaos and to see what she really needed at that moment – to see what was causing so much pandemonium – that allowed us to get through that whole event safely for people and horses.”

“And it was also your being able to be present enough with your connection to your feelings and your guidance to be able to tune into her,” I said. I had been in the barn in the morning and saw exactly what happened. I was amazed at Erika’s skill in tuning into Leia and knowing exactly what she was feeling and what she needed.”

Yes,” she said. “I couldn’t have known what to do without my connection with my feelings and my guidance. I didn’t go to fear. I think a lot of horse owners would have panicked at that moment and or tried to control the horse, snapped the line and discipline the horse, but no, this horse was terrified and had more energy in her body than she could possibly manage, and what she was saying to me was, ‘I gotta move my feet I gotta move my feet I gotta move my feet,’ and so I listened.”

“Because I was connected with myself, I could connect with her. I was able to hear my guidance in my ear saying, ‘she’s terrified, and I looked in her eyes and I could see it in her eyes, so I realized she’s telling me right in front of me what I need by moving left and moving right and moving left and moving right. She was saying to me ‘I need to move my feet real bad. I can’t stand here and be groomed,’ so I listened.  

“When I had the structural failure in the glider when I was still a student pilot – when the spoiler wouldn’t deploy and I couldn’t control the rate of descent, I couldn’t control my approach on final – it’s the same process. I stayed connected to my guidance, I dealt with each emergency, I separated the emergencies and dealt with them one at a time by staying connected and then I landed safely on the ground without a scratch on the plane or me. It’s the same intention, the same flow, but think about that when I was in the aircraft and it wasn’t functioning, if I had had McDonald’s for breakfast that morning, I would have crashed because I would not have been able to maintain the connection and the flow. If I had panicked or disconnected within myself and with my guidance, I would have crashed the plane.

“And my teacher on the ground got panicked and told me the wrong instructions, but I stayed true to me and what I needed to do. It was really good landing even though I was just newly soloed and was still a student but staying connected is everything. Staying connected to your emotional vitality and your spiritual connection will lead you through those things. When I was a young paramedic and I would come upon a violent accident, I did the same thing. I stayed connected and assessed the triage – who needs treatment first, how do I extricate this person, what is their first and primary need? I can’t do that if I’m disconnecting from me and my own vitality. I need to be in my own flow, my own center. I can’t function if I can’t hear my guidance or theirs and if I’m in a panic when I walk up to that situation. It’s staying as grounded as you possibly can be, which you can only do if your diet is right and your spiritual connection is right, and you’re functioning from your loving adult and not any wounded part of you.”

“And” I said, “the amazing thing about the situation with the glider is that you did not give your authority away to your flight instructor.”

“No,” she said. “I knew he radioed up the wrong instructions, so I decided to not listen to a word he told me. I just completely ignored the radio and did what I knew to do. I listened  to my own inner knowing and my own higher guidance.”

“Part of supporting your vitality and being about to see order out of chaos is exercising your brain. A neurologist said to me, ‘You’ve got to exercise the brain like a muscle. You need to start playing computer games, problem solving and word games to keep the neurotransmitters vital. The brain has neuroplasticity, and you’d need to keep rewiring more cells to keep the brain youthful and vital, and to stave off aging and injury.’ So that was when I got the idea of playing word games in the evening. I said to you, ‘Why don’t we play them and then your response was, ‘I’ve never been able to play word games. I’m really bad with word games but I will try.’ At the beginning, we started with three and four and five letter games, and you couldn’t see the four and five letter words, but I could. But you could see three letter words so you went right for the three letter words and started putting them up, and then I was coaching you a little bit on the four and five letter words – how to put the diphthongs together, and how to look for TH or ING or SP or St. As your eyes started to get trained to do that, you started to see four letter words and then five letter words and now you see a seven-letter word in a millisecond, as fast as I do. Your brain immediately pulls the word out of the chaos.”

“Right,” I said, “and I’m still amazed that I can do this – that my older brain can still learn so much!”

Erika went on to talk about something she learned about on the Internet, called ‘pareidolia.’ Wikipedia defines pareidolia as “…the tendency for perception to impose a meaningful interpretation on a nebulous stimulus, usually visual, so that one sees an object, pattern, or meaning where there is none.”

“It’s like when people are seeing faces or animals in clouds,” Erika said, “they are pulling order out of chaos. Some people do it visually and then there’s also auditory pareidolia, where I hear chaos in a fan running, but my brain morphs it into chatter or background noise, party noise, dinner noise. I often hear people singing or chorus singing. My brain will pull order out of that chaos automatically. It’s the same thing in a relationship when you’re having difficulty and you’re trying so hard to pull order out of total chaos in the relationship. This is actually where Inner Bonding comes in, because recognizing that there’s only two intentions helps you learn to pull order out of the chaos. Then you start to really see and understand what’s happening. They couldn’t make heads or tails of it before and now they can understand it on the level of intention.”

“Right,” I said, “you can see that the chaos is coming from the intent to control – that both of you are in your wounded self and trying to control rather than learn.”

“Right,” Erika said, “and that’s the upper left-brain part of understanding what’s happening in the relationship. The left side of the upper brain recognizes chaos, the right opens to creativity and guidance, and eventually then you pull the order out of the chaos. It’s the functioning of both sides of the brain, the wholeness, the balance in the brain like the balance in Inner Bonding which help makes sense of things.”

“I want to go back to our word games,” I said. “Now, when we’re playing, more often than not, I hear a word before I even know if the letters for the words are there. Or I hear a word being spelled out. My guidance is giving me the words! My guidance is playing the word game with me! So playing the word games is not only developing new neural pathways in my brain, but it’s also developing my higher spiritual connection. We’ve both had the experience of both hearing the word or seeing the word. Sometimes it’s one sometimes it’s the other. Lots of times you’ll say to me, ‘Did you hear it or did you see it?’ And often I’m not sure because I might be hearing it and seeing it at the same time. And the other thing that’s happened is sometimes you’ll see the word and you’ll start to spell it out in your mind, and I actually hear you spelling it out. I think people do understand that there is a level of telepathy that when people are open to their intuition and open to learning, a level of telepathy is possible. And it’s also about connection. We’re connected because we’re playing together and it’s very exciting that we notice we are hearing each other’s words.”

I want to talk a bit more about how important the physical vitality is for the emotional vitality, and how loving yourself in all areas of your life is so important for emotional vitality.

Loving yourself means many different things, and it’s especially important with all of our current challenges to learn to love yourself emotionally, physically, spiritually, financially, organizationally, and relationally. Actually, all these different ways of caring for yourself interact to create overall health and vitality:

  • When you take care of finances as best as you can, you lower your stress, which contributes to emotional health.
  • When you are organized regarding time and space – being on time to things and keeping your space clutter-free, you also lower your stress, which again contributes to emotional health.
  • When you take the time to meditate, pray, and open to the love, compassion, and wisdom that are always here for all of us, you contribute to your emotional and physical health.
  • When you focus on sharing your love and kindness, rather than trying to have control over getting love and approval, you contribute to your emotional, physical, and relationship health.
  • When, instead of abandoning your feelings with various addictions – such as substance addictions or addictive activities, or judging your feelings, or making others responsible for your happiness and safety – you attend to your feelings with compassion and a desire to learn what they are telling you, you contribute to all levels of vitality.
  • When you care about your physical health, eating clean healthy organic food, getting enough exercise and sleep, and eating gut-healthy probiotic fermented foods and prebiotic foods – fruits and veggies – you also contribute to both physical and emotional vitality. An imbalanced gut, filled with toxic, opportunistic bacteria, has a dramatic effect on both physical and emotional vitality. The toxins from the bad bacteria not only create holes in the intestine and allow the toxins into the organs, but the toxins travel up the vagus nerve into the brain, often creating anxiety, depression, and numerous brain disorders.

Obviously, what you put into your body can have a major effect on both your physical and your emotional vitality and overall health.

I’ve spent many years studying health and nutrition, as well as experimenting with myself.

At my older age, I’m very healthy with a high level of energy. Even though I’m extremely busy with my work, I always take the time to prepare my healthy food and it makes me feel very loved inside.

In order to have time to make the delicious food that I enjoy – everything I eat I make from scratch, and much of it I buy at local farms – I have to be very organized, so you can see that all these levels of self-love intersect.

An important question to ask yourself is, is it important to you to have vitality and health? What might be more important to you?

Most people will say that they really want to be healthy and vital, but what are you willing to DO to be vital and healthy? And what are you willing to NOT DO? In other words, what is more important to you?

  • Is it more important to eat fast food, or packaged, frozen and processed food, than take the time to cook healthy meals with fresh, organic healthy ingredients?
  • Is it more important to spend money on clothes and toys and other “stuff,” than on fresh, organic healthy food?
  • Is it more important to go along with what others say about what creates health and vitality, rather than take the time to do your own learning?
  • Is it more important to sleep in, watch TV, play video games, gamble, work, stay on the phone, constantly text, or do other addictive activities, rather than get exercise?
  • Is it more important to take drugs for anxiety, depression or insomnia, rather than learn how to take responsibility for your feelings?
  • Is it more important to turn to substance addictions, rather than take responsibility for your feelings? To continue to act out addictively with alcohol, cigarettes, sugar, caffeine or drugs, rather than learn to take loving care of yourself?
  • Is it more important to neglect your spiritual practice, rather than take the time to create inner peace?
  • Is it more important to be “one of the gang,” eating like everyone else is eating, drinking like everyone else, or taking drugs like everyone else, rather than support your own health and vitality?

How are you rationalizing your unhealthy choices?

  • I don’t have the time
  • I don’t believe that food has much to do with health.
  • So and so smoked his whole life and never got lung cancer.
  • Why bother? My genes are against me.
  • I’ll get around to it when I have some time.
  • Food is the only reward I have. I’m not giving up sweets and other so called “junk food”.
  • I’m still young. I don’t have to worry about it for years.
  • I have too much pain in my life, and I won’t be able to handle it if I get off drugs or give up my addictions.
  • What’s the point in living if I can’t do what I want?
  • I won’t have any friends if I don’t do what they do.

A question you might want to ask yourself is: “How do I want to live my later years? Do I want to be vital, clear-headed and energetic as long as I live, or do I want to suffer with cancer, heart disease, arthritis and other degenerative diseases?”

While there are many factors that influence our health, such as genetics, the environment, accidents, trauma from childhood, and currently long COVID, we each have much power to create health and vitality – when it is important to us.

If health is very important to you, then I encourage you to start to take responsibility for yourself in three major areas:

  • Food – if people didn’t eat it 500 years ago, then don’t eat it now
  • Exercise – find exercise you love and do it consistently
  • State of mind – practice Inner Bonding

All three are equally important and affect each other. If you are judging yourself and ignoring your own feelings – rather than practicing Inner Bonding and taking responsibility for your feelings – then your self-abandonment will be creating stress in your body. When we go into stress, the body goes into fight or flight, which means that the blood leaves the brain and organs and goes into the arms and legs for fighting or fleeing. When this happens often, the immune system is compromised, leaving you open for illness. In addition, the stress may lead you to act out addictively in an effort to relieve it, further fostering poor health and low vitality. Exercise not only helps your state of mind, it helps your body function well. Poor food affects your state of mind and your energy, making it more difficult to exercise and create inner peace.

Today, ask yourself, “How important is my health and vitality to me?” Then be honest with yourself. If you are not willing to take loving care of yourself in all three areas, then you need to accept that your health and vitality is not that important to you.

And, without the intent to love yourself physically and emotionally, you might not be able to connect with your higher guidance. Maybe that’s the thing that will most motivate you to learn to take loving care of yourself!

I hope you join me in my 30-Day at-home Course: “Love Yourself: An Inner Bonding Experience to Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions and Relationships”

My recent books will also be a big help to you:

The Inner Bonding Workbook: Six Steps to Healing Yourself and Connecting With Your Divine Guidance

Diet for Divine Connection: Beyond Junk Foods and Junk Thoughts to At-Will Spiritual Connection

6 Steps to Total Self-Healing: The Inner Bonding Process.

And, of course, we have much to offer you at our website at https:www.innerbonding.com.

I’m sending you my love and my blessings.


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S2 EP107 – Mucking Your Life

Episode Summary

Mucking your life is like mucking a horse stall of pooh. It about learning to clear out the pooh – the fears and false beliefs of your wounded self that are limiting you. It’s about moving beyond resistance and procrastination regarding learning to love yourself enough to create a life of love and freedom, rather than a life filled with the muck that comes from self-abandonment.  Are you ready to learn to clear out the muck in your life?


Hi everyone! This is Dr. Margaret Paul with the Inner Bonding podcast. And today I want to talk about getting the yuck out of your life. Many of you know that Dr. Erika Chopich, the co-creator of Inner Bonding, and I, now in our later years, share a home and a ranch as Golden Girls, which is a really great way for older women to live. And one of the responsibilities we often share is taking care of our beloved horses. While I can’t help groom and muck stalls during the week when I’m working, I do this work with the horses on weekends. I also get time with them early in the morning at 6 AM when I go out to feed them, and often in the evenings to bring them in for their evening feeding.

Horses were my passion as a child and my dream was always to live on a ranch with horses. It took a long time to get here but I feel so blessed to realize my dream in my elder years! And this would not have happened were it not for the fact that Erika was born on a farm and was training her horse and riding a tractor by the time she was eight years old. There is no doubt that Erika is one of the very best natural horse trainers ever. She is a horse whisperer, tuning in to exactly what a horse feels and needs. I’ve seen her take abused and neglected horses and bring them into a loving and affectionate partnership.

Having come from a very abusive childhood, it was the animals on the farm that taught her about love and likely saved her life, and now she is devoted to their care. The vets call our horse property, Horsey Hilton! No one takes care of animals like Erika.

One Sunday I was mucking out the pee and poop from the shavings in one of the stalls, with another person who was new to helping us, and she said, “This is tedious.” I looked at her surprised because for me it wasn’t at all tedious. I said to her, “Try getting very present with the joy of creating a clean stall for the horses and using the mucking as a meditation.”  When I later told Erika about this, she said that this would be a good topic for a podcast – finding the joy in clearing out the muck from your life. “Great!” I said, and again picked her brain for her brilliant ideas about this.   

“My life with my horses teaches me so much,” she said. “Connecting with them is always about teaching and healing and loving. Loving them always brings me new learning.” 

She went on to say that “No matter how soft the shavings are in the stall that holds your life, it’s also mixed with a lot of poop, and every now and then you need to muck that stall. Like many tasks or chores, the mucking can be boring, dull, annoying, and feeling like it’s robbing you of your time. If this is how it feels, it means that you are in your wounded self with an intention to control, or resist, or avoid, and you might feel resentful of having to do the task. In fact, you might just continue to avoid it with procrastination. But if your intention is to be loving to yourself, then the task becomes meditative and spiritually connected, and clearing out the muck in your life can be freeing and wondrous and open. So let’s get out the mucking fork and get to work, lovingly clearing the muck out of your life!

Erika went on to say that “Horses thrive in health when they live in a clean barn. The health of the horse begins with the cleanliness of the barn and so it is with us. When we allow our lives to be cluttered and soiled, we can no longer rely on our vitality and our spiritual connection to carry us through the difficult times.

“The poop on the stable floor or the poop in your life that is put there by your wounded self, gets cleared by your connection to your higher self. It’s your spiritual guidance that helps you to remove it, and a task done in love enhances us more than a job done in drudgery. The loving adult is the fork, the part of us that takes loving action, guided by our guidance who knows what needs to be kept and what needs to be discarded.

“Now the question is, what do we do with the muck that we clear from our lives? This brings us to intention.

“The pieces of pooh are your bad habits, your controlling behaviors, your wounded self being out of control, and it litters your life just like it litters a stall, making it impossible to have a clean relationship and impossible to have health and wellbeing. So, what do you do as you work through these issues created by your wounded self? What do you do with them? Where do they go?

“The word is transformation. What we’re talking about is the transformation can occur when we take the pooh from the stall and spread it on the pasture and use it to regenerate the pasture. Clearing the muck out of your life brings about transformation because the muck itself is transformed. We can look at the muck in our lives as energy coming from an intention to control. When we shift our intention, the energy used to control is transformed into love, and that’s regenerative.

“The tool we use to do this, the fork, is our connection to God, to spirit, to your higher self because we can’t do it without this love and guidance, and once all of that is cleared out, we’re free to add more soft loving shavings to bring in comfort and peace.”

I chimed in. “In the past, when my wounded self was more in charge and I was less able to be in the moment, mucking a stall felt like a chore, and now mucking a stall is a meditation that brings me joy. Mucking a stall for the horses is like making a clean bed for them and we do it out of love.”  

“Right” said Erika, “and we clear the muck from our lives, from our wounded self, to make a clean bed for our relationships to grow, to be healthy. That’s the point – to be healthy and when we do it out of love for ourselves rather than as a chore, that’s when transformation occurs. If it feels like a chore, then you’re doing it to control, and transformation will not occur. When mucking your life or yourself, feels like a chore, you put it off and procrastinate, and pretty soon the pooh in your life builds up just like it would in a stall, until the task feels overwhelming.

“Then you want somebody to do it for you, and you resent doing it because it seems like something you have to do rather than something you want to do. And you do anything to get somebody else to do for you instead of meeting the challenge head on.”

“And, of course,” I said, “this is what causes major problems in relationships – abandoning yourself and then expecting someone else to muck your stall. You miss so much of what a loving relationship is all about when your intent is to control, or avoid, or protect against pain. When your intent is to love yourself enough to clear out the wounded muck in your life, you are free to share love with your beloved.”

That ended our conversation, and now I want to go on to talk more about the big issue of how you see loving yourself. It does take some discipline to practice Inner Bonding and learn to love yourself. Do you see this as a chore or as a freedom?

So how do you discover the deeper reasons for resistance and procrastination? By doing Inner Bonding! So here is the conundrum. You have to consciously ‘want to’ have the joy and freedom that taking loving action on your own behalf gives to you, more than you ‘want to’ avoid whatever it is you are avoiding. When it becomes truly more important to you to experience the fullness, peace, joy and sharing of love that can result from clearing out the muck in your life with your Inner Bonding practice, then your conscious ‘want to’ will prevail.Julie Andrews said that “Some people regard discipline as a chore. For me, it is a kind of order that sets me free to fly.” And that’s exactly how I feel about it.

How often have you said to yourself, “I have to take the time to do some Inner Bonding,” or “I’d better do my Inner Bonding work.”

If this is what you hear yourself say, it is your wounded self, trying to have control over getting you to do something that you think you ‘should’ do. Your wounded self sees Inner Bonding as a chore, something you ‘have to’ do to be okay. When this is your mindset about doing your inner work, then you might find yourself in resistance, because another aspect of your wounded self hates being told what you ‘should’ or ‘have to’ do.

The wounded self misses the point. Just as a diligent practice of playing the piano eventually gives you the freedom to play spontaneously, or the diligent practice of running gives you the freedom to run in a marathon, the diligent practice of Inner Bonding gives you the freedom to take loving care of yourself, bring yourself joy, and share your love with others.

The secret to letting go of the resistance and the resulting procrastination to practicing loving yourself – or practicing anything – is about finding the place within your heart that consciously wants the freedom and fullness that practicing Inner Bonding gives to you. As long as your mindset is focused on ‘have to’ rather than ‘want to,’ you will likely find yourself procrastinating loving yourself enough to clear out the muck from your wounded self.

‘Have to’ generally comes from your wounded self, while a conscious ‘want to’ comes from your heart and soul. Your loving adult then takes the actions to bring about what you want.

The problem comes in when you believe that you want to do something, but you find yourself procrastinating. When this is the case, you need to explore more deeply, to discover the underlying subconscious ‘want to’ of your wounded self that is causing your resistance.

For example, you might say to yourself, “I want to do an Inner Bonding practice every morning for 15 minutes so that I can heal the false beliefs that are limiting me. I want to clear out the muck in my life.” You do it for a day or two, but then it starts to fall by the wayside. When this is the case, it is because there is a deeper, subconscious ‘want to.’ Perhaps your deeper ‘want to’ is “I want to avoid the painful feelings that might come up during an Inner Bonding exploration,” or “I want to sleep a little longer,” or “I want to get things on my to-do list done,” or “I want to avoid the failure of not doing it ‘right.’” There could be many other deeper subconscious ‘want tos’ that are getting in the way of your conscious ‘want to.’

This conscious ‘want to’ is not in your mind – it is in your heart and soul. Your wounded-self lower left-brain mind may continue to find many reasons to procrastinate. If you allow your mind to be in charge, rather than your heart and soul, you will likely continue to stay stuck with the muck in various aspects of your life.

Discovering the ‘want tos’ of your heart and soul really does lead to freedom, joy, and the ability to share love.

In relationships, who does what chores are often the focus point of conflict. Yet when each partner or roommate is focused on loving themselves and being loving to the other person, chores, like the chore of mucking the stall, can become a vehicle of connection.

One of the major complaints I hear from my clients who are married is around the issue of chores. I can tell you from my own 30-year marriage that the issue of chores was a big deal in leading to the end of the marriage. It was the issue that broke the camel’s back.

What happened was that my ex-husband wanted to have our big Thanksgiving dinner at our home instead of at my parents’ home, and I was all for it – IF he promised to help. My experience in the past was that I ended up doing all the work and was too tired to enjoy the dinner, whereas when it was at my parents’ home, I knew that my father was an equal contributor regarding family events. My ex readily promised to help, but on the day of the dinner, he did nothing. “You promised to help if we had the dinner,” I said. “I need your help.” He smirked at me, as if to say, “gotcha,” going into his usual resistance, and walked away. I felt crushed, and my inner child was upset with me that I had believed him when he so often either forgot what he had said or went into resistance.

That’s the day I moved out of our bedroom and into my upstairs art loft. “I’m not going to spend any more time with you until you can be loving and caring toward me for three months,” I told him. In the past he could do it for a week or so and then would go back to being angry and resistant. I gave him two years to learn to be loving, caring, and respectful toward me, and he never did, so our marriage ended.

Of course, the issue around chores wasn’t our only problem, but it was indicative of the underlying issues, which were a lack of caring and respect toward me, and often treating me with anger, withdrawal, sarcasm, and projection – followed by the crazy-making of denying that he was doing these things and blaming me instead. And, of course, I was an equal participant in this system with my caretaking, giving myself up and accepting his and others’ unloving behavior toward me, so I was equally responsible for the problems. Just as his anger and resistance were his forms of control, my compliance was my form of control.

I was very ill at the time, and I didn’t realize that I was sick due the deep depletion of giving myself up. It was only when I started to practice Inner Bonding that I realize that I needed to heal my end of our system in order to know whether our marriage could be saved. Unless there is physical or emotional abuse, I often advise clients who may want to leave their relationship to stay and heal their end of the relationship system first before deciding to leave. Often changing their end of the system changes the relationship in very positive ways and even if it doesn’t, they won’t take their self-abandonment and resulting controlling behavior into another relationship.

I’m so glad that I did my Inner Bonding work before the relationship ended. 

Do you know that doing chores together can help create intimacy?

Recent research indicates that couples who do chores together, rather than one person doing more chores, or splitting the chores, have more emotional and physical intimacy. Doing chores alone can sometimes be lonely, while doing them together can be a time of fun, sharing and affection, and it certainly makes the time go by faster when you are doing the dishes together rather than doing them alone. Sharing chores may be especially important when you have children, because it’s often hard to find time to get together to talk about your day or share your feelings with each other.

While the research shows that couples who do chores together have better marriages, I wonder if the underlying truth is that couples who enjoy being together and have good marriages find that they enjoy doing chores together. Is the doing of chores together the cause of their intimacy or the result of it? More research would need to be done to determine this.

Regardless of which comes first, I would think that couples who do chores together have a better chance at feeling connected with each other than those who don’t. Not only does it give you some time together, but it also prevents both the resentment of one person doing too many of the chores, and the loneliness of doing chores alone.

If you are not doing chores together with your partner or roommate, you might consider seeing if the other person is willing to do this with you. It’s certainly easier to muck your house together!

If you are not in a relationship or not living with a roommate or as a Golden Girl as we live, then consider using your chores as a form of meditation. You might find that learning to get present and meditate during your household chores makes it easier to practice Inner Bonding to muck out the pooh from the false, self-limiting beliefs of your wounded self. I often find that when I’m doing a fairly mindless task, like mucking the stall or washing dishes, I can tune into my higher guidance and receive loving energy and important information. I get energized rather than depleted when doing a chore along with my higher guidance!

I encourage you to shift your intent from avoiding facing the past and present pain of the muck in your life, to learning how to compassionately heal the pain through your Inner Bonding practice, so that you can live a life of joy, freedom, sharing love, and manifesting your dreams. You will find that being able to co-create with spirit and manifest your dreams becomes a reality as you have the courage to clear out the low frequency of the muck in your life that comes from your intent to control, avoid, and protect against pain, and bring in the high frequency of love, compassion, and truth.

You can learn to clear out the muck in your life with my 30-day home study course, “Love Yourself: An Inner Bonding Experience to Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions and Relationships.”

You can learn to clear out the muck in your relationships and Heal your relationships with my 30-Day online video relationship course: Wildly, Deeply, Joyously in Love.

You can learn to do this with your higher guidance with my 30-day video course, Unlocking Your Inner Wisdom.

My recent books will also be a big help to you: The Inner Bonding Workbook: Six Steps to Healing Yourself and Connecting With Your Divine Guidance,  Diet for Divine Connection: Beyond Junk Foods and Junk Thoughts to At-Will Spiritual Connection, and 6 Steps to Total Self-Healing: The Inner Bonding Process.

And, of course, we have much to offer you at our website at https:www.innerbonding.com.

I’m sending you my love and my blessings.

©Dr. Margaret Paul, 2022


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S2 EP106 – Animals Are Mirrors

Episode Summary

Whether or not you have pets or other animals in your life, you can learn much about yourself from how animals react to you, and you can learn much about others from how their pets react to others. Discover the many good reasons for having animals in your life and how they can contribute much to your physical and mental health.


Hi everyone. I’m Dr. Margaret Paul with the Inner Bonding podcast. And today I want to talk about how horses and dogs and cats and other animals can be a mirror for us. Since both Dr. Erika Chopich and I are animal lovers, I picked Erika’s brain about this topic.

 “There’s an old saying that says if you want to know who someone is, look at their dog.” Erika said. I asked her to say more about that. “Well, if the dog is anxious and nervous, it’s likely that so is the person. If the dog has no affect and doesn’t come to you or want to interact with you, that might be telling you something about the owner. Often, they’re either harsh or they don’t connect to the dog and taught it not to connect. It tells you a little bit about who the owner is if the dog loves people and runs to people and wants to sit with somebody visiting in your home. There’s an openness that might from the owner, so you’re likely dealing with an open person. If a dog does run to somebody, they feel safe, they’re trusting, and that’s often coming from the owner. Sometimes it’s the breed, but it can also be coming from how they’re being treated by the owner. They might mirror the owner’s ability to connect. If the dog is aggressive, that too often comes from the owner. If the dog is very protective of the owner, that’s a sign of loyalty, which generally doesn’t come from an owner who’s closed in their heart. So, it’s often a mirror for the relationship and how open or closed that person’s heart is.”

“Of course,” I said, “it also depends on the breed and whether the animal was a rescue and had been abused.”

“Right” she said, “While we have seen amazing results with dogs, cats, and horses when they are in a loving home after being abused, this isn’t always the case. We have a rescue dog, Pippin, who has always been sweet but very was fearful of people coming to the house when we got him. Now he’s almost always very friendly, unless he picks up someone’s fear, and then he walks away. When someone comes in the house for the first time, Pippin will either run right up to them, instantly trusting them, and flip over and do his little ‘please scratch my chest,’ or he’ll actually slink away. It’s an act of submission when he shows his belly to you. He’s saying, ‘you’re safe so you can rub my belly.’ He can read them right away and decide whether this is somebody that’s good for him to be with or not.

“The same can be true of cats,” Erika went on to say. “Our cat, Magic, was feral when we got her, but now she wants petting and she purrs and rubs up against almost everyone who comes to the house. Aloof cats can reflect the breed, but they can also reflect an aloof owner. My sister’s cats would hide. They didn’t want to be petted and they didn’t want to interact, and my sister was very closed. But if somebody picks up a string and plays with Magic, she’s in love with them. My sister acted open, but she wasn’t open, and the animals can pick it up and they mirror it right back. Magic wants to go out in the barn with the barn crew to be with everybody. For a feral cat that’s a lot of healing and change. Look what happens when the UPS guy comes to our door! She runs to greet him and then jumps in his truck! She is not a feral cat anymore. She is a cat that loves and appreciates people.

“But I think that it really shows up even more with horses, which is what equine therapy is all about. Equine therapy starts when you put somebody in the round pen with a horse and say, ‘Without using the horse’s name, see if you get the horse to come to you.’  They might be scared, or they might pull on the horse for love, wanting the horse to love them to feel okay about themselves, or they might be controlling with the horse, and the horse will back right up the moment they do that. It’s in their energy. I’m telling them, ‘Don’t talk to the horse, use your energy to bring the horse to you,’ and that’s diagnostic. The moment I see how they are with the horse. I see their transference to the horse regarding one or both parents. Either they’re afraid that big looming animal is going to hurt them, or they don’t know how to connect, or they don’t know how to use their love to bring the horse to them, or if they’re very controlling people, the horse will back up, or the horse will come right to them because their energy is loving and open – again mirroring where the person is. So, it’s diagnostically invaluable to just put a person in a round pen and see what the human does. The horse knows what it’s doing, and generally the human doesn’t.

“So, the horse is mirroring the intention of the person immediately. The horse picks it up. Like when we’ve interviewed people to work in the barn and I take them out to meet the horses – I always do that because the horse is either going to reach out and touch that person or they’ll turn their head away or they’ll give them their butt. Animals mirror our intention. This tells me an enormous amount about whether I should hire this person. The horses always know. The horse reflects even more than a dog. They’re intensely sensitive, mirroring it right back at you. I’ve seen needy people reach for the horse’s face, essentially saying ‘love me love me,’ and the horse turns away. If your energy is saying to the horse, “You’re beautiful and I admire you and I respect what and who you are,’ the horse has a different experience and, if this horse has been loved by the owner, it will come right to you.

“It’s like that with people. You can bet that what’s going on in the round pen is what they’re doing in their relationships. It’s diagnostic in terms of who they’re choosing to be in the world.

“Horses are such natural healers. They can read you like a book. Even if you try to hide your feelings, they see right through you. They’ll figure out what it is you need and that’s what they’ll give you. I’ve seen it a million times in the barn. And the horse has an inner child, like when you see Obi (who is one of our American Miniatures) playing, or the pranks that Stryder (who was my horse who passed away) would play on me and laugh. You see it in Leia – that’s what happy buck is about. She’s playing and she’s happy and her inner child comes out. They have a deep capacity for love and being protective. It’s about a person’s ability to join that herd like I do when I lay in the grass with them. I become a horse and I meet them halfway and what I get in return is tenfold. It’s like in a relationship when you either meet somebody in an open way, or with your expectation of how they should be.

“When horses lower their head near you, they already trust. They already get you. It’s different with horses because they are prey and we’re predators. Dogs and cats are also predators, but the horse is different, and you have to be able to cross that barrier. You’re going to have a really bad relationship if you act like a predator with a horse. I don’t sneak up behind them. I talk to them when I approach them. I give them a horsey handshake, which is that I put my closed hand to their nose so they can smell me. I never act like a predator near horses because if you do, they’re going to turn around and walk away from you or trot away from you or buck away from you. They know the difference. The horse has been on the planet like 4,000,000 years longer than humans and they have evolved and grown into the modern horse by being savvy about what they sense. That’s how they’ve stayed alive so long on the planet. Their nonverbal communication is actually beyond ours. We can learn from them, and they can be great mirrors and healers to us when we meet them on that level that says I am not a predator.”

Erika went on to say that even people who don’t have any desire to own a horse or ride a horse can learn so much by attending a therapeutic equine course. Some of the horses at therapeutic equine centers are extroverts and they’ll come right to you and assess you, and some horses are introverts and take some time to know you. How the person handles this says a lot about the person. Does the person take it personally and feel rejected by the horse? If you put the person in the round pen and the horse doesn’t come to them, do they feel rejected, or get angry, or is the person saying I can’t do this, or are they just so shut down the horse can’t even connect to them? Or do they just respect that they need to take their time and that a well-trained horse won’t come into your personal space until they’re invited, and you invite them with your energy.”

A horse who isn’t that well trained might come into your space and be kind of curious, but also little bit skeptical about the whole thing, until you show them who you are. Are you a predator? Are you going to hurt me, or do you understand me? The quickest way to overcome that is to speak horse. I teach that in the barn. How you speak horse? First, I teach the horsey handshake so they can sniff you, like when two horses come together, they’ll sniff each other’s muzzle. I’m being a horse at that moment. I don’t reach for the face. I reach for the withers and scratch them on the withers because out in the pasture, two horses standing in opposite directions are reaching over and grooming each other on the withers. That’s how they greet and make friends and I want to be a horse, so I do that, and those little, tiny things I do tell the horse I’m not a predator, I’m like you, so we have a commonality from which to build the relationship.” Erika paused and I jumped in.

“That’s kind of like what a lot of people are trying to do with the issue of racism,’ I said, “really getting with who somebody is and joining them rather than deciding that this person is too different than me to get to really know them.”

“Right,” said Erika. And then she continued. “You can beat any animal into obedience, but you can’t have partnership that way. Just like with people, there’s a huge difference between obedience and partnership. The key is to never force a horse or any animal. I get them to want to do it with me. Don’t forget that the animals, unless they’ve been badly abused, are already spiritually connected and if you can kind of put that spirituality between you and the animal, that’s a commonality that helps increase the bond and the trust and the love. So, if a person can’t do that with their own dog, they’re probably a bad candidate for a relationship. We know people whose horses are aloof and won’t engage with you because their owners are disconnected, and we know of others whose horses immediately lean forward and perk their ears to connect to you. And if you look at these owners’ relationships, you can see this same thing reflected.

“Horses want the same thing we want in a relationship – trust and love and kindness – constant kindness without wanting anything in return or wanting to use my kindness to control somebody else. In a relationship, it’s about supporting what the other person’s goal is while also being kind to yourself.”

Erika went on to talk about when we were invited to swim with the show dolphins at marineland in Los Angeles. “We were told that they like to have their tongue scratched. The first thing we noticed when we got in the water is they were skeptical, like horses are skeptical. Then they swam right up to us and opened that big mouth up and all you could see was a big tongue and lots and lots of teeth, and what they were asking was, ‘Are you are you going to scratch my tongue? Are you going to trust me? Are you going to give to me?’ When you’re brave enough to put your hand in there and scratch the tongue, everything changes. They started bonding to us right away. Then the play came out and they were retrieving the ball for us and they took us for a ride on their dorsal fins one, in each hand, and then they did that amazing vortex. They gave us that gift of healing where we were in the swirling water in the vortex when they were in the diamond formation. And they kept swimming around and poking at our knees because they thought that was our sex organ. Their intention was to connect with us. If you carry that intention into your relationship and your partner has the same intention, you will have a successful relationship. The dolphins’ inner children came out immediately to play with us as soon as they trusted there was equality and partnership, that there was openness and courage on our part to reach in that mouth and scratch that tongue and stroke them and love on them. In the water they’re huge and powerful and they’re intimidating, and yet you have to come forward from your higher self so they can recognize it, and then the inner child came out.”

Erika went on to talk about dog training. “If you want to train a puppy, you will be much more successful if you come from your loving adult than from your wounded self. People who train with choke chains and things like that – that’s obedience training and it has nothing to do with partnership. People who train with the clicker, that’s behaviorism and still has nothing to do with partnership. If you train with the six steps of Inner Bonding – staying tuned in to yourself, your guidance and your puppy and training from love, you’ve got a partner for life.

“Then there are the people who have no personal boundaries and let their animals hurt them. They are indulging the animal’s wounded self. We can see this same lack of loving boundaries in their relationships and their parenting. Also, if a dog or cat is fat or unhealthy, then it’s likely that the owner is too. Many people don’t take loving care of themselves, and this is often reflected in how they take care of their animals,” Erika concluded.

I love picking Erika’s brain!

And now I want to say more about the gift of animals and what they add to our lives.

Anatole France said that, “Until a person has loved an animal a part of the soul remains unawakened.”

People who love animals know that there are many very good reasons to have animals in your life.

Animals who have been loved, love back in a pure and profound way – a way that awakens a part of your soul like nothing else can. When Pippin greets me after I’ve been gone a short time, I am overwhelmed with his wiggles and kisses! When I walk into our barn to feed the horses and they nicker to me, my heart melts. No walls, no manipulations. Just pure love. How can that not awaken a deep part of the soul?

Having this aspect of your soul awakened is just one aspect of why having animals in your life is profound. A few years back I read a great book called Zen Mind, Zen Horse, by Allan J. Hamilton, MD. Dr. Hamilton is a renowned brain surgeon, as well as a renowned horse trainer. He uses his experience with his horses as his spiritual path. As Erika talked about, horses help us to learn to be fully present, not only because they are fully present, but because they react negatively when we are in our head rather than in our heart. Dr. Hamilton stated that, “The quiet, gentle way of the horse encourages us to hear the music that follows after we learn to silence our ego’s voice.” He goes on to say that “The horse brings us its uncanny ability to peel our egos back, to strip the layers away like an onion, until we find ourselves awkwardly naked and vulnerable. But the horse also shows us the joy that comes from living with the bare truth of our selves. What a gift that is.” P. 287

One of the things I’ve learned to do when I’m being challenged with life is to turn to my animals. My highly sensitive system is easily jangled when a lot is coming at me at once, and my animals have been such a help with this. Cuddling Pippin, our soft and oh-so-sweet little Havanese, is a balm for my soul. His cuteness makes me smile and brings me back into the moment. Same with our cat, Magic, who talks to me and lets me know when she wants to be picked up or when she wants “noogies”: and ear and belly scratches. For many years, my animals have helped me get centered, connected and back into my joy. There is so much love and joy in dogs and cats and I absorb that when I hug them. What a gift!

There are good reasons that dogs and some other animals, such as miniature horses, are used therapeutically. Many dogs and horses, and some cats and other small animals, are very sensitive to our emotions. When they feel us hurting, they sweetly and gently come to comfort us. Many times, when I’ve been sad, Pippin has come and curled up next to me to give me his love and comfort. I find wrapping my arms around his little body and nuzzling in his soft coat to be very comforting and healing.

But it’s only in the last fifteen years, since I’ve had horses, that I’ve experienced what a horse can do for my soul.

When I’ve had a challenging day and my nerves feel a bit frayed, I go to our horse, Leia, and put my arms across her back while I lean into her big strong body. It may sound strange, but I bury my face in her coat and smell her.

The first time I did this with my first horse, Stryder, I was shocked at what happened. Instantly, my whole system calmed down. I’m not really sure why, but there is something about the energy and smell of a horse that calms my system more than anything else I’ve ever experienced. It’s not anything Stryder was doing – usually he was completely absorbed in eating and may not have even been aware of me at that moment. It was something about his being.

I know I’m not the only one who responds this way with horses. I shared my experience with friends and clients, and others who have horses, and they have said they have the same experience, and others who have visited us and our horses also had a similar experience. There is a peace that exudes from horses who are well-loved that is beyond description.

Many times, when I feel my body dysregulated for some reason, I go to the barn and lean against Leia’s big body, burying my face in her coat and smelling her wonderful horse smell. Immediately, I feel my whole body relax and regulate to her steady breathing. She stands perfectly still when I do this, knowing that I need her calmness and steadiness at that moment. Once I’ve breathed in her healing energy, I come around to her face and she gives me a big wet loving kiss!

Animals not only aid in emotional health, they also help with physical health.

In her excellent book, Gut and Psychology Syndrome,” Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride states that one of the top ten influences that boost health and immunity is “Contact with animals: horses, dogs, etc.”

We don’t generally think of having animals as a way of boosting immunity, but I can tell you from personal experience that they do. Animals help our immune system by exposing us to microbes that support our health.

Exposure to animals can bring in a variety of germs and bacteria that prompt the body’s natural immune system, strengthening our ability to protect against certain diseases. Children who grow up on farms rarely have the same allergies and illness problems that city kids have. That’s one reason Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride recommends pets among the 10 things that contribute to good health.

Another way our dog Pippin contributes to my health is that every morning – rain, snow, or sun – he looks at me with yearning eyes and puts a picture into my mind – a picture of our morning walk. So every morning, unless it’s raining or snowing hard, I walk Pippin up and down hills for half an hour. He happily pees, poops, and sniffs while I huff and puff, but I’m grateful that his longing eyes urge me to have my daily exercise. I just can’t let him down.

While animals do take time, money and care, they give back so much. If you don’t have a pet in your life, you might want to reconsider your choice. It could be great for your physical and mental health, and what could be better than all that love!

I hope you join me for me 30-Day at-home Course: “Love Yourself: An Inner Bonding Experience to Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions and Relationships.”

And you can learn so much about creating connection from my recent books: The Inner Bonding Workbook: Six Steps to Healing Yourself and Connecting With Your Divine Guidance,  Diet for Divine Connection: Beyond Junk Foods and Junk Thoughts to At-Will Spiritual Connection, and 6 Steps to Total Self-Healing: The Inner Bonding Process.

And, of course, we have much to offer you at our website at https:www.innerbonding.com.

I’m sending you my love and my blessings.

©Dr. Margaret Paul, 2022


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S2 EP105 – Attracting the Love of Your Life

Episode Summary

Most people who are not in a relationship want to attract a loving relationship, but often find themselves, over and over, attracting a needy, unloving, or unavailable partner. Discover what you need to do to attract a loving and available partner – a partner who is not needy, who is emotionally available, and who is available for a commitment.


Hi everyone, this is Dr. Margaret Paul with the Inner Bonding Podcast, and today I will be talking about attracting the love of your life.

One of the first things you need to do to attract your loving partner, is to write down what you want. You need to be very clear on what you want, because you can’t attract what you want if you don’t know what you want. Very often, when I work with my clients who are looking for a partner, I ask them to write a list and keep adding to it, of exactly what they want in a partner. Part of manifesting is to be able to tune in to what you really want.

And then, what’s even more important, is to look at that list and see if you have the qualities that you are looking for in someone else. For you to find the love of your life you need to become what you are looking for. You can’t expect to attract the kind of person you want without first being the kind of person you want.

And of course, this is where Inner Bonding comes in to heal whatever is in the way for you of becoming the kind of person that you want to meet. As I’ve often said, we attract each other at our common level of woundedness or our common level of health, which means our common level of self-abandonment or our common level of self-love. If you’re abandoning yourself in many different ways, you’re going to attract someone who’s also abandoning themselves in many ways.

So here’s some examples. If you’re a needy person, then you’re likely to attract a person who is a caretaker, because caretakers are generally attracted to people who need them, and needy people are often attracted to caretakers, and that’s called a codependent relationship. You’re both coming from a similar frequency of self-abandonment. And what happens in that relationship is that the care-taking person never does it right enough for the needy person, because the emptiness of the needy person is like a bucket with a hole in it that can be filled only with self-love. As long as the needy person is abandoning themselves, they will likely be angry that the care-taking person isn’t doing it well enough. Meanwhile, the caretaker is expecting that if they care enough, they’re going to get back love and when they don’t, they’re likely to be resentful.

If you’re a healthy and personally responsible person, you’re not going to be attracted to a needy demanding person, nor are you going to be attracted to a caretaker. Both people in this system are actually needy, but the taker is overt in the way they try to control getting love, attention, and approval, while caretaking is a covert form of trying to have control over getting loved.

If you think about it, it makes sense that a healthy person just isn’t going to be attracted to somebody who’s abandoning themselves and being needy, being codependent, being a caretaker, being demanding – that someone who is loving themselves and taking responsibility for themselves emotionally and likely in other areas, such as financially, physically, and organizationally, is not going to find an emotionally self-abandoning person someone they can connect with. If you are a person who has not dealt with your fears of rejection and your fears of engulfment, then you might find yourself attracting an unavailable or very demanding person. If you have a deep fear of engulfment, of losing yourself, you’re probably not going to be attracted to a really available person because that’s going to trigger your fears. Being afraid of rejection and of engulfment translates into a fear of intimacy or a fear of commitment. So you’re likely going to attract somebody who also has a fear of intimacy or a fear of commitment. This why it’s so important for you do your inner work.

The fears of engulfment and rejection come from self-abandonment. When you’re loving yourself and you’ve developed your loving adult self, you’re not going to take rejection personally. You’re going to recognize that when people are rejecting, they’re coming from their own fears and that it’s not about there being anything wrong with you. So you’re not going to give yourself up and allow yourself to be controlled in order to avoid rejection. When you develop your loving adult, which is what the practice of Inner Bonding does, then these fears of rejection and fears of engulfment start to get healed, and you come from a much more present and a much more powerful place. You have a higher frequency, which means that you are much more filled up with love inside rather than coming from fear. Fear, and other wounded feelings such as anxiety, depression, guilt, shame, anger, jealousy, and emptiness, have a low frequency.  Like attracts like, so like frequency attracts like frequency.

If you want to attract somebody who’s a loving and open person, you need to become a loving and open person. It’s likely not going to be possible for you to attract somebody who’s open and loving if you’re closed and afraid. And so, if you want to attract your beloved, it becomes very important for you to be doing your inner work and become that loving, open person who is filled with love and not coming from the fear that’s there when you’re abandoning yourself.

The more you learn to take emotional responsibility, physical responsibility, spiritual, organizational, financial, and relationship responsibility, the easier time you’re going to have attracting a similar person. Now I doubt that anybody sets out to attract somebody who’s not personally responsible. You don’t say, okay, I’m going to go find a partner and my ideal partner is somebody who doesn’t take care of themselves physically, who doesn’t take care of themselves financially, who doesn’t take care of their health and wellbeing, who is needy and controlling. Nobody sets out to attract a person like that. But you do attract people like that when that’s you. And that’s why it’s so important for you to be doing your inner work and learn to make yourself happy now, before you get into a relationship, rather than to make being in a relationship responsible for your happiness.

Research indicates that happy people meet other happy people and create happy relationships, and unhappy people either do not meet somebody or meet another unhappy person and create an unhappy relationship. If you’re a person who’s saying, “I can’t be happy until I’m in a relationship or until I get married, or until I have children, then you’re not taking responsibility for yourself. You’re making somebody else responsible. You’re making that partner that you imagine coming into your life responsible for whether or not you’re happy. And again, that’s called a codependent relationship.

So I really encourage you if you want to attract the love of your life, become the love of your life. Become your own best friend.

That doesn’t mean that you need to be completely healed. That’s just not realistic. Relationships are an incredible arena to learn and grow, to learn to take care of yourself and share your love. But if your intention is to get love and to get somebody else to make you feel okay, you’re going to be very disappointed because relationships don’t work well that way. Again, I’m not talking about being completely healed, but to be on the path of reaching a point where you’re not so afraid of rejection or engulfment, where you’re open to intimacy, where you’re open to learning, where you’re open to dealing with conflict as it comes up, where you’re not so afraid of losing yourself or losing your partner, where your happiness is not dependent on somebody else, where your sense of self and your sense of safety is not dependent on somebody else.

You don’t have to be there a hundred percent, but you need to be on the road. You need to be on the path of healing in order to meet somebody who is also on the path of healing, who also is open, who also wants to utilize a relationship to continue the healing journey and to learn to share love rather than getting into a relationship just to get love.

My client, Lisa, told me that she didn’t have a supportive family upbringing, and didn’t grow up believing that there was a higher power that loves and supports her, so she doesn’t know how to bring that love into herself. As a result, she realized that she was abandoning herself and that she attracted men who kept leaving her. She wanted to know how she could grow in learning to love herself and know that she’s loved by her guidance. She said she wanted to learn to do this without being religious, because she didn’t like a lot of the religion that she had been exposed to.

I said to her that I completely understood because I was brought up the same way without support and without any religion or spirituality. My parents were atheists, so I didn’t have any kind of background in connecting with a higher source of love. I had to find it myself, and this is where Inner Bonding is so powerful. If you truly open to learning about what is loving to you, what is true for you, what is in your highest good, if in your heart you really want to know and you really want to take loving actions for yourself, and you ask those questions about any given situation, even if you’re asking them of the air, you will start to get answers. Lots of times I recommend people to just imagine an older, wiser part of yourself, like you 500 years older than you – very wise, loving, and powerful, and most people can imagine this. Lisa said she could imagine this.

I asked her to imagine that her older wiser self, her higher self, is always accessible to her. One of the things that I find helpful in terms of accessing spiritual guidance is to get an image of your soul. The soul is actually very big, way too big to fit into your body. A part of your soul is in your body, and that part is what we call in Inner Bonding your essence or your inner child. And that part often communicates through your feelings. The rest of your soul is all around your body, like this big light all around your body. And that part communicates through your mind through words and images that pop into your mind, and through dreams and sometime through what you read, or through something others say to you, or something you hear yourself say to others. So if you imagine your older, wiser self is surrounding you like this big light, then you don’t have to have any kind of concept of God to access the information you need – if your intent is to learn about loving yourself.

Lisa said that she believed in God but had never trusted God because she thought God was like her parents. She really liked the idea of imagining her older, wiser higher soul.

As Lisa practiced Inner Bonding and learned to love herself, she started to attract men who were open and caring. It took time, but she eventually met her beloved.

Sarah, one of the participants in my Attracting Your Beloved 30-Day course, gave the following testimonial:

“I wanted to thank you for the Attract your Beloved course – I learnt so much from that course & from your previous courses. Over time it’s been changing my relationship with myself & others in such an amazing way. 

“I’ve also met my beloved. He first contacted me while I was doing your Attract your Beloved course, but I didn’t recognize our potential as a couple initially because I was hung up on immediate chemistry. Over time I noticed he had a lot of the characteristics you discussed in the course. We became a couple on 24 December last year & on a trip to Hawaii last month he proposed to me. I’ve never experienced unconditional love from a partner before, it’s feels solid & safe. I’m so privileged to have him in my life & without your words of advice I wouldn’t have given him a proper chance. Thank you so much.

“I don’t know where life will lead & I’ve got plenty more learning to do but I’m so grateful to have felt this love & to know what a relationship can be like. It’s also helping me tap into a deeper love for myself too & for everything around us.

“Thank you so much for being a pivotal part of this journey towards love.”

Sarah is just one of the many participants in my course who let me know that they attracted their beloved during or after the course.

One of the issues that many people need to heal is to attract their beloved is the feeling of shame. It took me many years to understand my shame and to heal it.

When we were little and if we were not loved in the way that we needed to be loved – if we were judged, neglected, ignored, rejected, abused, and hurt in different ways, we needed to find a way to manage this deep pain. When we were rejected in any way, we felt shattered. We felt crushed. We felt heartbroken, but we were too little to manage feeling all those deeply painful feelings of life. So, we found ways to numb them out. And one way we learned is to shame ourselves, because shame is much easier to handle than heartbreak and feeling crushed and shattered.

Almost all of us who suffered pain as children decided that the reason we were not being loved is because there was something wrong with us. And that was actually a kind of life saving decision, because if we would’ve understood as little children that our parents just didn’t know how to love us, we might not have survived that. It’s very rare for a little child to get that “I’m okay. But my parents have no idea how to love me. And I’m stuck here for 18 years.” That’s devastating, so what we did, what I did, and what everybody I work with did, is we decided that it’s our fault.

Deciding that there’s something wrong with us and that’s why we’re not being loved is the beginning of feeling shame, and the basis of the wounded self. The wounded self is based on the concept that there’s something wrong with me, and what this does is it gives us a sense of control. It’s such a helpless feeling to be this little child and for your parents to be unloving or abusive. So when you shame yourself and you tell yourself that there’s something wrong with you, that gives you some hope of control, because then you can say to yourself, “If I change, if I do this right, or I do that right, or I act this way or that way, then maybe I’ll get the love that I need. If I stop being who I am and learn to be the way they want me to be, then maybe I can at least avoid pain.” So we go about putting a lid on our true self, which we’ve decided isn’t good enough, and we develop our false self – our wounded self. The wounded self would rather feel shame, which we are causing, than feel the heartbreak and helplessness of others’ unloving behavior.

Over time, we become addicted to the control that we think this gives us. Like if somebody rejects you, instead of feeling the heartbreak, you judge yourself, and self-judgment is what creates the feeling of shame, telling ourselves the lies that “It’s my fault because not good enough, so I can change and then I can have of control over how others feel about me and treat me.” So at this point, as an adult, shame is very tied in with control – with controlling your deeper feelings, and with controlling how other people feel about you and treat you.

When you are willing to accept the truth – that there never was anything wrong with your beautiful soul, that it wasn’t your fault that you weren’t loved or were abused, and that you don’t have control over how others feel about you and treat you, then judging yourself no longer serves a purpose and shame gets healed.

The more you practice Inner Bonding and learn to see, value, and love your true self, instead of allowing your wounded self to judge and shame you, the more you’re able to let go of the illusion of control over others, and the more you learn to lovingly manage the deeper painful feelings of life that you had to avoid as a child.

It’s when you stop judging and shaming yourself, and stop trying to have control over getting love, and start learning to take loving care of your feelings, that you will find yourself being able to attract your beloved.

One of the things that so important to accept in dating is that you get what you see. Many of my clients whose relationships are not working knew before getting into the relationship that the person had behaviors that were not tolerable to them.

For example, the person was a smoker and smoking was not acceptable to them, or the person was a heavy drinker and this was not acceptable to them, or the person would get very angry and not deal with it, or the person didn’t take care of themselves physically such as not brushing their teeth or not showering, or that the person kept losing jobs, or that the person lied, and so on, but they married the person believing that if they loved that person enough, that person would change. Now the marriage is falling apart because none of these things changed. So please accept that if you don’t like what you see, move on. Don’t kid yourself that your love will get the person to change. Only their love for themselves will bring about change, and you have no control over whether they ever want to learn to love themselves.

I want to stress that if you want to create a loving relationship, first you need to create a loving inner relationship between your loving adult, your inner child, and your higher guidance. You need to learn how to quiet the loud voice of your wounded self and listen to the quiet voice of your higher guidance. When you put your wounded self in charge, you will likely continue to judge yourself as a major way the wounded self tries to control. When we judge ourselves, it can make it very hard to manifest what we want in life and in our relationships. So I want to encourage you to start with noticing your self-judgments without judging yourself for judging yourself. Just notice. And when you work with Inner Bonding and you notice the judgements, then you can open to learning with your higher guidance about what the truth is, and you can learn to bring in the truth rather than continue to operate from the lies of the wounded self.

The more you take loving actions based on the truth, the more you heal your fears and false beliefs that keep you from attracting your beloved.

Your wounded self might like to tell you that you will always be alone, but remember, the wounded self knows nothing. It cannot predict the future and it has no access to truth. You can attract your beloved, and learning to love yourself is the place to start.

I hope you join me in my 30-Day at-home Course: “Attracting your Beloved: A 30-Day At-home Experience to Learn How to Attract the Love of your Life.”

As well as for my 30-Day at-home Course: “Love Yourself: and my 30-Day online video relationship course: Wildly, Deeply, Joyously in Love.

My recent books will also be a big help to you: The Inner Bonding Workbook: Six Steps to Healing Yourself and Connecting With Your Divine Guidance,  Diet for Divine Connection: Beyond Junk Foods and Junk Thoughts to At-Will Spiritual Connection, and 6 Steps to Total Self-Healing: The Inner Bonding Process.

And, of course, we have much to offer you at our website at https:www.innerbonding.com.

I’m sending you my love and my blessings.


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S2 EP104 – What is Real Love?

Episode Summary

We all want to experience real love, but how do you know when what you are experiencing is real love, or if what you are experiencing is infatuation or emotional dependency? Do you know the difference between real love and infatuation or emotional dependency? They are light years apart! 


Hi Everyone. This is Dr. Margaret Paul with the Inner Bonding podcast and today I want to talk about real love. Most people would love to have “real love,” yet often they have no idea what real love is. Take a moment to think about how you would define real love.

Defining love is like defining a particular color to a person who has never been able to see color – you have to feel it to know what it is. The reason it is hard to define real love is because you can’t experience it with your mind, and definitions are of the mind. Real love is of the heart and is a feeling that is the result of your intention to be loving, which of course is very different than the intention to be loved. The desire to be loved comes from the ego wounded part of ourselves, the part that believes we need to get love from others in order to feel filled and worthy – that real love is something we get rather than something we are and something we share.

This is what creates the confusion regarding real love.

Real love is what you are – what your soul is – a spark of the Divine within. Love is what the energy of the universe is. When your deepest desire is to be loving to yourself and others, this desire opens your heart and you become filled with the love that is as ubiquitous as the air you breathe. This is real love – the experience of Spirit that fills the emptiness within and lets you know that you are never alone.

But what about real love with another person? How do we know when we are experiencing real love?

Real love is what we experience when two or more people come together with open hearts already filled with love, and the love from their hearts overflows as it is openly and joyously shared.

If you come to a relationship with a feeling of emptiness and unworthiness, you cannot experience real love. Real love from another person is not the cake – it is the icing on the cake. The cake needs to be the love that comes through you from your higher power, and the icing is the love you share with another or others.

If you expect another’s love to be the cake, then you will not experience real love, because you are coming from a closed heart and the neediness and inner emptiness comes from self-abandonment.

Real love does not need anything from another person.

Real love is like a waterfall flowing down inside from your higher power, filling the lake within and then flowing out in rivers and streams as it is shared with others. However, when the heart is closed, then the lake is empty and becomes like a bottomless sinkhole, desperately attempting to suck love, attention, and approval from others.

If you want to experience real love within a relationship, then you need to open – through your desire to be loving – to the unconditional love coming through you. You need to invite God-which-is-Love into your heart and become filled with it.

The challenge here is that you cannot desire to get love and be loving at the same time. The intent to get love will always lead to a closed heart and controlling behavior, which shuts out real love. The intent to be loving, and to learn what is loving to yourself and to others in any given moment, is what opens the heart. When you choose the intent to be loving with yourself and others, you will experience real love.

When you love someone, you want their highest good. You support what brings them joy, rather than trying to get them to give themselves up for you. You don’t want to own them – you want to support them in being all they can be. When you are supporting your own and the other person’s highest good, you never need to possess the other person. You want to share love with your beloved, rather than get love through owning the other person.

There is nothing controlling about real love—it supports your own and your partners’ freedom. In contrast, if you are infatuated and emotionally dependent, you might feel jealous and possessive, coming from the fear of loss. What comes from fear is not love—it is neediness. Infatuation and emotional dependency come from inner emptiness and expects the other person to fill the empty place that comes from self-abandonment.

Real love of another comes from real love for yourself—from knowing and valuing your true self so that you can know and value the true self of your beloved. Infatuation comes from projecting onto the other person the qualities that you disown in yourself. When you are infatuated, you are seeing the other person though the ego wounded eyes of your self-abandonment. You are star-struck with who you think the other person is and what you think they are giving to you. You cannot see who they really are through the star-struck eyes of your wounded self.

Sharing real love with a beloved partner is truly the highest experience in life. Nothing comes close to the joy of sharing your heart and soul with another while the other is sharing his or her heart and soul with you, and you are each fully receiving each other. Nothing is more profound than these moments of sharing love.

Most people sense the truth of this, but often confuse the sharing of love with the getting of love. While getting love may provide a momentary good feeling, it is a mere shadow of the joy experienced in the sharing of love.

You can’t share what you don’t have. If you are not loving yourself—through defining your own worth, speaking up for yourself, taking responsibility for learning from and managing your feelings, creating financial and relationship safety, taking care of your body and managing your time and your environment well—then you are not filled within with the love that is Spirit. We get filled up with love when we are loving and valuing ourselves. Our intent to love ourselves and to learn with our guidance about what is loving to ourselves, is what opens our heart to being filled with the love that is God.

Real love comes only from this full place within. If we are not loving ourselves, then we are abandoning ourselves, which creates an empty place with. Infatuation and emotional dependency come from this empty needy place, which is why it doesn’t last.

Love that lasts is love that is not based on what you get, but on the true cherishing of your own and the other person’s essence—the true authentic self. If you don’t know your own true self, you likely can’t see another’s true self. If you believe that you are your ego wounded self, filled with fear and false beliefs and needy of being seen and loved, then you have not yet done the Inner Bonding work necessary to discover the magnificence of your true, authentic self.

If you want to share the greatest experience in life with your beloved, then focus first on learning to see, hear, and value your true essential self. The Inner Bonding process is a powerful way of discovering the beauty and fullness of your essence so that you can share real love.

Have you, at times wondered whether you are in love or infatuated or emotionally dependent?

Falling in love can come from two different inner states. When you fall in love from your ego wounded self, which is your false self that you created as part of your survival, you’re in love with how the other person loves you. You’re handing over to the other person the responsibility for your self-worth and wellbeing. And if he or she does a good job of attending to you in the way you want to be attended to, then you may say that you’re in love. However, it’s not so much the person you love, but what you love is how that person treats you. And when it feels as if you can’t live without the person that is emotional dependency. The part of you that thinks you are in love is really a child or an adolescent who’s needy for love because you are not loving yourself or loving others. You’re attaching your worth to another person’s attention and approval, which is why you can’t live without that person, and why you would feel so devastated if that person leaves.

When you fall in love as a loving adult, instead of as that wounded needy child or adolescent, your need and desire for the relationship is totally different. As a loving adult, you’ve learned through the consistent practice of Inner Bonding how to love yourself, how to fill yourself with love and how to define your own worth. So instead of needing someone to fill you and make you feel that you’re lovable and worthy, you already feel worthy and you’re already full of love. You experience this inner fullness because you learned how to take full responsibility for your own feelings. And you’ve learned to fill yourself up with love from a higher source and this fullness overflows, and you want to share this love with the other person. And hopefully that other person is also taking loving care of him or herself and is also a loving adult who’s filled with love and who’s desire is to share love rather than get love. Since we attract at our common frequency – which is our common level of self-love or self-abandonment, you are far more likely to attract a partner capable of real love if you are also capable of real love.

But if you feel like you can’t live without the person and you want to die if that person leaves you, you are emotionally dependent. Now this happens a lot because most people have not done their inner healing work to heal the fears and false beliefs of their wounded self. If you have not done this inner work, then you bring all the baggage from your childhood and adolescence into your relationship. You bring in all the role modeling from your parents or other caregivers regarding how they treated you and how they treated themselves. Even if they treated you lovingly, they likely abandoned themselves in many ways, and you have absorbed these forms of self-abandonment into your wounded self.

How often do you treat yourself the ways your parents treated you or themselves?  What did your parents or other caregivers role model regarding personal responsibility for their feelings? Did they blame each other? Was one or both compliant, giving themselves up? Was one aggressive and the other passive? Did they avoid their feelings with various addictions, such as using food, alcohol, drugs, work, busyness, shopping, spending, TV, affairs, and other ways of numbing out and avoiding their feelings? Did they have a   codependent system, where one of them was or is a caretaker and the other was or is a taker, each of them making the other responsible for their feelings in their different overt and covert controlling ways?

Are you aware of what you absorbed from their role modeling? Many people say to themselves, “I will never be like my parents,” yet when they get into a relationship, if they haven’t done their inner work to be aware of their wounded self, they unconsciously act just like their parents. My wounded self has aspects of both of my parents and it’s through my Inner Bonding practice that I’ve become aware of these wounded aspects and can choose not to go there. We don’t have to be victims of our past.   

This is not to say that we don’t need each other. We are wired to need each other. We all want connection. We are social beings and most of us love to be in a relationship. We need each other for a lot of things. We need each other to learn and grow, because most of the unhealed areas in our wounded self gets triggered when we are in a relationship. You might be great at taking loving care of yourself when you are alone, but what about when you are in a relationship? We also need each other to have each other backs, and to play with, to make love with, to support each other emotionally in many ways.

Just because we need emotional support doesn’t mean that we’re emotionally dependent. There’s a big difference between needing emotional support, which we all need, and being emotionally dependent, which means we’re abandoning ourselves. We’re making this other person responsible for whether we feel like we’re okay, and for our sense of safety and worth. There is a big difference between showing up for yourself as a loving adult and needing extra support from your partner, and making your partner responsible for you. There is a big difference between emotional dependency and interdependency.

In a loving relationship, both partners take responsibility for creating a sense of relationship safety. We all need to feel safe within the relationship to be who we are and to speak our heartfelt truth. So when we’re in a relationship, we each have a responsibility to be kind and caring and supportive, to be present, to be there. We all need that from each other. We all want that.  And that’s very different than emotional dependency.

So it’s really important to distinguish the difference between being emotionally dependent and needing emotional support. And to distinguish the difference between being able to truly love somebody because you you’re loving and valuing yourself and being needy of your partner to do this for you.  

Real love occurs when you see who your partner is in their soul, and you deeply value who they are. And because we all have a wounded self, you need to be able to tolerate their wounded self, and they need to be coming from their loving adult most of the time. If you adore who they are in their essence, but if they are operating mostly from their wounded self, you won’t be able to learn and grow with them and share love with them.

I hope you’re beginning to understand the big difference between infatuation and emotional dependency, which is about what you’re getting from the person – what they’re giving to you to make you feel like you’re okay, safe and worthy, and real love.  With infatuation and emotional dependency, you want the other person to complete you, while as a loving adult, you already feel complete within you. You’re not entering the relationship for somebody to complete you. Entering a relationship primarily as your wounded self is completely different than entering a relationship primarily as a loving adult.

My client, Gina, told me in our first session that the men she dated didn’t treat her well, and that she kept making excuses for them. She also said that she often felt stuck and unable to leave because she believed they would change. She wanted to know when to leave a relationship or when to stay and work on it.

What I told her is that often people treat us the way we treat ourselves. If you are judging yourself, then you might find your partner or others judging you. If you ignore your feelings and needs, then you might find a partner, family, or friends ignoring your feelings and needs.

Unless there is physical or emotional abuse, or severe substance abuse, I generally suggest that you stay and do your own inner work to learn to treat yourself with caring and respect. Once you are happy within yourself, it will be easy to see if your partner will also open to learning and do their inner work, or if they will continue to be uncaring. If they don’t open and learn to take responsibility for themselves, then you will know that this relationship isn’t going change and that it’s likely time to leave.  Only by opening to learning yourself and doing your own healing work will you know whether or not your partner will open to learning and healing.

The more you are connected with your feelings – your inner guidance and your higher guidance, the easier time you will have at the beginning of a relationship tuning into whether or not the other person is loving themselves and therefore capable of loving you. Early in relationship, if you’re tuned into your own feelings and it’s feeling bad, you know that’s the time to let it go.

Often my clients, who are in an unhappy marriage, knew before getting married that it wasn’t right, but they didn’t listen to themselves. Angie, on one of my webinars, who was in the process of getting a divorce, knew instinctively before she married that it wasn’t right for her. She said to the people listening, “Pay attention to your instincts. Don’t ignore what you know in your gut.” Good advice! 

Often my women clients tell me that they keep attracting emotionally unavailable men, and even staying in fairly long relationships with emotionally unavailable men, or men not available for a committed relationship. One of the things they are not aware of is they are also emotionally unavailable or not available for a committed relationship. If they were truly available, they wouldn’t be attracted to unavailable men, but due their fear of losing themselves in a relationship, they actually feel safe with unavailable men. I always suggest that they do their Inner Bonding work to learn to see and love and value themselves and become emotionally available to themselves, and then see what happens in their relationship. As we change, we change the entire relationship system. It will either get better or it will get worse as you do your own inner work, but as I previously said, you will easily know whether it’s loving to you to stay or to leave.

One of my clients asked me if being in love and being emotionally dependent are mutually exclusive – if it’s possible to be in love with a person and be emotionally dependent. As I said, real love and emotional dependency come from two different places. Emotional dependency is from the wounded self, so when you’re operating from your wounded self, you might be in that emotionally dependent state where you’re abandoning yourself. When you’re in love, truly in love, you’re in an adult state where there’s no self- abandonment, where you’re taking loving care of yourself. So in any given moment, they’re mutually exclusive. You can go back and forth. People can go back and forth between being in their loving adult and being in their wounded self. I doubt that anybody is enlightened enough to always be in their loving adult. So there’s going to be times when you’ll be emotionally dependent, and that’s not a bad thing – not something to judge. It’s just something to be aware of and something to be working on in terms of learning to love yourself rather than abandon yourself so that you experience real love more often.

This client also asked if it’s possible to start a relationship based on real love and then have it change and become one of emotional dependency. And the answer is yes that happens all the time where people do fall in love with each other. At the beginning of the relationship, they’re taking good care of themselves. They’re in a fairly whole place, but then they get into the relationship, and they start to abandon themselves. And once they start to abandon themselves, they eventually become emotionally dependent. It’s not unusual for people in love at the beginning of the relationship, to end up being emotionally dependent. But what this means is that they didn’t do the deeper inner work to heal their fears of rejection and engulfment before getting into the relationship, and hopefully, they will do this healing within the relationship so they can share real love.

I hope those of you listening to this podcast want to do your inner work so that you can experience the most wonderful experience there is – the sharing of real love.

I hope you join me for my 30-Day at-home Course: “Love Yourself: An Inner Bonding Experience to Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions and Relationships.”

You can heal your relationships with my 30-Day online video relationship course: Wildly, Deeply, Joyously in Love.

And be sure to take advantage of our website at https:www.innerbonding.com, as well as our many books on Inner Bonding, which you can get on our website or at Amazon or Goodreads.   

I’m sending you my love and my blessings!


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S2 EP103 – Trapped in Resistance

Episode Summary

How often do you find that there are not only things you know you have to do, but things you want to do and somehow never get around to doing them? Do you find yourself procrastinating over and over and you can’t figure out why?


Hi everyone! This is Dr. Margaret Paul with the Inner Bonding podcast, and today I want to talk about resistance. We’re going to explore what resistance is, why you resist or procrastinate, and how to begin to heal resistance.

When your ego wounded self is in charge, you might get trapped in resistance. Many people hate to be controlled – whether it’s by yourself, someone else, or even your higher power. Sometimes resistance shows up as forgetting or procrastinating, or it can show up in relationships by doing the opposite of what someone wants you to do, or doing something but doing it badly, and these forms of resistance are often called passive aggressive behavior.

Resistance often comes from an inner power struggle between two parts of your wounded self. You might have an authoritarian part, a part that might sound like the parental voice of one of your parents or other caregivers, saying things like, “You have to get up early this morning and work out and, we have to eat well today,” or “You need to get that report done NOW!” or “It’s time to clean up this clutter. You’re such a mess. What’s the matter with you?” or “Today we need to be on time for our meeting.” Often, this is an adolescent aspect of your wounded self who learned to be just like one or both of your controlling parents, siblings, teachers, or others who might have tried to control you.

But then there is a resistant part of you that might have been developed quite early in your life. Sometimes children learn to resist their parents by doing things that their parents have no control over, such as withholding their bowels, or not eating, or eating only junk food, or not learning and not doing homework, or dawdling and making their parents late, or even things like being anorexic or grossly overweight.

This resistant part of you is saying to the controlling part of you, or to anyone who is trying to control you, “You’re not the boss of me. You can’t tell me what to do. I’ll do whatever I want.” When I work with clients who complain of procrastination, they always have these inner power struggles going on where one aspect of their wounded self is trying to control them, and the other aspect is going into resistance to being controlled.

This is often the result of being brought up with one or two parents or siblings or other people in your life who were very controlling. You might have learned to comply in some areas and learned to resist in others. If you tend to be resistant in some areas of your life – such as being late, or being a clutterer or messy, or doing things the last minute, or not listening to your partner, or trying to get away with as little work as possible, or eating badly, or not exercising, or drinking too much or smoking too much pot, or going to bed late and not getting enough sleep, or not showering or brushing your teeth, or not seeing a doctor when you are not well, or not getting your teeth cleaned regularly, or being a couch potato, or saying you will do something and not doing it, or making plans and then often cancelling them, or being closed to suggestions – this might indicate that you’ve absorbed the controlling parental voice of a parent, grandparent, or others in your life who were controlling with you.

Did you learn go along in some ways then resist in other ways to not completely, give yourself up to a controlling person?

My parents were very controlling, but instead of resisting them, I became a very compliant child, a very good girl, doing whatever they wanted me to do. I become a people-pleaser as my coping mechanism and my way of trying to control how they treated me. And often, those of us who are caretakers end up in a relationship with a resistant person, which is what happened with me in my long marriage.

As I said, this pattern of resistance can get started really early. If you had a parent that was, for example, harsh and controlling regarding bedtime, you might have gotten in bed, but you wouldn’t sleep. Or if you had a parent who was controlling and harsh around grades, you might have started to do poorly in school, or maybe you would dawdle a lot, which would make your parents feel nuts around time. It’s like your saying, “at least that’s something I can have control over.” So, it’s an early pattern that gets established when there’s a controlling parent or more than one controlling parent. And as a child you learned various ways to not lose yourself completely.

This might have been a good coping mechanism when you were growing up because, it did prevent you from feeling like you were completely controlled. It may have prevented you from feeling like, you were being completely invaded and engulfed. But now the problem is that you might continue to do this in response to yourself or in response to a partner or in response to your higher power. And this might be immobilizing you in your life. It’s certainly not a healthy pattern when there’s something that you want to do, and you’re not doing it because some part of you is saying, “You’re not the boss of me. I don’t want to be controlled by you and I don’t have to do what you say I have to do.” I often have clients who tell me that they want to be on time, or clean up their space, or eat well and exercise, or stop eating sugar or drinking or smoking cigarettes or pot, or get work done on time, or get in an application for a new job, but they don’t. They procrastinate even with things they want to do. So it’s important to deal with this pattern which might be keeping you stuck in your life in many ways.

One of the things that many people resist is self-care, both physically and emotionally. A lot of people find that, even though they might know what to do, even though they might know that they need to eat well and exercise and get enough sleep and so on, they resist taking care of themselves. Even if you’ve learned Inner Bonding and you know that practicing Inner Bonding is going to make you feel a whole lot better, you might be resisting spending the time to do so. So why do you resist doing the very things that you know you need to do to feel good? What else might be going on beside the inner power struggle?

There’s a bunch of reasons why people have sort of unconsciously decided that they don’t want to take care of themselves. And one of them is that a lot of people believe that somebody else can do it better. The wounded self might believe that “Somebody can take care of me better than I can. Why should I have to do it? I had to do it when I was younger so why should I have to do it now? It’s not my job. It’s somebody else’s job. Somebody owes it to me,” or “Someone always did it for me when I was growing up and someone is still supposed to do it for me.”

The wounded self might be saying, “Well, if I do it for myself, then nobody will ever take care of me. And that’s what feels good to me. It’s not going to feel good to me if I do it for myself.” and this is is a major false belief. Others doing it for us feels good in the moment, but it’s like a piece of candy – it satisfies for the moment but then we need more and more, whereas loving ourselves and learning to fill ourselves up with love is deeply satisfying and fulfilling. And the thing that actually feels the best is sharing love, not getting love, and we can’t share love when we haven’t learned to love ourselves and fill ourselves up with love to share. But many people are locked into the belief that the only thing that really feels good is somebody else taking responsibility for you and giving you the love that you are not giving to yourself. If you have any of these false beliefs, then you are likely in resistance to doing it for yourself.

Another false belief of the wounded self might be that you can’t do it. You might be telling yourself, “I can’t do it. I’m going to fail at it. I’m not going to do it well enough or do it right.” But not many people say that to themselves when they have a baby, if they wanted the baby. If they want a child, they don’t say to themselves, “Well, I can’t do this. I don’t want to take care of this child. I’m going to adopt the child out and get somebody else to do it.” They don’t do that if they wanted the baby. If they didn’t want the baby, then of course, that’s exactly what they would do. But those who do want the child don’t say, “I can’t do it well enough. So I’m going to get somebody else to do it and adopt this child out.”

If you wanted to be a loving parent, that’s not what you did, but that’s what you might be doing on the inner level if you are resistant to learning to love yourself.

Another reason why people resist self-care is if you grew up with parents who you’re angry at because they were abusive to you in one way or another, you might feel like you don’t want your parents to think that they were good parents. And so you might be punishing your parents by resisting, by not taking care of yourself, messing up, procrastinating, doing all the things that people do in resistance. You can’t stand the thought of doing well and of being happy because you don’t want your parents patting themselves on the back and saying, “see, I did a good job.” Would you actually rather be miserable than for your parents to think that they did a good job as parents?

We cannot take care of ourselves from our wounded self, which is the part of us that wants to be in control and doesn’t want to be controlled, and so might go into resistance. The wounded self isn’t a part of us capable of loving ourselves or others. In order to take care of ourselves, we have to have access to our higher selves, our spiritual guidance, whatever that is for you. We have to have access to a source of love and a source of wisdom about what loving action is. We can’t do it from the wounded self because the wounded self operates from fear, which creates a low frequency, making it impossible to connect with your guidance when we are operating from our wounded self. While the wounded might believe in God, it doesn’t have any connection to a higher source at all, so it doesn’t have the ability to take care of ourselves. When you hear yourself saying, “I can’t do it,” that’s your wounded self being honest that it can’t do it. But you are not your wounded self, and resistance goes away when you operate from your loving adult with an intent to learn about loving yourself. This is what heals resistance – shifting your intent from controlling and not being controlled, to learning to love yourself. This changes everything and is the way to get unstuck from the trap of resistance.

Healing resistance is about our intention. As long as controlling and not being controlled is your highest priority, you will resist. The intention of the wounded self in resisting is to protect against losing yourself, to protect against being controlled by another person, or being controlled by yourself, or being controlled by spirit. As long as your highest priority is to have control over not being controlled, you will find yourself in resistance.

When you develop a loving adult self, which is what Inner Bonding is all about – developing your spiritually connected loving adult who is more interested in what is truly in your highest good than in whether or not you’re going to be controlled in some way, then whether or not you’re controlled becomes irrelevant. It doesn’t matter to the loving adult whether somebody is trying to control you or thinks they are controlling you, or thinks they were a good parent. A loving adult doesn’t care about that. The only thing the loving adult cares about is “Am I being loving with myself and others? Am I filling myself with love? Am I supporting my own highest good and the highest good of all? Am I doing all that I need to do so that I feel happy and safe and fulfilled inside?” Whereas the wounded self is going to constantly be concerned about whether or not you’re being controlled. So is it more important to you to not be controlled, or is it more important to you to be loving to yourself and share your love with others? Is it more important to have control over not being controlled or to be loving to yourself?

In relationships, in order to stop resisting and let go of the fear of being controlled by a partner and take loving care of yourself, you need to be willing to lose the other person rather than lose yourself. Because a big fear of wounded self is of being controlled by a partner and losing yourself. Without a loving adult, if you open to caring about somebody, you could very well give yourself up in order not to lose that person. And that’s scary to a lot of people. This is where the fear of intimacy comes from. The wounded self thinks, “ Oh my God, if I let myself open and love someone, that person’s going to be so important to me that I’m going to give myself up. I’m going to lose self. I can’t let that happen.” So in order to feel safe enough to give up the resistance, you need to know that you would rather lose the other person than lose yourself. You need to know that nothing is going to make you give yourself a up, no matter how much you care about somebody, how much you love somebody. Once you’re willing to lose the other person rather than lose yourself, then you will feel safe to open your heart to loving yourself and a partner.

The other thing that creates a sense of safety regarding opening your heart to love is that, as a loving adult, you need to know how to speak your truth and set limits against being controlled by a partner – that you’re going to set limits rather than either give in or resist. So it’s vitally important to develop your spiritually connected, loving adult, which, if course, is what happens when you consistently practice Inner Bonding.

Like exercise for developing your muscles, Inner Bonding is the exercise for developing the loving adult. The more you practice Inner Bonding, the stronger the muscle of the loving adult gets. If you want to get beyond your resistance, you’re going to need to practice Inner Bonding and develop your loving adult self so that you no longer either resist or give in.

And part of what you develop when you practice Inner Bonding is developing your ability to access your guidance for what’s in your highest good.

For example, let’s say that your partner says, “Please go mow the lawn.”  If your wounded self is in charge, you might give in, thinking “I better mow the lawn, or he or she will be angry with me.” Or, your wounded self might go into resistance, thinking, “I don’t want to be controlled, so I’m just going to say no, or I’ll nod yes and then procrastinate and not do it.” All the wounded self knows to do is either give in or resist. But what the loving adult does is go to guidance and say, “Is it loving to me? What is in my highest good and the highest good of my partner? Is it loving to me to mow the lawn?” Or, with other issues, like having sex, the loving adult would ask, “Is it loving to me to have sex with my partner?” or “Is it loving to me to spend time with this person?” You would be asking if it’s loving to you do whatever it is your partner or others want you to do. As a loving adult, you would open to learning with your higher guidance about what’s loving to you rather than either give in or resist. Unless you have developed your loving adult with the intention to learn and you can go to your guidance and ask for what is in your highest good, you’re stuck with your wounded self, you’re stuck either giving in or resisting, which creates big problems in relationships.

So I hope you can see that the way out of resistance is to practice Inner Bonding and develop your spiritually connected loving adult.

I often work with resistant clients who are also depressed, and sometimes depression is a symptom of resistance. Depression is your inner child – your feeling soul self –  letting you know that your wounded self is in charge with the intent to have control over not being controlled, and you’re abandoning yourself. Resistance, which is a form of self-abandonment, can also create anxiety, as well as shame, because most people who resist and procrastinate end up judging themselves for feeling trapped again in a relationship, or stuck in their life, and self-judgment causes the feeling of shame.

Sometimes my clients tell me that they really want to set aside time to exercise or meditate but they keep not doing it. They find themselves resistant to it. This what Kaylee told me in one of my webinars. She said, “I think about how I want to develop a morning practice of exercise and meditation, yet I never do it. I have the time and I know it would be good for me, but I’m resistant to it, and I don’t know why.” I asked Kaylee to go inside and see whether she’s trying to make herself do a form of exercise or meditation that she doesn’t like. She might have decided that she should do these things, but they might not be things that her inner child likes doing. And as it turned out, her inner child didn’t at all like the form of exercise or meditation she felt she should do. Her wounded self was telling her what she should do without checking in with what she actually wanted.  

I found out many years ago that I love to walk in nature, and the form of meditation I do is Inner Bonding while I walk. I’m not a sitting meditator. I’ve never been able to just sit. That’s not me and I don’t like it. And I love inner bonding as a meditation. So I walk up and down hills every morning and I do my Inner Bonding work. I love this. My whole being loves it. My child loves it. My adult loves it. And so there’s no resistance because I love doing it. But if I were to force myself to do something that I don’t love to do, that would create a problem for me. I would likely go into resistance if I didn’t love doing it.

Arthur was raised by a mother who tried to program his every thought. There were rules for everything, from the right way to speak to her to the right way to hold a pencil. The moment Arthur did not do things her way, his mother withdrew her love, becoming a block of ice. Because Arthur’s father was not around much, his mother was all he had. He needed her to survive. So Arthur capitulated. He gave himself up in order to get her love. He did everything her way, allowing her to control him and take over his life until almost nothing of the real Arthur was left.

But a tiny part of him refused to give in. He found little ways to resist, to keep him safe from being completely consumed. One of these was dawdling. Not only would Arthur dawdle, but when he finally did what his mother wanted, he did it badly, always making some mistake that drove her crazy.

Now, as an adult, Arthur finds himself procrastinating, even over things he wants to do, such as connecting with his spiritual guidance, which he says is very important to him, and taking any loving action that he does hear from his guidance. The moment Arthur hears anything from his higher guidance, he finds himself procrastinating. He puts off taking loving action. He just doesn’t get around to it. He dawdles. When he does get around to taking action, he makes mistakes. And because Arthur doesn’t understand why he procrastinates and makes so many mistakes, he can’t change his behavior. He is stuck.

Arthur is stuck because he is resisting being controlled by his guidance in the same way he learned to resist being totally controlled by his mother.

When we are small, our parents are God to us. As we grow up, many of us project onto God our experience of our parents. If our parents were too busy for us, then we may think God is too busy. If our parents were judgmental, then perhaps we believe that God is judgmental. If our parents were controlling, then we may think that God is also controlling. Therefore, anything other than unconditional love from our parents may have eventually resulted in a disconnection from God. As a result of Arthur’s controlling mother, he unconsciously finds himself resisting God.

Whenever his higher power speaks to him, Arthur hears his mother’s voice and automatically resists. His mother’s need to dominate him – which came from her wounded self – left Arthur with a terror of being consumed by anything or anyone, including God. His resistance is so pervasive that he also resists himself. He is stuck in an inner power struggle between his wounded self who is like his mother and wants control, and his wounded self who doesn’t want to be controlled. What he actually wants gets lost in this inner power struggle.

People who resist learned early on that resisting was the only way to maintain their integrity in the face of invasive, controlling parents or other caregivers. This may have been true when they were children, but it’s not true now. In fact, when you are driven to resist out of fear of being controlled, you are not free to make your own choices. You are not even free to do the things you know are best for you. Paradoxically, you are actually controlled by your resistance. What used to safeguard your integrity now cheats you out of your personal freedom and sabotages your ability to grow and change.

I hope you learn and practice Inner Bonding, which will move you out of being stuck in resistance and into your personal power and personal freedom.

I hope you join me in my 30-Day at-home Course: “
Love Yourself: An Inner Bonding Experience to Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions and Relationships.”

My recent books will also be a big help to you: The Inner Bonding Workbook: Six Steps to Healing Yourself and Connecting With Your Divine Guidance,  Diet for Divine Connection: Beyond Junk Foods and Junk Thoughts to At-Will Spiritual Connection, and 6 Steps to Total Self-Healing: The Inner Bonding Process.

And, of course, we have much to offer you at our website at https:www.innerbonding.com.

I’m sending you my love and my blessings.


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S2 EP102 – The Challenge of Emotional Dependency

Episode Summary

You might be emotionally dependent without knowing it – many people are. Discover in this podcast what emotional dependency is and how to attain emotional freedom and loving relationships.


Hi everyone. This is Dr. Margaret Paul with the Inner Bonding podcast, and today I want to talk about emotional dependency. Many people are emotionally dependent without knowing it. I’m going to be discussing the difference between emotional dependency and emotional freedom and responsibility and the effect emotional dependency has on relationships. 

The definition that I use of emotional dependency is that you are dependent on others for your feelings of self-worth, safety, and lovability. You’ve handed away to other people the responsibility of defining whether or not you’re okay, because you’re not defining that for yourself. You’re looking to others for approval, attention, love, and validation to feel like you’re okay. You’re dependent upon what other people think of you rather than having learned how to define your own sense of worth and create your own sense of safety. 

We become emotionally dependent when we don’t know how to take loving care of our own feelings. If you never learned to do that, if your parents didn’t role model personal responsibility for their feelings, if you grew up believing that other people are responsible for your feelings, which most of us did – I certainly did, then you had no way of learning this. My parents believed that others were responsible for their feelings, and they would get angry and blame me, each other, and others when any of us didn’t do what they wanted. And of course, no one could ever could do it good enough for them.

When you make others responsible for your feelings, which is your inner child – your soul self who often communicates through feelings – feels rejected by you, left alone, and abandoned by you. Every time you make someone responsible for whether or not you’re okay, you’re basically telling your inner child that that you don’t care about him or her, that your inner child, your feeling self, isn’t important to you. That your worth is only about what other people think of you, and that you don’t want to be the one to love yourself. The lack of loving yourself, and instead abandoning yourself, can lead to feelings of inner emptiness. You might feel empty when you make others responsible for your feelings, but you might do this because you don’t know what else to do.

So for example, let’s say that you’re feeling anxious or depressed, and when most people are anxious or depressed, they tend to look externally for the cause. That’s what emotionally dependency is. You might say, “My boss yelled at me today”, or “My husband or wife ignored me today or put me down,” or “I’m afraid of losing my job.” There’s just a lot of things that you could say that are external and certainly, some of them are going to cause anxiety or depression. But what most people don’t do is they don’t go inside and say,” How am I treating myself in the face of these challenging situations? What am I telling myself? What are my beliefs? What am I doing that may be contributing to this anxiety or depression? Am putting a lot of pressure on myself? Am I judging myself? Am I ignoring my feelings and needs? Am I turning to various addictions?” These are all ways of abandoning oneself, which always creates anxiety or depression. So, to be emotionally responsible rather than emotionally dependent, you would be looking within instead of just looking externally at what somebody else is doing or what’s happening in a challenging situation.

When you’re coming from emotional dependency, there’s a lot of ways that you might make another person responsible. You might have a pulling energy of being a victim, like poor me, I need somebody to take care of me. I’m so miserable. Somebody has to come and help me.” That’s a kind of energetic pull on somebody for them to take care of your feelings. Like sad eyes. One of my clients once said to me, “When my girlfriend looks at me with sad eyes, I just can’t stand it in it.” He was a caretaker, so the minute she gave him her sad eyes he would take care of her feelings. Sad eyes or anger or blame are ways of trying to make someone feel guilty enough to take responsibility for their feelings. Do you get angry and try to guilt somebody or shame somebody or bully somebody into doing what you want or giving you what you want, or are you overly nice to make people like you and give you what you want?

All these controlling behaviors are signs of emotional dependency. When you’re emotionally dependent, you’re trying to have control over how people feel about you because you’ve made them responsible for your sense of worth and safety. Emotional responsibility is completely opposite, which is what the Inner Bonding process is about. It’s about wanting responsibility for your own well-being. If you’re feeling anxious or depressed, or angry, or guilty or shamed, or alone and empty or jealous, you want to know what you’re doing or telling yourself that might be causing it or contributing to it. You want to learn to take loving care of yourself, and the practice of inner bonding eventually creates that deeper sense of emotional responsibility, and eventually emotional freedom. 

This means that you’re not going to look around to find something or someone to blame. 

And then, in step two of Inner Bonding, you focus in your heart, in that place of love in your heart – the place that wants to take loving care of your own feelings. You consciously choose the intention to learn, about what you’re doing, what you’re thinking, how you’re treating yourself, and learning with your higher self about love and truth, and invite the love, compassion, strength, and wisdom of your higher self into your heart. And then, in step three, you would have a dialogue process with the anxious or angry or depressed part of you to discover how you are treating yourself that’s causing these feelings, and with your wounded self about why you are treating yourself this way – what the false beliefs are that are behind your unloving behavior toward yourself. 

And then, in step four, you open to learning with your higher self, your higher guidance, asking about the truth about any false beliefs you’ve uncovered, and what would be loving to you right now. What can you say or do that will make your child inside feel loved and cared for rather than angry or depressed or anxious? Because of a lack of role models for being a loving adult and taking loving care of your feelings, your higher self needs to be your role model for loving actions on your behalf. Then in step five, you would take that action, whatever it is. It might be picking up a doll or stuffed animal that represents your inner child and hold him or her, letting your feeling self know that you are learning how to love yourself rather than continue to abandon yourself. It might be speaking up with someone, or eating better, or getting some exercise, or getting more sleep, or learning to meditate, or looking into changing jobs, or getting emotional support from a facilitator. It could be many different things, and then, in step six, once you take a loving action, you go back in and see how you are feeling as a result. If you feel some relief, you know you’ve taken a loving action. 

The Inner Bonding process is a form of learning to take personal responsibility – the opposite of emotional dependency. It creates new neural pathways in the brain for the loving adult. It leads you to taking loving action on your own behalf, and that’s what emotional responsibility is. So it’s really important if you want to feel that fullness inside and move beyond anxiety and depression and other wounded painful feelings, to decide you want emotional responsibility, that you actually want to stop blaming someone or something else. Just start to notice when you’re feeling upset about something. How often do you immediately think about, well, who’s causing this? This person said that or that person did something hurtful. How often do you look outside yourself for the reason for your feelings? Start to notice how often you want to blame somebody or something for feelings that you might be causing.

It’s important to understand the difference between the wounded feelings that you’re causing by your thoughts and actions, and the painful feelings of life that are being caused by others and by situations. 

The wounded feelings that you cause are feelings like anxiety, depression, guilt, shame, anger, jealousy, aloneness, and emptiness. The deeper painful feelings of life are the big feelings that we could not manage as we were growing up – feelings such as loneliness, grief, heartbreak, helplessness over others and outcomes, and fear of real and present danger. While these difficult and painful feelings are not being caused by you, you still need to take responsibility for lovingly managing them. If you’re not going to end up emotionally dependent, you need to learn to bring much compassion to these feelings, and open to learning about what these feelings are telling you about a person or a situation. Fear of real and present danger is very different than the fear and anxiety that that comes from making something up or projecting into the future. Real and present danger alerts you to action you need to take right now, such as fight or flight, while anxiety and other wounded feelings are telling us that we are abandoning ourselves.

Couples get together at their common level of emotional dependency, which is your common level of self-abandonment, or your common level of personal responsibility and self-love. If you tend to be a caretaker, taking care of your partner’s feelings, you are doing this in the hopes that your partner will eventually take responsibility for your feelings. 

Do you believe that if you love someone enough, they will heal their neediness and insecurity and become secure enough to share love with you? Our love can certainly support someone in learning to love themselves, but only they can learn to take emotional responsibility for themselves.

My client, Jessica, told me that her partner has low self-esteem and asked me how she can get him to find his inner peace, security, and self-worth. She also told me that he smokes pot as a way he avoids responsibility for his feelings. 

Jessica is operating from a huge, false belief – that her love – which really isn’t love because what she gives to him is conditional on him changing – will make him feel worthy and secure, and then he will stop smoking pot and give her the love she isn’t giving herself. She’s thinking of marrying him and having a baby with him, but she isn’t accepting that she can’t make him change. She either needs to accept him the way he is and learn to take care of herself in the face of his insecurity, or not be in the relationship. But Jessica is addicted to caretaking as her form of control, coming from her own neediness and self-abandonment. Because her partner’s neediness is much more apparent than hers, she doesn’t realize that she’s equally emotionally dependent, believing that he has to change for her to be okay.

My client, James, told me in our first session that he has been married for 15 years and the whole time he’s been a serial cheater. He cheated with someone before they married, and his wife found out and forgave him. Now his wife has found out that he has continue to cheat on her. She wants to work on it with him, which is why he decided to work with me. James told me he loves his wife and has no idea why he keeps seeking sex outside of the marriage.

As James worked with me, it became apparent that he felt very insecure, and used sex with other women to fill his emptiness and feel validated. James was emotionally dependent on having sex with multiple women.   

His sexual addiction was his way of filling the emptiness that he was causing by his self-abandonment, including a complete lack of self-validation, and consistently judging himself.

Of course, this started in childhood from the role modeling of his parents – from how they treated themselves and how they treated him. In addition, his father was also sexually addicted and cheated on his mother. In fact, one time James was in a car with his father when his father had sex with another woman in the front seat, with James in the back seat. James had also found his father’s Playboy magazines when he was 12, which also contributed to his sexual addiction.

I said to James in our first session, “Your sexual addiction is coming from emotional dependency leading to needing outside validation. And the first thing I’d like you to practice is taking all judgment off your sexual addiction, because judgment is the opposite of self-validation. Your self-judgment continues to make you feel insecure. Anytime we judge ourselves, we make ourselves feel insecure and unlovable and unloved. You have an adolescent boy inside who feels very insecure, and when he feels insecure, he looks to get validated by having sex with multiple women. He needs your validation, but you don’t know how to do that because you didn’t have any role modeling for that. Learning and practicing Inner Bonding will teach you how to love and validate yourself in very deep and profound ways. And when you do learn to do that, you won’t need outside validation. The practice of Inner Bonding heals the emotional dependency that is leading to your sexual addiction.”

Fortunately, James was willing to learn and practice Inner Bonding to learn to love himself rather than continue to abandon himself. It took time and practice, but James was able to completely stop cheating on his wife.

It’s important to note that, as much as his wife loved him, and as much sex as he had with women, his emotional dependency, insecurity, and emptiness was not healed until he learned to love and validate himself. Getting love and validation did nothing to heal his emotional dependency. Only learning to love himself healed this. 

My client, Christine, told me in our first session that she had always been taking care of others and was exhausted by it. She wondered why her relationships weren’t working when she was giving so much.

Of course she was exhausted, because always caretaking others, which is a form of control that comes from emotional dependency, is physically and emotionally depleting. If you feel exhausted in your relationships, consider that you are likely emotionally dependent. 

Laura asked me the following question on one of my webinars. “I have felt healed in lots of ways since having my two children. I feel I have a healthy relationship with my children. I really enjoy them. But my partner just ended our relationship because he felt rejected and unloved. Could my emotional dependency have transferred to my children, meaning I no longer sought his love anymore?” 

“Laura,” I said, “a man who leaves a relationship because he felt rejected and unloved by you is a man who was abandoning himself. And this is not unusual when a woman has babies and is very devoted to them. If he’s abandoning himself, then he will feel rejected by the attention that you give to the children. I don’t know whether you have emotional dependency or not, but it sounds like that you have a healthy relationship with your children. You’re giving to them and you’re enjoying them. So it sounds like he was like a third child, and he wasn’t getting enough love and attention from you, and since he felt rejected and unloved, he certainly wasn’t giving it to himself. Instead, he was rejecting himself, not loving himself, abandoning himself and making you responsible for his feelings, so he was emotionally dependent. He likely left to find someone else to take care of his feelings.” 

My client Rebecca also asked me a question on a webinar. “How do I handle jealousy over a neighbor?” she asked me. “My fiancé is constantly helping her. He says he likes helping people, and he won’t ignore her just because I’m uncomfortable. My dad was a cheater, and I can’t seem to help myself thinking he’s cheating, even if he isn’t cheating.”

“Rebecca” I said to her, “obviously if you continue to make him responsible for your insecurity, you’re going to push him away. It sounds like your fiancé is a nice person that he likes helping people and that he doesn’t want to take responsibility for your discomfort, which is good. I understand that your dad was a cheater and there’s trauma there that you need to work with, but your jealousy is being caused by your self-abandonment. What you need to do is practice Inner Bonding to see how you’re abandoning yourself. How are you creating your discomfort? What are you telling yourself that’s making you feel insecure? What part of you are you handing over to your fiancé to take responsibility for? This is what you need to explore, and learn to give yourself what you are expecting your fiancé to give you. It’s your self-abandonment and the resulting emotional dependency that is the underlying cause of your jealousy.”

My client Sarah sought my help because the man she was dating, which seemed like a promising relationship, suddenly decided to move to another state. She didn’t see it coming and now feels he wasn’t being honest with her. Now she’s scared about dating and being hurt again. 

It’s always hard to tell at the beginning of a relationship whether or not someone is being honest. If you are going to date and take the time to get to know someone, you need to be willing to be hurt. We always need to be okay with being hurt, because if you’re not okay with the being hurt, you’re we’re going to close your heart and then you’re never going to find out who’s right for you. But the only way you can make it okay to get hurt is to not make the other person responsible for you. If you are emotionally dependent, then when someone isn’t honest or leaves the relationship, you will feel devastated. When you’ve learned to show up for your feelings as a loving adult, you might feel sad and your heart might hurt, but you won’t be devastated. The loving adult learns how to lovingly manage this kind of pain. 

When you hold back to not get hurt, you will not be connected with your feelings and your guidance, which makes it hard to recognize if someone is authentic or dishonest. If you keep your heart open and you stay connected with your guidance, it won’t take too long for you to tune into what’s really going on with relationship. It’s about being able to tune into the energy, which you can’t do when you are in your wounded self, making the other responsible for your safety, worth, and lovability. When you’re being very tuned into yourself and very present with yourself, then you’ll be able to tune in to whether or not somebody is being authentic. This takes some time. It may take a few months. But you will be able to know the truth about someone if you are connected with your feelings – your inner guidance, and your higher guidance.

I often have clients who come to me because they broke up with their partner because they weren’t feeling in love anymore, but once they are broken up, their in-love feelings some back, and now they are miserable because their partner has moved on, and they are confused about why they now feel in love when they didn’t when they were in the relationship.

One of the issues of emotional dependency is that self-abandonment results in two underlying fears: the fear of rejection, of losing the other person, and fear of engulfment, of being controlled and losing yourself. If you enter a relationship fearing rejection, you might give yourself up for a while to try to have control over not being rejected, but giving yourself up often results in feeling trapped and losing your feelings for the other person. So then you leave the relationship thinking you are with the wrong person, but once you leave and you are no longer giving yourself up and feeling trapped, your feelings for the other person come back. If you do move back into the relationship without dealing with your self-abandonment and the resulting emotional dependency, you will again give yourself up and again lose your feelings for your partner. Then you might again decide that you’re with the wrong person and move on, only to repeat this with multiple partners.

Until you do your Inner Bonding work to develop your loving adult who doesn’t fear rejection because you are no longer rejecting yourself, and who doesn’t give yourself up as a form of control to avoid rejection, and knows how to set boundaries against being controlled by a partner, you will continue to repeat this pattern. Learning to love yourself and take responsibility for your feelings is what heals self-abandonment and the resulting emotional dependency.

I encourage you to take my 30-day home study courses to learn to love yourself, to learn to have loving relationships, and to learn to connect with your spiritual guidance Love YourselfWildly, Deeply, Joyously in Love and Unlocking Your Inner Wisdom.

My recent books will also be a big help to you: The Inner Bonding Workbook: Six Steps to Healing Yourself and Connecting With Your Divine Guidance,Diet for Divine Connection: Beyond Junk Foods and Junk Thoughts to At-Will Spiritual Connectionand6 Steps to Total Self-Healing: The Inner Bonding Process.

And, of course, we have much to offer you at our website at https:www.innerbonding.com.

I’m sending you my love and my blessings.


Your email address will not be published.

S2 EP101 – Learning From and Resolving Relationship Conflict

Episode Summary

Dr. Margaret Paul explores how to resolve conflict in ways that bring you closer to your loved ones. She teaches you how to learn from conflict rather than avoid it or give yourself up to keep the peace.


Hi everyone. This is Dr. Margaret Paul with The Inner Bonding Podcast, and today I want to talk about how to learn from and resolve conflict in your relationships. 

Of course, conflict is a part of life. We are always going to have conflict in our lives. Conflict can be seen as a problem, or it can be seen as an opportunity to learn. And today I want to talk about how to not only manage and resolve conflict, but how to learn from conflict rather than see conflict as something to be avoided. 

Many of you already know that, in inner bonding, there’s only two intentions possible in any given moment: The intention to learn about what’s loving to you and to others, and the intention to protect against pain with various forms of controlling behavior. When conflict comes up, what most people do is that they go right into the intention to protect, avoid, and control, and once one or both people consciously or automatically choose this intention, there is no way to learn from or resolve conflict.

This is what most of us learned to do from the role modeling in our families. We learned to protect ourselves in conflict by getting angry or shutting down or giving ourselves up or explaining or defending or resisting. There are so many ways that people have learned to try and have control over what’s happening with the other person. When you get angry, you’re trying to get the other person to stop what they’re doing or see things your way. Or you’re giving yourself up in the hopes that then they’ll stop being mad at you, or you’re withdrawing to punish them and shut them out and not feel the pain of what they’re doing or how their being toward you, or you’re explaining or defending or teaching or over talking to try to convince them to agree with you. And it’s likely that the other person is doing the same thing because both people have been triggered by each other’s intention to control into their own intention to control.

I hope it obvious that when you’re both trying to control each other, or one person is trying to win or at least not lose, there is no way to resolve the conflict. It’s a battle rather than a learning opportunity. The way conflict gets resolved is when there’s two or more people who are truly open to learning with themselves and with each other. What this means is that they’re open to learning not only about the other person’s point of view, but they’re open to learning about what may be going on for themselves, why they may think their way is the right way or the only way, or why they are so invested in their point of view.

There’s a lot to learn when there’s conflict, and the only way that this learning is going to take place is when both people are open to learning. It can’t happen when one or both people are closed. How can any issue get resolved when you’re trying to win or be right, or you’re trying not to lose, or you’re trying not to get hurt or you’re trying to get the other person to hear your point of view? How is it possible that any resolution will occur? Obviously, it’s not possible. And yet most people do this over and over again. Then they may try to talk it out, hoping that they can say the right thing to convince the other person to hear them, to listen to them, to understand them. Many people believe that if only the other person hears them and understands them, they will see things their way and change.

As long as you’re trying to get heard and get understood, you’re trying to have control over the other person hearing you, understanding you, and then ultimately doing what you want them to do. Needing to be heard and understood is often an indication that you’re not hearing and understanding yourself and you might not be hearing and understanding your partner. And so whenever your focus is on being heard or understood, you might want to try and turn that around to hearing and understanding both your partner and yourself. And that’s what the intention to learn with another person is about. Of course you want your partner to hear you and understand you – we all want that, but if your intent in being heard and understood is to control rather than for both of you to learn with no agenda, then it’s controlling to try to get heard and understood. 

So one of the healthy ways of dealing with conflict is to move into a true intention to learn about yourself, about your own beliefs, your own fears, why this is so important to you, as well as about your partner, with no agenda in mind other than learning.

You’re not trying to learn with the hopes of getting your partner to change and do things your way. You’re wanting to learn because learning creates intimacy with a partner, and because you know that through learning, you’re going to reach resolution through new understandings – new information. Whether it’s conflict at home or at work, it’s only when new information comes in that you have any way of resolving the conflict. 

This is one healthy way of dealing with conflict., but this can only happen when both people or all involved are open to learning.

But you have no control over whether another person is going to open to learning with you. You can’t make somebody open. So if the other person isn’t open, it means that you’re going to need to figure out how to take care of yourself in the face of this conflict, rather than trying to talk it out. People do this all the time. Let’s talk, let’s talk it out, but they’re not open, so they don’t get anywhere. They just go back and forth. They end up in a battle again, and they generally think it’s the other person’s fault that they are stuck in conflict again. 

If somebody comes at you with a blame, and you think there’s a possibility that this person is going to open, you might say to that person, “I’m more than happy to talk with you about this, but I can’t do it when I’m being blamed. If you to take it down a notch or two and stop blaming me, we can talk about it.” If the person does that, if they open, that’s great. But if they just keep coming back at you with an attack, with a blame, being angry, with explaining, defending, accusing, then another healthy way of dealing with conflict is to lovingly disengage. 

Lovingly disengaging is totally different than withdrawing. Withdrawing is when you’re angry, you’re hurt, and you shut down and walk away to punish the other person. It’s a form of control. Your behavior is saying, “I’m going to shut you out and take away my love so that you’ll feel punished. And then maybe you’ll care about me and be the way I want you to be.” Lovingly disengaging is not about withdrawal. It’s not about shutting down. It’s not about closing your heart. It’s about taking loving care of yourself rather than about trying to change the other person.

In fact, it’s not at all about trying to change the other person. It’s about getting out of range if somebody is blaming or attacking you. You can say to the other person, in a calm voice, something like, “It doesn’t feel good to be treated this way. So I’m going to go take a walk and maybe we can talk later,” or I’m going to go out and have lunch with a friend,” or “I’m going to go read my book and maybe you’ll be feeling better later. I’ll be happy to talk with you about this, but I’m not going to stand here and be blamed or attacked.” There is no anger or blame for what the other person is doing. It’s just getting out of range and taking care of yourself. Then it’s important, when you lovingly disengage, to go inside and attend to your feelings. See if you’ve taken on any of the blame, and if you have, take a look at any false beliefs that got triggered. Then open to the truth and bring in love and compassion towards yourself. It’s a matter of going inside and taking care of yourself and not harboring any anger or resentment. 

When somebody comes at you with anger or blame, they want energy from you. They want to engage with you because there’s some way that they’re abandoning themselves. There’s some way they’re not taking care of themselves. And if you’re going after somebody with anger or blame, there’s some way you’re not taking care of yourself. The self-abandonment creates an inner emptiness that wants to get filled by engaging in a conflict. The anger and blame is a pull to engage to fill the inner emptiness.

Wanting to engage in conflict is an addictive way of avoiding responsibility for your own feelings. So when somebody comes at you with an attack, it’s so much healthier, if they’re not going open to learning with you, to walk away with your heart open, sending them love, not resentment. There’s no point in blaming them for blaming you. Keep your heart open so that if later they are ready to talk, you’re open. You’ve gotten out of range and taken care of yourself, done something you enjoy doing, dealt with your own feelings, and feeling your love for that person in your heart. And then going back when if or when both of you are open learning. 

Now, if you know that there isn’t going to be any openness, if you’re with somebody who just doesn’t want to deal with conflict at all, and just completely wants to avoid it and won’t get into any discussions with you, then you need to go inside and do an exploration as to how do you take care of yourself in this conflict. I run into this all the time with my clients when I’m working with one of the partners and they say, “But my partner just won’t talk about it. He or she shuts down or goes away or wants to shove it under the rug and just won’t deal with it.”

When that’s the case, you need to decide for yourself how to take loving care of yourself regarding the conflict. You can’t make that person open. You can’t make them recognize conflict as an opportunity for learning. You can’t make somebody want to learn. So when you’re with somebody who just isn’t going to open, then you need to learn to go inside to develop your connection with your own spiritual guidance so that you can discover what’s loving to you, and then take that loving action on your own behalf. If you take an action that you think is loving for you, and your partner doesn’t like it, then it becomes your partner’s issue to deal with. And then maybe he or she will be willing to talk about it.

Let’s say that a couple has a baby, and the woman is taking full care of the child and feeling overwhelmed. And the husband is working and coming home and not participating. She’s feeling wiped out and she asks him for help and he won’t help. And he won’t talk about it. Now, if they’re in a financial situation where she can hire help, then she can say, “Okay, then what I’m going to do to is hire some help.” 

This is the situation I was in when I was having my babies, and my husband wasn’t willing to help, and we didn’t have money. But I knew that I needed help, so I knew that I needed to find a way to earn the money to get some help, even if it was just to be able to pay a high school kid that would come over and help after school.

And I did. I found the ways to earn the money to hire some help so that I wouldn’t have to be bugging my husband all the time and having that conflict over help. So there’s always a way where if you recognize that you’re unhappy about something and your partner or somebody at work, or whoever it is, is not going to deal with you about it, then you’re in the position of lovingly disengaging from the conflict, doing your own inner work to discover what you need to do to take care of yourself so that you don’t feel like a victim of the other person not being willing to deal with it with you. 

I just talked about two healthy ways of dealing with conflict – either you both open to learning, or if that’s not available, you lovingly disengage, take care of yourself and explore what you need to do to take care of your end of this conflict so that you feel okay in the situation.

Another way to lovingly dealing with conflict, is for each of you to be warm and compassionate with your partner when your partner gets triggered into fear or anger. Sometimes, all the person needs is a hug and letting him or her know that they are not alone – that you are here for them and you love them. Much of the time when a person goes into their wounded self with anger or blame, or they shut down and withdraw, it’s because they have been triggered into fear or even trauma from childhood. Hugging them and letting them know they are not alone can bring them back into the present and may even enable them to open to learning with you.

However, you can only do this if you haven’t been triggered into your wounded self. Many of us have trauma around conflict due to childhood experiences. Having been raised as an only child by a narcissistic and rageful mother, I was terrified of another’s anger. I would freeze in the face of  anger or blame, and there was no way I could stay present as a loving adult. I had to do a lot of Inner Bonding work to heal the fear and reach a point where I can now stay open to learning and offer love and comfort when someone is triggered into their scared, angry, or blaming wounded self.

Sometimes people need a third person to help them resolve a conflict. Very often I have worked with couples who have been in the same conflict for 25 years, like not picking up clothes or one person being messy and one person being neat, or how money is spent. The conflict goes on for so many years because both people are trying to control. And then they have a session with me or a number of sessions with me, and I help them each move into an intention to learn and the conflict that’s been going on for so many years gets resolved. It’s not hard to resolve conflict when two people are open to learning.

But what do you do if a partner is never open to learning? You either need to accept this and find your learning, growth, and connection with friends and others, or leave the relationship. You can accept or leave, but what you can’t do is get that person to open.

My clients often ask me what to do if their partner insists on pursuing the conflict even when they are not open.

If you say “No, I don’t want to talk about it now,” and they go after you, saying things like, “Don’t walk away. You always walk away!” You need to stay strong and say, “I’d be happy to talk about it when there’s openness between us, but I’m not going talk about it as long as there’s explaining, defending, blaming or anger.” And then don’t get hooked into talking any more until both of you are open.

And what about when one partner withholds information or lies? Obviously, if a person is doing that, they are coming from an intention to control. They want to avoid conflict and keep the peace. They’re afraid of your reaction if they tell the truth. If you’re in a relationship with somebody who’s not being honest with you, you might want to explore what you might be doing that scares them. Are there some ways you are contributing to an unsafe environment by how you are reacting? If you’re getting angry or annoyed, you might be perpetuating an unsafe system between you. 

However, sometimes when people lie it has nothing to do with you. They’ve learned to lie or withhold the truth as a form of control as they were growing up and never did the work of creating enough of a loving adult to be strong enough to be honest. If this is the case, then you either need to accept it or leave the relationship. You can’t make them be honest or do their inner work to be strong enough to tell the truth. 

Clients often ask me how they can overcome their fear of conflict, and this has to do with learning to be a powerful spiritually connected loving adult who know how to take loving care of you in the face of another’s ego wounded self. When we know that we can take care of ourselves, our fear goes away.

Sometimes people say to me, “Don’t I have the right to be angry?” I have a particular way of viewing anger in relationships. It may not be the way that many other therapists do, but my experience is that when people get angry at each other, it’s a blame and they’re making the other person responsible for them. It doesn’t generally work for people to dump their anger, to blame each other, and it’s not an effective way of resolving conflict. Anger is an important emotion, and like all emotions, it’s giving us important information. Anger is almost always letting us know that there’s some way we’re abandoning ourselves. Anger is almost always a projection on to others of our inner child’s anger at us for our self-abandonment. You will find that if you stop abandoning yourself and start taking loving care of your own feelings, your anger at others will go away.

All that I’ve been talking about conflict also applies to groups of people, whether family groups or work groups. When people in a group are open to learning, much resolution and creativity can result. But the group can become toxic when one or more of the people involved wants to control the outcome.

I’m a member of the Transformational Leadership Counsel started by Jack Canfield, author of The Chicken Soup for the Soul Series, and a group of us have formed a diversity committee. We meet every other week on Zoom. We are a group of about 20 people devoted to anti-racism. I love this group because everyone is open to learning. For the past couple of years, we have created programs that we offer to the total group every six months at our retreats. It’s so excited to be in this creative process of a group of open people!

I’ve worked with business groups who have just been bickering on and on. And then I come in, I do a brief workshop. I teach them about intention, and then we deal with the issues, and they get resolved. Once I create an environment where they feel safe to open, the conflicts get resolved. 

When the loving adult is in charge of conflict with an intent to learn, and you have your own and each other’s highest good at heart, conflict not only gets resolved, but the creative process of learning together brings you closer.

I hope you join me in my 30-Day at-home Course: “Love Yourself: An Inner Bonding Experience to Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions and Relationships,” as well as for my 30-Day online video relationship course: Wildly, Deeply, Joyously in Love.

My recent books will also be a big help to you: The Inner Bonding Workbook: Six Steps to Healing Yourself and Connecting With Your Divine Guidance, Diet for Divine Connection: Beyond Junk Foods and Junk Thoughts to At-Will Spiritual Connection, and 6 Steps to Total Self-Healing: The Inner Bonding Process.

And, of course, we have much to offer you at our website at 

I’m sending you my love and my blessings


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S2 EP100 – 2 Secrets to Connect with Your Higher Guidance

Episode Summary

In this podcast, Dr. Margaret Paul, co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding healing process, uncovers the two secrets to connect with your higher guidance. Not only will these two secrets help you achieve at-will divine connection, but they will also help you manifest abundance and lead a happier and healthier life.

Dr. Margaret also gives specific tips on how to raise your frequency, which will allow you to have healthy thoughts and a healthy lifestyle. By sharing a few case studies of her clients, she also teaches you how to overcome challenges when it comes to accessing your inner guidance.


Learning to live in connection with your divine guidance is a completely different way to live – a way that creates peace, joy, the sharing of love, and the manifestation of your dreams. In this podcast, discover the two power secrets to at-will divine connection.

Hi everyone. This is Dr. Margaret Paul with the Inner Bonding Podcast. Today I want to talk about the two secrets to achieving at will divine connection. This is one of my favorite topics! I’ve been studying this for a very long time because it took me a long time to understand how to do this.

I had a long journey with being able to connect with my guidance. I realized at some point when I was a lot younger that I really wanted this connection, but I grew up in an atheist family and they had no spiritual connection at all. I always had a sense that there was something there to connect to, but I had no idea how to go about doing that. And then when I met Dr. Erika Chopich, 37 years ago, and spirit brought us Inner Bonding, I realized that one of the secrets had to do with the intention to learn about loving yourself.

And I thought, wow, that’s really great, because that enabled me to start to connect. And I thought that it would enable my clients to start to connect. And what I didn’t realize is that there was another level that needed to be dealt with. There wasn’t just one secret – there were two, and this has to do with frequency, which is the rate at which we vibrate. And you can understand this if you think about a room full of people who are angry and judgmental. They are at the low frequency. If you think about a room full of people who are very loving and happy and joyful, that’s a high frequency. Our frequency is determined by a number of things, and it’s our frequency that determines whether or not we can connect with our higher guidance, because spiritual guidance exists at a higher frequency than we do – than our bodies do. If we existed at their frequency, we wouldn’t be able to see each other, so our bodies are fairly dense so that we can see each other, but we can learn to raise the frequency of our mind and of our energy, which will allow us to connect with our higher guidance.

And so, as I said the first secret to divine connection is being in the intention to learn about loving yourself. And this means that you want to learn about love with no agenda in mind. In other words, sometimes people say, yeah, I want to learn so that I’ll be out of pain. or I want to learn so then I’ll find the love of my life. It’s not like that. This is about learning just for the sake of learning about love, just for the sake of love. And when you are in the intention to learn about loving yourself and sharing your love with others, that’s when your frequency goes up. It’s quite specific. It’s not the intention to learn about solving a math problem. It’s the intention to learn about love, starting with loving yourself and then sharing your love with others. That’s what raises the frequency.

What happened when spirit brought us Inner Bonding is that once I understood this intention, I found it very easy to connect with my guidance. And as I said, I thought everybody would find it easy. But the thing is that since my early twenties I had been eating really, really well.

I was a very sickly kid. And in my early twenties, I was very tired of being sick. And I studied all kinds of books on nutrition, and I started eating only organic, really fresh high frequency foods. And I got better. And so I had been eating like this for a very long time before Inner Bonding. So when I started to move into the intention to learn my frequency in my body and my energy was already high from how I had been eating, but I didn’t realize that. I didn’t realize that how I had been eating, that the food that I was putting in my body and the food I was avoiding, had such impact on my frequency and my ability to connect with my divine guidance.

And so of course, I thought, oh if I can just help people move into the intention to learn about loving themselves, then they can access their guidance. But I found that they couldn’t. And then I realized, okay, it’s two things. It’s the frequency of the energy in your body that comes both from your thoughts and the food that you put in your body. So if you’re operating from junk thoughts such as judgmental thoughts, angry thoughts, and you’re eating sugar and processed junk foods, the junk foods and junk thoughts lower your frequency, making it pretty hard to connect with your guidance. Our bodies are not adapted to the current foods that are sold in regular supermarkets. They’re not adapted to processed and sugared and factory farmed foods. We are genetically adapted to what people ate 10,000 years ago.

There’s a discrepancy between our genes and the food in the supermarket. So when you eat junk food or you eat food that’s not organic and natural, your body has a hard time with it. You know, of course, most of us know it can cause illness, but it also causes your body to be in quite a low frequency, which makes it very hard to connect with your higher guidance. So it takes both of these things. It takes you loving yourself enough to be willing to eat really well. And that means that you do most of your shopping in a health food store, or stores like Cosco that sell organic foods, or grow your own food, or go to farmers markets or local farms, or online stores that sell healthy food. I know that it’s a little more expensive, but frankly, the money that you save on medications and on going to doctors or losing time at work makes it well worth it. And also, as you learn to raise your frequency high enough to connect with your guidance, you find that you are able to manifest abundance much more easily.

What leads to manifestation is being in a high frequency and being able to connect with your guidance and then your guidance can help you to manifest what you want. So if you don’t have the money for really good food you might want to look at where you’re spending it and cut down somewhere else, or start to grow some of your own in pots or in community gardens. If you’re really eating well and you’re doing Inner Bonding, and you’re in the intention to learn about loving yourself and you’re taking loving care of yourself, you will connect with your guidance. Through your Inner Bonding practice, you’re dealing with your false beliefs – the junk thoughts, and you’re being very compassionate with yourself and with others. That’s what keeps your frequency high and in that higher frequency it becomes much easier to manifest your dreams, to manifest more money, and to buy good food.

It’s amazing what happens with manifestation when you learn to get your frequency up. Not only does having healthy thoughts and healthy food bring a lot of joy and health, these are the two secrets that help you to access your higher guidance. For those of you who are trying to access your guidance, take a look at what’s lowering your frequency. Do you judge yourself a lot? Do you ignore your feelings or you’re not taking responsibility for your feelings? Are you making other people responsible for your feelings? Do you allow that wounded part of yourself to beat you up when you make a mistake? Do you then turn to various addictions when you’re feeling bad – like alcohol or drugs or sugar or junk foods, rather learn to love yourself and take responsibility for your feelings, and learn from them rather than avoid them? Are you abandoning yourself in some of these different ways?

When you buy meats in a regular supermarket, these are meats from factory farmed foods. They’ve got antibiotics in them. They’ve got hormones in them. The cows have been fed grain, which makes the fat really bad for the body. And so anything that you put in your body that’s not clean and organic and preferably local, may lower your frequency too much to be able to easily access your higher guidance.

When I started eating really well, I was a college student. I was in graduate school at that time, and I didn’t have any money, but I realized that I was not going to gain my health by eating the junk. I read Rachel Carson’s book, Silent Spring, and I read a book called The Poisons in Your Foods.

And I realized, wow, this is accurate. This is right. And I’ve got to do something about it. That’s why I was so sick. I started to buy my food at a coop market and since I didn’t have much money, I was very careful what I bought. So I started eating really well, but it was only when I was able to consciously choose the intention to learn about loving myself, that I was able to achieve at-will spiritual connection. And at this point I can connect anytime I want, which I do all day long. I don’t do anything without connecting with my guidance. I’m always in communication with my guidance. And you can too. It’s not that I’m particularly talented at spiritual connection. It’s just not that hard when you have an intention to learn about loving yourself and you’re putting clean organic food in your body.

One of my clients asked me if it’s normal for the loving adult to get overwhelmed by emotion when you are trying to be loving to the inner child and not listen to the wounded self.

Whenever you feel overwhelmed, you know that you are not in your loving adult state, because we don’t get overwhelmed when we’re connected with our guidance. It’s being connected with our guidance that allows us to manage the pain of life, the emotion of life without getting overwhelmed by life. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed, you want to take a look at your intention. The wounded self can be very tricky in terms of masking as your loving adult, or even as your higher guidance.

If you live in a busy city, such as New York city, which has a kind of frenetic energy, this might make it harder for you to access your guidance. If you have an important question to ask your guidance, find a quiet place in nature, like a quiet park, because nature has a very high frequency. When I have something really important to hear from my guidance, I always go outside in nature to talk with my guidance.

You might find it easier to access your guidance when you are trying to help someone else than when you’re trying to access your guidance for yourself.

When you really want to help somebody, you have a pure intention of just wanting to be of help. When I’m working with my clients, I just want to be a pure channel of help to this person, so Spirit just comes right through. I get all kinds of important information. But when we’re working with ourselves, it it’s just a little harder to not have any agenda. Like if I’m working with somebody, I don’t have an agenda for them. I just want to support them in any way I can . But with myself it’s sometimes harder not to have an agenda.

For those of you who are not sitting meditators, try walking in nature. I’m not a sitting meditator. I’m a walking meditator. If I want to really connect, I have to walk, I have to move and I have to be in nature. As soon as I experience gratitude for the beauty of nature, I’m able to connect with my guidance.

People often ask me how to know the difference between what you hear from your guidance and what you hear from your wounded self. Since the wounded self can masquerade as your guidance, how do you know which voice you are hearing? You know the difference by how you feel. While what you hear from your guidance might not always feel good, it will feel right inside. If it’s your wounded self, something will feel off.

If you go into fear or confusion regarding what you hear, then you know that you have shifted your intention from loving yourself to controlling, and now your wounded self is in charge. The wounded self will be in charge any time your intention is to control, avoid, or protect against pain.

The wounded self often has a fear of making wrong decisions, so when you hear your guidance and then feel fear, that’s letting you know that not making wrong decisions is more important to you than being loving to yourself. In order to stay connected with my guidance, I’ve given myself 100% permission to make mistakes, make wrong decisions, and to fail. I’ve let my inner child know that I will continue to love her even if we make mistakes and fail. This stops my wounded self from coming in to scare me about making wrong decisions.

When I have a decision to make, first, I go inside to my feelings because our feelings are a source of inner guidance. I go inside and I feel what I want, and then I go to my higher guidance, and I ask what’s in my highest good. And when my feelings and my higher guidance agree, then I know it’s the right decision. And I don’t question it. I just go with it. Your wounded self, that part that’s in our lower brain might question it, saying, “Is it right? Maybe you’re making a mistake. Maybe you’re going to fail,” but that’s not coming from a sense of truth. When you learn to trust your feelings and you learn to trust your higher guidance, then you can generally know what the right decision is for you

Clients sometimes tell me when they have a hard time accessing their guidance, that they think their guidance abandoned them, but you can’t be abandoned by your spiritual guidance because our guidance is always here. Like the air we breathe or like the gravity, it cannot go away. It’s a law of love and its always here for us. It’s the intelligence of the universe that we get to tap into. So it can’t abandon you, but you can abandon it, which is what happens when your intent is to control and your frequency is too low to access your guidance. Your wounded self wants you to believe that your guidance abandoned you, but that’s not possible.

Sometimes my clients tell me that they are anxious or depressed and that they are doing Inner Bonding but are not getting anywhere. Invariably, when I inquire about what they are doing, they are just operating from their wounded self with no loving adult and no spiritual connection. They are trying to figure out what’s wrong without actually doing the 6 steps of Inner Bonding.

My client, Annie, was one of those people trying to figure out her anxiety, so I took her through an Inner Bonding process.

“Annie,” I said, “Please take a couple of deep breaths and breathe into the anxiety in your body. Where do you feel the anxiety?”

“In my heart,” she said. “My heart feels tight.”

“I want you to breathe into your heart,” I told her. “Breathe into your heart and get present with that tightness and make a decision that you want responsibility for it. And as you’re breathing into your heart consciously open to learning about what this tightness, what this anxiety in your heart’s telling you. Find that place that really wants to know what it’s telling you. The anxiety is there to give you information. Now imagine your higher guidance. Imagine that beautiful light of love, inviting that light of love into your heart. Feel that loving energy within your heart and ask that little girl who’s communicating with you through her anxiety, what you’re telling her and how you’re treating her right now that’s making her anxious. ‘What am I telling you? How am I treating you that’s making you anxious?’ and then go inside and let the answer come from the anxiety. What does that little girl who’s anxious want to tell you about how you are treating her?”

“She says that I’m abandoning her again,” Annie said. “That I’m trying to get love from someone who doesn’t love her.”

“So,” I said, “You’ve given her away. You’ve given your little girl away to somebody who doesn’t love you. You’re making somebody else responsible for loving you. You’re basically saying to your inner child, ‘I don’t want to be the one to love you. This other person has love you, but they don’t want to love you.’ So you’re kind of sunk, right?”

Annie nodded yes.

“Annie,” I said, “There must be a good reason that you’re making somebody else who isn’t going to love you responsible for your inner child. What do you think that’s about?”

Annie’s wounded self answered with something that didn’t make sense, because the wounded self’s beliefs, which may have made sense as a child, don’t make sense now. “Because” she said, “I’ve always had somebody else responsible. I’ve never taken responsibility for myself because everybody always abandons me. So, I’m scared that when I take responsibility, I get abandoned.”

“But” I said, “If you were taking responsibility for yourself, then your little girl wouldn’t feel abandoned. You see, as a functioning adult, we can’t be abandoned. Abandonment is something we do to somebody who can’t take care of themselves. We can abandon a child. We can abandon an old person or a sick person who we’ve agreed to take responsibility for. And you can abandon yourself. Abandonment has to do with leaving somebody we’re responsible for. But now, there’s no adult who’s responsible for you other than you. You’re the only one who can abandon you. And it sounds like what’s happening here is you keep giving your little girl away to somebody else. You keep saying to her, “you’re not worth me loving you. You’re not good enough for me to love you. Somebody else has to love you for you to be okay. Is that what’s happening?”

“Yes,” Annie said.

“And that’s why your little girl is anxious,” I said.

“I don’t know what to do,” Annie said. “I’ve been asking my higher guidance to help me get rid of the anxiety.”

“Annie,” I said, “This isn’t about getting rid of anxiety. This is about learning from it. This is about recognizing that when you’re anxious, it’s because you’re abandoning yourself. And when you go to your guidance, it’s about learning about what would be loving to you. The anxiety will go away when you start loving yourself. You need to go to your guidance to ask what is loving to your little girl right now. You need to ask what your little girl needs from you right now to feel safe and loved and worthy. That’s the kind of question you ask your higher guidance, but you can only ask that when you want that responsibility. You can’t ask it if you’re trying to get somebody else to take responsibility for you or if you’re just trying to get rid of the anxiety rather than learn to love yourself.”

One of the hard things we all need to accept is that, as adults, there is not a soul on the planet that wants the job of taking responsibility for you or for me. So if our inner child is going to feel loved, we are the ones who have to learn to love ourselves, and since we have very few role models for self-love, we need to learn to access our spiritual guidance for this information.

Remember, the two secrets to divine connection: You will be able to access your higher guidance when your intent is to learn to be loving to yourself, and you keep your body in a high frequency by eating cleanly.

You can learn about loving yourself with 30-Day at-home Course: Love Yourself“: An Inner Bonding Experience to Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions and Relationships,” and you can learn more about connecting with your divine guidance with 30-Day online video course: Unlocking Your Inner Wisdom.

My recent books will also be a big help to you: The Inner Bonding Workbook: Six Steps to Healing Yourself and Connecting With Your Divine Guidance, Diet for Divine Connection: Beyond Junk Foods and Junk Thoughts to At-Will Spiritual Connection, and 6 Steps to Total Self-Healing: The Inner Bonding Process.

nd, of course, we have much to offer you at our website at https:www.innerbonding.com.

I’m sending you my love and my blessings.


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