When you believe you are your wounded self, you end up with low self-worth, which can lead to feeling invisible and actually being invisible to others. Discovering that you are your soul essence, instead of believing that you are your ego wounded self, is a major step in becoming truly humble rather than invisible or arrogant.
Hi everyone. Dr. Margaret Paul here with the Inner Bonding podcast, and today I’m talking about the difference between being humble and being invisible. Once again, this is a topic that Dr. Erika Chopich, co-creator of Inner Bonding, suggested, so I interviewed her about it and here is what she said:
“Humility is the domain of the loving adult connected with your higher self. Humility says there is no distinction between you and me. There is no one upmanship. We’re all of the same spark of God. We are all related, and we are on equal footing together. My accomplishments do not elevate me – they just make it more possible for me to be there for you. My accomplishments aren’t who I am. I’m just a simple person with the same struggles as everybody else and the same God spark as everyone else. That’s humility.
“When you feel invisible, you are in your wounded self. It’s the wounded self saying, “I don’t matter, I need to shrink down. I don’t want anybody to see the real me because they’ll be disappointed. There’s nothing here to look at.” That’s the wounded self, diminishing you.
“In humility, we’re willing to engage anyone. In my barn with my team, I’m not a best-selling author or therapist or anyone like that. I’m willing to engage and giggle with them and tell dirty jokes and laugh with them and be interested in their lives and encourage them and just be with them and admire who they are. There is no separation for me. But if I were wanting to be invisible, that would look very different. I wouldn’t engage anybody much. I’d become part of the fixtures in the room. I wouldn’t want people to see me. I would be intent on hiding all that I’m afraid would be discovered, and afraid that people would be as disappointed in me as I am in myself. I’d be very withdrawn to try to be invisible, and when you withdraw to protect yourself, you also withdraw from love.
“When you’re coming from the wounded self, you’re hiding from others and yourself because you’re rejecting yourself. You see yourself as not good enough to even engage with others or yourself, and you actually manage to complete the goal because you do, in fact, become invisible. If you can’t reach out and engage people, you become invisible. If that’s your goal, it seems to me it would be a very lonely life.
“When you’re humble, you’re coming from oneness with yourself, other people, and with God. You recognize the God spark in everyone and there is no differentiation based on accomplishments or looks. When I’m in my barn, in my barn clothes and engaging in laughter with the crew, there’s no separation between us. We live in a small farm town where our past and our accomplishments don’t shadow us. We get to live in humility. We get to reach out and engage everyone around us. It’s like a rainbow of flavors to the soul and it’s enriching and it’s wonderful and it allows you the opportunity to support people and give to them. If you’re invisible, you can’t do any of that or have any of that.
“And then, there’s the opposite of invisible from the wounded self, which is you’ve got to be the center of attention, and that’s narcissism. It’s just the other side of the coin. A narcissist is often very good at playing humble without ever being humble. They may use humility to get more attention. ‘Look at me. Even though I’m the greatest person that ever lived and no one’s done more and no one’s as smart as me, look how humble I am. That’s another way to feed the narcissistic personality.
“Think for a minute about the evangelist preachers on TV, who have these mega shows and they preach and preach that you should humble yourself before God, but they live in very expensive homes. They fill stadiums of followers but drive a very expensive car. There’s nothing humble about them. When you look into their eyes and you hear them speak, you know they believe they’re one up to every person around them in their flock, that they are the leader. They see themselves as separate, and as better than you, but you’re supposed to be humble and follow them and their interpretation of God.
“As a chaplain, in my studies of all religions, there’s a reoccurring theme that you must be humble, but it’s not the same for some of the religious leaders. I rarely see a humble religious leader of those who are on TV. I think the Dalai Lama is a very humble man, and Mother Teresa was very humble in her work and accomplishments. I think this current Pope is a very humble man who comes from genuine caring about all people in all religions. But there are few who can truly role model humility. The humble leaders are focused entirely on spreading the love, the spark of God everywhere, rather than on having power and control.
“I want to go back to the concept of being invisible,” Erika went on to say. “When I was teaching there would be students who were so invisible they could barely sit in a classroom, and always sat at the back, always hiding, never wanting to look up, never answering a question or engaging or responding. They just wanted to crawl under their desk and not be seen. They lived in a chronic state of fear of being seen or being singled out. They just wanted to stay completely invisible to avoid being hurt, to avoid being rejected or judged. Many were brilliant and gifted, but they were so profoundly lonely as a result of their choice. They couldn’t reach out to have a friend. They shrouded themselves in the depths of invisibility to protect themselves from getting rejected. Their fear is saying, “I can’t engage you or I will be devastated if you don’t like me.” It’s a complete and total lack of self-worth.
“They weren’t born that way. They were born with a God spark and somewhere along the line it got extinguished in them and that is so sad to me. So, they want to hide because they think they are their wounded self. They think that’s who they are and because they are invisible to themselves, they believe that the world is a very dangerous place for them, and they can’t take care of themselves in such a dangerous place as the world, so the only safe move is to become invisible and fade away. In order to perpetuate their invisibility, people will often turn to alcohol or drugs as a way of numbing out. This is a way of not thinking, a way of just shrinking away and literally crawling in a little hole and staying there, and never expressing who they were born to be, who they were gifted to be.
“I find that intensely painful to watch and I’ll do all I can to help that person fulfill themselves and discover all who they really are so that they’re no longer invisible to themselves. I do that every single day with my barn team. I show interest in who they are. I’m willing to muck stalls with them. I’m willing to engage with them in laughter, lightness, and reaching to them with caring so they feel safe enough to take the first baby steps to show me their real self. Sometimes it takes a long time even to take those first few shaky steps, but it happens. It’s amazing what happens when you recognize the God spark in another human being, how the healing begins to naturally occur in both people – both you and the other person are healed by that. It’s like a bridge of light.
“I never forget that I’m just Erika the farm girl from Ohio. Those are my roots and I never leave them behind. True humility means being able to join anyone’s system anywhere they are without need for recognition or approval – just joining where they are and that makes all the difference in the world. I think people have forgotten how to reach out to other people with compassion and curiosity.
“They can’t see the other person because they don’t see themselves, and that’s a function of intention. If you meet up with somebody and you want to see who they are, and you maintain their eye contact, and your intention is to be curious and find out who this person is, that’s coming from your intent to be loving. But if your ego wounded self is in charge, then you either ignore them and hide, or pass them by because your wounded self believes that person doesn’t meet your standard and there’s nothing you can get out of a relationship with that person. If you have that intention, that’s the opposite of humility. It’s narcissism and arrogance.”
Over and over, I see people blossoming as a result of working with Erika in the barn. I see young people finding their self-worth and their sense of purpose. Erika truly runs a healing barn. And the same beautiful energy she has with her crew is the same energy that has healed abused horses, who came to us lost, inward, and afraid, and become loving, affectionate, and confident. Humility, kindness and caring work magic with both people and animals. Both people and animals discover their true self. They discover that they are not their wounded self.
But many people believe they are their ego wounded self. Do you think your ego wounded self is the real you?
Did you feel loved, valued, cherished and safe as a child? Few of us did, and when we are not seen and mirrored by our parents or caregivers, we tend to lose connection with who we really are.
Whether it was due to physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse or neglect, or to not being seen, recognized, accepted, and valued for who we are, most of us did not receive what we needed from our parents or other caregivers to have a deep sense of self-worth.
When we are not seen, loved, and cherished for who we really are, most of us tend to hide away our true self and develop our ego wounded self in the hope that will get us the love we need and avoid the pain we can’t manage. Then we forget that the self we created is not our real self. While operating from our wounded self was likely necessary as a child as part of our survival, now our wounded self is causing many of our problems and much of our pain.
As Erika said, while our wounded self can mask as humble as a way to get approval, true humility never comes from the wounded self. You can never feel the deep sense of oneness that creates true humility when you are either hiding yourself away to be invisible or trying to control getting attention and approval from the narcissistic aspect of the wounded self.
One of the major problems many people suffer from is low self-worth, because we can never feel a deep sense of self-worth if we think our wounded self is who we are. We can never feel worthy when we are operating from our false self instead of our true soul self, and true humility comes from a deep sense of self-worth.
My client, Sandra, grew up being a very “good girl.” She learned to do everything her parents wanted her to do to avoid punishment and receive approval. She did the same thing in her marriage, becoming a meek and compliant wife. When she found out that her husband, John, was having an affair, Sandra decided that being a good girl wasn’t working for her. When Sandra consulted with me, she was a lost soul, having no idea who she really is. “I want to find myself,” she told me.
In the course of our work together, it became apparent to me that underneath her bland meek exterior, Sandra was a real dynamo.
She had an intense and passionate nature that she had worked hard to subdue to become acceptable to her family. Her true soul self is intuitive, creative, curious, courageous, and funny – quite the opposite of her wounded self! As Sandra learned to connect with her higher self and see herself through the eyes of love and truth rather than through the distorted eyes of her wounded self, Sandra’s self-worth grew. She gradually allowed her true soul essence to emerge. She was finding herself.
Over time of working hard with Inner Bonding to develop her loving adult and embrace her dynamic self, Sandra stopped being invisible. At that point, she asked her husband, John, to join her in working on their relationship. John agreed to do so.
When Sandra and John first met, both were abandoning themselves, resulting in Sandra hiding and John pulling on her to fill his emptiness. Disappointed in Sandra not being able to fill him up, having an affair was an addictive way for him to try to get another woman to fill him up. Fortunately, John was willing to do the Inner Bonding work to develop his loving adult. As Sandra and John each learned to fill themselves up with love to share with each other, they began to feel the sense of oneness that people feel when they connect with themselves, each other, and their spiritual guidance. Both felt the true humility that comes from moving beyond the fears of the wounded self that made them invisible and needy, and into knowing their own Divine sparks, the Divine sparks of each other, and the Divine sparks in each of us. Their marriage is thriving.
My client, Eddie, is another person who thought he was his wounded self. On the outside, Eddie was a tough guy, a “real man.” Early in life Eddie learned to be hard, argumentative, judgmental, and defensive as his way of surviving the pain of some very difficult life situations. But under that tough exterior is a tender-hearted, passionate, poetry-writing, highly emotional and very endearing essence with a great sense of humor.
At the time Eddie consulted with me, he had already lost two marriages and was starting to have the same problems in his present relationship because of his tough, narcissistic, arrogant wounded self. It didn’t take long for me to see through to his wonderful essence, but I also saw that he was very afraid he would be too vulnerable to being hurt if he opened to his gentle nature. As we worked with Inner Bonding to develop his spiritually connected loving adult, Eddie found ways to take care of his gentler, vulnerable self without getting massacred by others’ demands, meanness, and insensitivity. He discovered that he was even more powerful as an honest and direct loving adult than he was operating from his angry and defensive wounded self. Instead of always feeling like something was wrong with him, Eddie learned to value the intensity and passion of his true soul essence. Not only is his present relationship blossoming as a result, but now, due to seeing his own beautiful essence, he is able to more easily see the beautiful essence of others, which has led to Eddie being humble rather than arrogant.
As long as Sandra and Eddie believed they were their wounded selves, they felt insecure and empty, which led to Sandra hiding and to Eddie being narcissistic and arrogant. As they discovered the beauty and wonder of their soul essence – their individualized expression of spirit within – their need for their learned protections subsided, as did their need for outside approval.
When they discovered their true selves and had the courage to be who they really are, they felt the black hole within being filled with love. The more they embraced their true, core selves – their inner child – the easier it became to take loving care of themselves and share their love with others.
Humility occurs when we experience ourselves as love and others as love.
It is vitally important for all of us to know that we are not our wounded self – that we have an incredible God-given essence within just waiting to be allowed to fully express itself. Through practicing Inner Bonding and learning to see yourself through the loving eyes of your spiritual guidance, you can begin to embrace and manifest your wonderful essence.
Our wounded self is about separation. Our wounded self believes that we are separate from each other and separate from the love that is God. When we believe we are separate, that’s when we either make ourselves invisible to avoid rejection, or we become arrogant and narcissistic in an attempt to fill the emptiness that results from the self-abandonment of the wounded self. We cannot feel humble, which results from an experience of our oneness with each other and with the love that is God, when the fear of rejection and the need to control of the wounded self is in charge of our lives. Humility comes from both knowing and experiencing our oneness with all of life. When we experience this, we know that we are not ‘special’ in the sense of being one-up, and we are not less-than, or one-down. We feel our equality with all of life, and that leads to humility.
This is the spiritual journey – moving from the ego wounded self’s belief in separateness, to the experience of oneness when we are operating as a loving adult connected with our higher guidance. You will be invisible or arrogant when fear coming from your ego wounded self is your guiding light, and you will be humble when love is your guiding light.
Your ego wounded self wants you to believe that it is big and powerful, but it’s really a child or adolescent filled with fear and false beliefs. Its goal is to have control over getting love, avoiding pain, and feeling safe, and the last thing it ever wants to feel is helpless over others and life. It tries to be safe with hiding and squashing our true self, and with anger, blame, and other forms of intimidation. Ironically, putting your wounded self in charge is what causes much of your fear.
Many of us frequently indulge ourselves in destructive and self-destructive behaviors – overeating or eating junk food, drinking too much, using drugs, procrastinating, judging ourselves and others, yelling at and blaming others, gambling, acting out sexually – and so on. Often our wounded self is in charge of us, with no loving adult around to set inner limits. Indulging our wounded self is definitely not in our highest good, so we need to learn to compassionately limit it as we would compassionately limit an acting-out child. The wounded self is like an acting-out child who needs discipline, and it’s up to you to compassionately discipline your wounded self.
I’ve shared this story in a previous podcast and I will share it here again, because I find it so helpful.
A woman brought her 9-year-old son to the great psychologist Erickson. Her son was completely out of control – stealing, breaking windows in the neighborhood and at school, and generally terrorizing the neighborhood. His mother had tried everything to gain some control over him, but nothing was working. Erickson told her what to do.
She took her son home and sat on him! She could see the TV but he couldn’t. While she was sitting on him, she kept saying out loud, “The doctor told me that I have to sit on you until I can figure out what to do with you, and I just can’t figure it out.” She sat on him all day and he could get up only to go to the bathroom, eat and drink water. The next day she sat on him again, repeating what the doctor had told her to say. Finally, in the afternoon of the second day, the boy said, “I know what to do.” “You do? What?” said his mother. “Well, I need to give back the things I stole and pay for the windows I broke and stop doing things like that.” “What a great idea!” said his mother.
The boy did as he said he would and stopped terrorizing the neighborhood. Finally, someone bigger than him had set the limits, which is exactly what he needed. He actually didn’t feel safe or loved as long as there was no one limiting his acting-out behavior.
Our inner system is exactly the same. Our wounded self may seem to be big and out of control, but it’s really just a child who needs limits. The only part of us big enough to set these limits and “sit” on our wounded self is our spiritually connected loving adult. We will not have the strength to set loving limits on ourselves by ourselves – we can do it only in connection with our higher guidance. By ourselves, we are one wounded part trying to control another wounded part, which never works. With spirit, we have the strength and power to set inner limits and follow through on them.
We will never feel safe, loved, and have true humility until we develop a loving adult capable of setting inner limits. As long as we indulge our wounded self in addictive and controlling behavior, we will feel inwardly abandoned and anxious. Our ego wounded self wants to indulge in various addictions to get love, avoid pain, and try to feel safe, yet the indulging itself causes pain, anxiety, and a lack of safety.
So, instead of indulging your wounded self, practice sitting on him or her! The challenge here is in having the loving adult in charge rather than the wounded self. This will occur only through practicing staying connected with your spiritual guidance throughout the day. The more you practice the six steps of Inner Bonding and develop the loving adult, the more power the adult has to limit the actions of the wounded self – who is, after all, just a child trying to be safe. Imagine how safe you would feel if you had a powerful spiritually connected loving adult making the decisions regarding your highest good rather than your wounded self just trying to control! Imagine how good it would feel if you had a strong, spiritually connected loving adult who could compassionately manage the deeper painful feelings of life that your wounded self desperately wants to avoid – your loneliness, grief, heartbreak, and helplessness over others and over life.
This is what creates a deep sense of safety and true humility.
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, and to create your loving adult.”
Learn to connect with your spiritual Guidance with my 30-Day course, Unlocking Your Inner Wisdom.
You can learn so much about loving yourself and creating loving relationships from my recent books:
- And my newly released book, How to Become Strong Enough to Love: Creating Loving Relationships Through the Six-Step Pathway of Inner Bonding
And we have much to offer you at our website at https:www.innerbonding.com.
I’m sending you my love and my blessings.