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S2 EP131 – Blinded by Arrogance

Episode Summary

Do you trust your own feelings, perceptions, and knowing, or do you believe that others, especially others who may be arrogant about what they think they know about what is right or wrong for you? Trusting our inner knowing can be challenging when someone we are close to, or someone we admire, or someone who insists they are right, tells us what is best for us. 


Hi everyone. Dr. Margaret Paul here with my weekly Inner Bonding podcast. Today I’m talking about what happens when people are blinded to truth by their arrogance, and about trusting yourself in the face of this arrogance, and in life in general.

As many of you know, Dr. Erika Chopich, the co-creator of Inner Bonding, and I share a large home on our ranch. We are in the process of building a kitchen in our downstairs area so that we can have someone live in and help us. As older women, we are now in need of help.

As you know who have done any building, it is often a challenge, and this time is no exception. We had a situation occur where our air conditioning and humidifiers went out right after the electrician worked on installing additional electricity for the kitchen. Erika handled the situation, and I greatly admired her ability to trust herself in the face of the angry builder.

Erika came up with the topic of this podcast and I asked her to talk about her experience. Someone on Facebook asked if Erika could join me with her own voice in the podcasts, but, as many of you know, she had a serious stroke as a result of long COVID, and her vocal cords are still partially paralyzed. So I interviewed her and this is what she said.

“The electrician had worked on adding electricity on Friday, and on Sunday, as a result of the rewiring, the air conditioning went out and we discovered that both of our humidifiers were not working. We called them out because it’s very hot and dry here, which isn’t good for my recovering vocal cords. When I brought it to their attention that they weren’t working, they were convinced that it wasn’t their fault – that I should call out the heating and air conditioning company, because, they said, when rewiring is done, it can mess up the internet connections that run the equipment.

“I knew that was wrong. They couldn’t both go out at the same time without an external problem in the electricity. I kept saying this to them, but both the builder and the contractor went at me at the same time, being condescending and treating me like an ignorant old woman, but as a former firefighter, I knew that what was going on in our breaker box was potentially dangerous and I was concerned they could burn down the house. I was also concerned because I have already built two homes and I was one of those owners who was on site every day with my plans and I had learned a great deal, but still they wanted to blame the heating and air conditioning company for faulty equipment. So I called out the heating and air conditioning company, who immediately put a meter into the outlet and said ‘Erika there’s no power here.’ He checked our breaker box and said, ‘You’re supposed to have double breakers to these because they reach a 220 line, and there is only one 110 breaker,’ so when we called the builder back in, who was screaming and yelling and willing to bet me $10,000 that it couldn’t be his crew because heating and air conditioning guys are not licensed electricians and they don’t know what they’re talking about, I quietly pointed to the outlet and said that outlet is dead, that’s why they’re not working. He whipped out his hi-tech electronic meter and waved it magically over the outlet and it lit up because there was electricity, and then he screamed at me, ‘We tested every connection inside your humidifiers and they’re getting electricity,’ but then I quietly pointed to the outlet and said, ‘Yes, but it’s a 220 line, not a 110, and there are no breakers for 220 lines.’

“The moment I said that his face dropped. His meter was lighting up but only to 110 volts, not 220, and he realized that his entire electrical team had missed it and made a huge mistake. I watched his face fill with embarrassment. He had been totally blinded by his own arrogance, as was his entire electrical team. They had decided they knew, and the older ladies couldn’t possibly know anything, but they were wrong and the realization that we were right was hard for them to manage, or to even apologize for, simply because their own arrogance had gotten in the way of their judgment and what was in front of them. They could not process what their own eyes were seeing because the arrogance was in their face and blocking their vision.

“I’ve encountered the same kind of blinding arrogance in the medical profession. We had a new doctor arrive in town who said she was integrative, so I decided to try her. In my appointment with her, we discussed the fact that I have battled long COVID for over two years. She seemed to ignore my symptoms and what I was telling her, and instead began running endless rheumatological blood tests. I had told her that I had a history of five autoimmune diseases, but they were all in remission and had been for quite a while. She did not believe me and her arrogance blinded her to what I was presenting and what I was telling her and after she ran these expensive antigen tests, I quietly pointed out that my sed rate was normal, which meant there was no inflammation, which meant it was like I told her – that all the autoimmune was in fact in remission and that everything I told her was in fact long COVID. She was so completely blinded by her own arrogance and assumptions that she caused me to have to pay for very expensive tests that I did not need, and completely ignored the fact that I need support and care with long haul COVID, which she then proceeded to dismiss. She offered no treatment, no supportive care, nothing palliative, and just dismissed me out of hand. It was shortly after that that I had the stroke from long COVID. Her arrogance not only blinded her judgment but injured me as well.

“Arrogance happens when a person believes they have no more to learn about a specific topic whether it be medicine or construction or horse training. Once you believe you’ve learned so much that you now know it all and you’re no longer open to learning, you’re done. You will make mistakes and you will fail.

“I’ve had horses since I was eight years old, and I am still learning. I’ve been a therapist for 35 years, and I am still learning. I was a great chef and I’m still learning. When you stop learning you lose your spiritual connection. You lose your loving adult and everything around you will begin to teeter until it falls.”

I was pretty much in awe watching Erika stand up to three angry and blaming men, which she could do only if she trusted herself.

A question you might want to ask yourself is whether you sometimes trust others more than yourself. Of course, there are times when both Erika and I have not trusted ourselves, and this has never come out well. Here are some examples.

One early winter day, before we got snow, Erika said to me, “I think I should put the seed down in the pasture before the snowstorm.”

“Maybe you should wait,” I said. “We put it down last year before the first storm and then the snow melted, and the geese ate all the seed.”

Unfortunately, Erika listened to me. Then we got a big storm, and then another and another. It didn’t melt.

“I shouldn’t have listened to you,” she said to me. “That’s right – you shouldn’t have! You should have trusted yourself!” We laughed.

I did the same thing – listened to her instead of myself. I had made a ceramic birdbath a number of years ago, and it was leaking. I had patched the leaks and I wanted to spray the bottom with a sealer. I needed to do it outside, and Erika said, “Just put it on the other side of the driveway on the pebbles. That way, the smell won’t come into the house.” A little voice inside me said, “That’s not a good place,” but I ignored it.

Of course, I should have listened. Someone ran over my birdbath! Ouch!

I made another one and it looks great, so all is fine, but we both had a good laugh about what happens when we don’t listen to and trust ourselves.

I was not taught to listen to and trust my own inner voice when I was growing up.

In fact, I was taught the opposite – that others knew more than me and that I should listen to them and trust them instead of myself. Since I was also taught that it was bad to be wrong or make mistakes, it seemed easier to trust others rather than myself and not run the risk of mistakes.

Fortunately, over the years of practicing Inner Bonding, I’ve learned to trust – most of the time – my inner voice. Obviously, I occasionally slip up and suffer the consequences, but I’ve learned to be ok with being wrong or making mistakes.

I think it’s interesting that we often believe that others know better than we do about what is right for us. I’m certain that most of us learned this as we were growing up, when adults often did know more about things, but the fact that we continue this today needs attending to.

When I ask my clients why they don’t listen to themselves or trust what they hear from their guidance, this is what they often say:

  • I’m afraid of being wrong or making a mistake
  • I’m afraid that I’m not really hearing my guidance
  • I’m afraid the other person will get mad at me if I don’t listen to them
  • I don’t want the responsibility of having to know what to do – it’s too much responsibility

I’ve learned the hard way – with things like my birdbath – that when I ignore my guidance, bad things often happen. Certainly, there are times when I’m wrong and make mistakes, even when I think I’m listening to my guidance – that’s life. But I find that probably 95% of the time things turn out much better when I listen to and trust myself. Far from feeling like too much responsibility, listening to and trusting my feelings – my inner guidance, and my higher guidance, feels to me like a much easier way to live. But I still sometimes need reminders of this – and my birdbath was a good reminder.

All of us are born connected with our spiritual guidance. Young children whose parents value them as individuals and foster their inner knowing, grow up trusting their inner authority. But many of us grew up with parents who in their desire to have control over us, consistently undermined our inner knowing.

When we were young, our parents were naturally the authorities on what was good or bad for us, right or wrong for us. They were big and we were little, so we naturally assumed that they knew much more than we did. When they discounted our inner knowing, we may have learned to discount it as well.

One of my mother’s favorite phrases to me was, “Don’t be ridiculous.” I heard this phrase so often in reference to my thoughts, feelings, and desires, that I learned to not trust the rightness of my inner knowing. My wounded self learned to believe that others knew more than I did about what was right or wrong for me. I learned to deny much of what I knew inside and instead trust what others were telling me. 

I lost touch with my knowing and my higher guidance, as did many of us.

After years of relying on others to point my way, I finally became reconnected with my spiritual guidance. However, it took me a long time to trust my own truth instead of what others were telling me was the truth, and watching Erika trust her truth has been a very big help to me.

My client Clara and I had a session where she shared with me that a friend of hers, a woman whom she considers to be very spiritually connected, told her that she should be doing something differently with her work than what she was doing.

“I’m feeling confused by this,” said Clara. “I know that my friend meditates a lot and is a wonderful spiritual teacher. Yet why does she think that she knows what is right for me? I hadn’t even asked her about my work. She just volunteered the information.”

“How did it feel when she said this to you?” I asked.

“It didn’t feel good. It felt invasive,” she said.

“So, what is your confusion?” I asked.

“I’m confused about my work. I love what I’m doing, so I don’t get why she said this to me,” She said.

“What makes you think that she knows what is right for you?” I asked.

“Well, she is a spiritual teacher,” she said.

“Why would that give her authority over you?” I asked. “Why would she know more about what is right for you than you do?” Clara was obviously struggling with trusting her own inner knowing. 

It’s easy for all of us to think that someone, especially someone whom we admire, knows more about what is right for us than we do.

As we explored, Clara became clear that her friend was off base. It came as a surprise to her that someone whom she felt knew more than she did about personal and spiritual growth could still be coming from her own wounded self in terms of thinking she knew what was right for Clara. Instead of helping Clara trust her own inner knowing, her friend was undermining this trust by trying to impose her own beliefs on to Clara.

Trusting our inner knowing can be challenging when someone we are close to, or someone we admire, tells us what is best for us. Yet when you understand that ONLY your personal guidance knows what is in your highest good, you will no longer give authority away to anyone else regarding what is right for you. It is one thing to be open to learning about what others are telling you – we all have much to learn from others. It is quite another thing to give others authority over you.

When you have a deep desire to learn about what is in your highest good, you will listen to that quiet inner voice that speaks to you through your thoughts, feelings, images, and dreams, or even through nature. Truth can also come through others, but you need to always tune inside and see if it feels right and true to you. Staying in alignment with your own soul means that your own sense of rightness needs to be your highest authority, not someone else’s truth. We would have continued to be in trouble with our air conditioning and humidifying if Erika hasn’t trusted her own truth.

Were your parents or caregivers trustworthy? Mine weren’t. I could not trust their love. I could not trust that they had my highest good at heart because they didn’t. They betrayed me over and over in many ways.

When we didn’t grow up with trustworthy parents – parents whose love we could count on and who had our highest good at heart – it’s a challenge to trust God – whatever God is for you. We tend to project our early experiences onto our concept of God and to then believe that our higher power is not supporting our highest good.

In a Facebook post about God and love, someone said, “…love is love. ‘God’ is control.” This attitude is exactly what I’m talking about, and what makes me feel so sad. Obviously, the writer of that statement is projecting her experience of her controlling parents, or others who controlled her, onto her concept of God, and now she has no trust in God.

How do we learn to trust our guidance when our trust was betrayed over and over by the important people in our life?

I use numerous methods to heal issues regarding being able to trust your guidance:

·         One method is looking Back

I encourage you to think about who in your life was trustworthy. Did you have a grandparent or other relative, a family friend, a religious leader, or a teacher whose support you could count on? If there wasn’t a person, was there a pet you could turn to for comfort?

If there was one being whom you could count on, try thinking of God or your higher self in terms of the being you could count on, rather than projecting onto God the people who betrayed your trust.

I also encourage you to think about the good things that have happened for you in your life. When I look back, I can see how God supported me over and over again in many different situations in my life. Remembering these important times is very helpful in learning to trust my concept of God.

·         Another method is testing your guidance

It took me a number of years of testing my higher guidance before I could develop even a bit of trust in God. Today, my loving adult fully trusts that I am not alone and that the love and wisdom that I experience as God is always supporting my highest good. However, by definition, our wounded self is the part of us that cannot connect with a source of spiritual guidance. This part will never trust that anything in spirit is here for us or even that the love that is spirit exists. When we feel we can’t trust our higher guidance, it is a sure sign that our wounded self has taken over.

·         A third method is to practice Inner Bonding and become a trustworthy loving adult

Each time we allow our wounded self to take over, we undermine our trust in ourselves. Each time we choose to show up as a loving adult, connected with our higher source of love and wisdom, supporting our own highest good and the highest good of others, we build trust in ourselves and God.

Part of this means trusting our feelings – trusting that our wounded feelings of anxiety, depression, guilt, shame, anger, emptiness, aloneness, jealousy, and envy are telling us that we are abandoning ourselves in some way. These feelings let us know when we are being untrustworthy with ourselves, and if we use them to learn, and do Inner Bonding whenever we feel any wounded feelings, we gradually become a more trustworthy loving adult.

It is my experience that life constantly challenges us to go deeper into trusting ourselves and our spiritual guidance. The more we consciously ‘Let go and let God,’ the more we learn to trust our own inner knowing and trust that we are never alone – that we are always being guided in our highest good.

My client, Juliette, has been struggling with fatigue and pain for many years. She has gone from doctor to doctor, and from diagnosis to diagnosis, but still doesn’t know why she continues to suffer. She followed many different ways of eating – from vegan to vegetarian to Paleo. Now she eats only organic food, does yoga, is married with two teenage children, has many friends and plenty of money. She is perplexed regarding why she has not been able to heal.

In our first session, it was clearly evident to me that Juliette lives in her head and is very disconnected from her body and her feelings. She learned to live in her head early in her life to avoid the loneliness of being raised by disconnected and narcissistic parents. Now she stays focused in her head to avoid the loneliness of her disconnected marriage. Staying focused in her mind is the major way she avoids her feelings.

A major aspect of becoming a loving adult is to learn to stay present in your body, tuned in to your feelings and trusting your feelings. All physical and emotional feelings and sensations have information for us, as do all our perceptions. When you stay focused in your mind rather than in your body, you disconnect from your feelings and therefore bypass the vital information you need to know regarding whether something is right or wrong for you, and whether you are loving yourself or abandoning yourself.

While I don’t pretend to know the physical causes of Juliette’s pain and fatigue, I do know that not trusting her own feelings may be a major aspect of her illness. She gives her authority away to doctors rather than trusting her own body. She eats the foods they tell her to eat, even when those foods feel bad to her. She takes the drugs they tell her to take, even when they make her sicker.

Juliette wants someone else to have the answers for her. She doesn’t want to risk trusting herself. What if she’s wrong? What if she makes a mistake and things get worse? That possibility is so scary for her that she completely bypasses her own inner knowing and hands her trust over to authorities.

The problem is that not trusting herself creates much inner stress, and it may be that this stress itself is a major cause of her illness.

Research indicates that stress is a killer – responsible for up to 90% of illness.

How would things change if Juliette trusted herself? The very act of trusting her feelings would immediately relieve the inner stress of not listening to her feelings – not listening to her inner source of guidance. Just as children feel relieved when someone finally listens to them, so our inner child feels relieved when we finally listen to and trust ourselves.

Of course, it’s also scary for Juliette to listen to her feelings of loneliness and disconnection with her husband. But until she connects with herself, she doesn’t have a chance of knowing whether or not she can connect with her husband. It’s easy for her to believe that it’s his fault, but she has no way of knowing this as long as she is disconnected from herself.

Juliette is now having some good days – days with less pain and fatigue – as she is learning to stay in her body, present with her feelings, in Step One of Inner Bonding.

It’s not easy to reverse a lifetime of staying focused in your head and not trusting yourself, but I encourage you to practice staying present in your body, mindful of your feelings, trusting your feelings and your higher guidance. Erika would never have been able to stand up to the builder, contractor, and electrician had she not trusted her inner guidance – her feelings – and her higher guidance.

Learn to connect with your spiritual Guidance with my 30-Day home study course, Unlocking Your Inner Wisdom.

You can learn so much about loving yourself and creating loving relationships from my recent books:

And we have so much to offer you at our website at

I’m sending you my love and my blessings.

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