Who makes your decisions – your wounded self, another person in authority, or your higher guidance? Did you grow up learning to not trust yourself? Do you believe that others know more about what is right for you than you do? Are you ready to become your own guru? The course of your life, and whether you are anxious or peaceful, is vitally affected by this choice.
Hi everyone. Dr. Margaret Paul and Dr. Erika Chopich here with the Inner Bonding podcast. Today we are talking about who is in charge of your life – who is in charge of your inner band – which is your inner child, your wounded self, and your loving adult. Do you make another person – such as your partner, a family member, a political leader or a spiritual leader, the leader of your inner band, or is your higher guidance the leader of your band?
Erika and I were talking about doing a podcast on being a follower of others, which means that you are giving your authority away to others or listening to and trusting your own inner knowing about what’s right and true, and she came up with the title for this podcast. Here is what she offers about this topic.
(Erika)I’ve always been aware, even as a small child, of the different facets of personality and of my inner band. We have a wounded self, and we have our inner child, and we have our loving adult, and we have our spiritual connection – our higher self, but it is something higher than myself that is the leader of my band. I am merely God’s instrument, but God is the leader of my band, who also chooses the song I sing. I can choose to live in harmony within myself and with those around me, or I can live in dissonance. The choice is always mine, but whatever song I choose to dance to still comes from the leader of the band – the one who guides me along my path. It is my loving adult and my higher self that keeps me on the path that helps me to soar and to grow the most. That is my choice.
I’ve known so many people who ignore the true leader of the band and think that is all up to them and up to their intellect and they live from the neck up only, and they are among the most lonely and unhappy people I have ever met. Your path to joy is to listen to the music within you that is you being led by love at all times.
I came from a very large family but sadly it was also a very abusive and authoritarian family. I was the middle of many children. Research tells us that the middle position in birth order is usually the most sensitive and I was certainly no exception to that. While it was dictated every day to me who I was supposed to be, who I was supposed to be like, what I was supposed to do for a living, and what values I was supposed to hold dear, I never listened.
I was the Martian in my family. Somehow at a young age, my deep connection to the animals on our farm helped me to hear a different voice and helped me to recognize that there was a much better leader to the band than my family. There was something greater outside of myself. While I chose to endure the label “Martian,” it actually ended up serving me well in my life. I retained the values I chose so very early on and fought for them.
Even as a small child I understood that love was the path. I understood that compassion and caring were the way and the song I chose to dance to. Even today, people will refer to me as an animal or a horse whisperer, but what they don’t realize is I never whisper anything. I just listen. I listen not just to the animal but to God who helps me care for the animals, and who helps the animals care for me. While my early life was very difficult, my tenacity and holding on to my very young and inexperienced values have served me well my whole life, and I have lived a rich life filled with love, and with challenges at times. But they were resolved by listening to the leader of my band.
My siblings on the other hand did not fare as well, as they succumbed eagerly to the teachings of my abusive parents and became very much like them. Some had good careers and we’re successful in the world, but for the most part their lives were always devoid of any deep love or spiritual connection. The choices they made as children continued and determined the outcome of their lives. They had the choice at any given time to change their path and chose not to, and for them I am so sorry and hope that one day they will become inspired as I am today to hear the music and dance the beautiful songs of life.
Who is the leader of your band? Is it your internalized father or your internalized mother? Do you see yourself as the sole leader of your internal band, and the soul navigator of your own path? That just doesn’t appear to be the way it works if you want a happy and fulfilled life. If you want to live in harmony, listen with an open heart to the leader of the band.
(Margaret) Erika, that’s such an important question for all of us to ask ourselves.
What aspect of you is in charge of your life? Who makes your moment-by-moment decisions? Who decides what’s good for you and what isn’t? Is it your ego wounded mind or is it your loving adult connected with your higher guidance? The difference in terms of how your life goes is like night and day.
The ego wounded self, which is in the lower left part of the brain, the left amygdala, thinks it knows things, but it really doesn’t know anything. All it knows is what has been programmed into it – just like your computer. Relying on the wounded aspect of your mind for the information you need to make loving decisions on your own behalf is like expecting your computer to give you information without going onto the Internet. Just as the Internet contains a vast amount of information – far more than is programmed into your computer – so your higher guidance has unlimited information for you, unlike the programmed, wounded aspect of your mind.
If your lower ego wounded mind is in charge of your decisions, the chances are that you are making decisions that are not in your highest good or the highest good of others. Your programmed mind has no idea what is loving to you or to others, because it is not focused on your highest good. It is focused on what it believes creates safety.
Does your wounded self believe that safety lies in making another person your higher power? Do you give your decision-making power to someone who you believe has the answers for you – making that person the leader of your band?
It’s extremely concerning to me when people abdicate their soul knowing and go along with what a guru or leader says is right. I had a friend in high school who ended up, with her husband and two children, following the cult leader, Jim Jones, leader of the Peoples Temple in Jonestown in the jungle of South Africa. She and her family died, along with more than 900 others, in the Jonestown Massacre. She and her family tried to leave when they realized that they were going to be forced to drink poison, but they were forced to stay at gunpoint. My parents were friends with her parents and her father was one of my favorite professors in college. Like me, she was an only child, and her parents were profoundly devastated to lose her, their beloved son-in-law, and their two grandchildren. Her abdicating her inner authority to the ‘guru’ had disastrous consequences.
And do not forget millions who were slaughtered when people in Germany followed Hitler. Some of the leaders, such as Hitler and Putin, are obviously sociopaths, who can murder without conscience or remorse. They just want power and control, and to win at all costs. You might want to read the excellent book, “The Sociopath Next Door”, to gain a deep understanding of sociopathy. Way too many of our world leaders are sociopaths, exerting their repressive control over their people.
Beware of any teacher, guru, religious or political leader who discourages you from following your own heart and inner knowing, and instead sets themselves up as knowing what’s right for you. An authentic teacher encourages you to become your own inner authority through your connection with your inner and higher guidance.
Some religious leaders and gurus have sought my facilitation in connecting with their guidance. They admitted to me that they could not connect with their own higher guidance, and they were pretending to access higher knowing for their own egos and for profit. They were some of the loneliness people I’ve ever met.
The more you learn to trust yourself and your higher guidance, the easier it will be for you to tune into the low frequency of these charismatic teachers, gurus, and leaders.
The wounded self is the part of us who sometimes wants someone else to be our higher power and make our decisions for us. The wounded self is the part of us that is afraid of making mistakes and failing, so it’s easier to let someone else tell us what to do. This choice – to put your programmed wounded mind in charge and be a follower of your false beliefs or of a charismatic leader, or to put your higher guidance in charge – is the most important choice you have. And only you can decide who is going to be the leader of your inner band.
Putting your guidance in charge means that don’t make decisions from just your mind or allow others to make your decisions for you. It means that you are constantly asking your higher guidance, “What is in my highest good and the highest good of all in this situation?” It means that when you are looking at a menu at a restaurant, you are asking your guidance, “What is in my highest good to eat right now?” It means that when you are anxious, and you discover that you are telling yourself a lie that is causing the anxiety, you ask your guidance, “What is the truth, and what is the loving action toward myself?” It means that when someone yells at you or blames you, you ask your guidance, “What is in my highest good right now?” instead of reacting from your programmed ego mind. It means that you don’t defer to others to decide things for you, but instead follow your own heart and soul.
It also means that, once you receive the guidance, you do what your guidance has guided you to do. It means that you do not allow your wounded mind, or the wounded self of a teacher, leader, or guru, to hijack you and stop you from taking loving action. It means that you do not allow an authority figure to tell you that they know what’s right and true for you.
“Truth” is not something we generate within our own programmed and limited minds. It is something we need to open to and allow in from spirit.
God has given us a wonderful way of knowing when we have put our wounded self in charge of our decisions, and when our loving adult connected with our higher guidance is in charge of our inner band. When we are allowing the lies of our ego wounded self to have dominion over our choices, we will often feel anxious, depressed, fearful, numb, empty, or alone. When we allow the truth from spirit to have dominion over our choices, and our loving adult takes action based on the truth, we will feel inner peace, safety and joy, even in the face of fear or challenges.
Staying tuned into our feelings teaches us to discern the difference between the voice of our wounded self and the voice of others’ wounded self, and the voice of our spiritual guidance.
Because we have been operating from our wounded self much of our lives, shifting dominion to our loving adult connected with our spiritual guidance takes practice and consciousness. This shift will not happen without deliberate intention. This is why it is so important to keep on practicing Inner Bonding daily until it becomes your way of being. The practice of Inner Bonding will eventually create the shift from your wounded self making your decisions to your loving adult and higher guidance being the leader of your band.
Do you admire or fear authority figures?
When I was growing up, I was taught to believe that most people knew more than I did about what was right for me. Adults, I was told, such as my parents and teachers, certainly knew more. I was also taught that boys were smarter and knew more than me. I was taught to not trust my feelings and inner knowing, and instead defer to others who supposedly knew more than me.
I grew up looking to others in authority and fearing their disapproval. Because I didn’t trust myself, I turned to others for validation of what I should or shouldn’t do. I spent many years seeking others’ approval and advice. When I was around others to whom I gave authority over me, I was often quiet and complaint.
Today, I enjoy learning about others’ points of view, and I sometimes seek others’ advice. However, now I make my own decisions based on my spiritual guidance and on what feels right to me.
Now, I run into the opposite situation – others giving me authority over them – authority which I do not want!
I often caution my clients about not giving their authority away to me. “Inner Bonding is about becoming your own guru. It is not about making anyone an authority over you,” I say to them. Yet time and time again, people hand their inner child over to me for approval, and then feel afraid of me.
Janine was working with me at an Intensive. She was trying hard to say the right thing so that I would approve of her.
“Janine,’ I said, “it seems to me that you want something from me, and I’d like to know what it is.”
“I want you to like me and validate me,” she said
“How do you feel inside when you are focused on getting me to like you and validate you?” I asked.
“Anxious,” she replied.
“So, when you hand your inner child to me for validation, you feel bad. Your child gets anxious because you are abandoning her,” I said.
“Oh my God!” she exclaimed. “I do that with everyone in authority! I always think that you or someone else knows more about my value and what I should do than I do. No wonder I am always seeking everyone’s advice!”
“So as soon as you want my approval and validation, you become afraid of me, is that right?” I asked.
“Yes!” she said. “Now I am afraid of your disapproval and judgment. I am sitting here sure you don’t like me.”
“Janine,” I said, “how can your inner child feel liked by you when you are abandoning her to me? It sounds like when you think so little of yourself as to give your inner child to me for validation, then you automatically project onto me that I don’t like you. But I do like you – a lot. It is you who does not like you. And I don’t think you can take in my caring for you as long as you are not caring about yourself by abandoning yourself to me.”
Janine, like me, had grown up not trusting her own feelings and knowing. She was constantly seeking validation from those around her, and she was exhausted as a result of this. It is very tiring trying to control others instead of trusting yourself.
I hope you feel that it’s time to stop giving away your authority and become your own guru. The last thing I want my clients to do is give their authority away to me. I tell them that they are the world’s expert on themselves and to never assume that I know more them than they do about what is right for them.
Unfortunately, there are many people, also operating from their wounded self, who want you to give up your authority over yourself – over defining yourself and over knowing what is right for you – to them. Whether it is a teacher, a parent, a spouse, a friend, a guru, a minister, rabbi or priest, a therapist or a doctor or attorney, anyone who professes to know more than you about what is right for you is not coming from a loving adult state. A good teacher can guide you and help you find your own answers, but if that teacher professes to have all the answers for you, he or she is not supporting your highest good.
When you are looking for another person to take responsibility for your safety, self-worth, and well-being, you may find someone willing to take on the job – at a huge price for both parties. The price for you is your compliance, your loss of self. The price for the person who wants authority over you is the profound feeling of loneliness that comes from the lack of connection inherent in this kind of unequal power dynamic. I have never been able to understand why someone would want this power over another when it is so lonely. As I said, I’ve counseled two different “gurus” who consulted with me because of feeling so lonely, as well as disconnected from their higher guidance. This will always be the consequence to someone who wants power over others.
I often have clients who think I want this authority over them, and they try hard to please me – to say and do what they think I want them to. The way I can tell when this is happening is the lonely feeling I get when someone is not coming from his or her own essence and integrity. When others give up their power to me, putting themselves aside to try have control over how I think and feel about them, I cannot feel and experience them. My lonely feeling lets me know that this person is not being authentic and has given over authority to me. This lonely feeling is useful to me when I’m working with a client – it gives me much information about what state this person is in. But it certainly is not a feeling I want or am willing to have very often with family and friends. The best feeling in the world is spending time with people who are solid in their own sense of self and don’t want anything from me other than to share love with me.
This solid sense of self can never come from another person. It comes when you develop your loving adult through your spiritual connection and take on the responsibility of creating an inner sense of safety, of defining your own worth and lovability, of filling yourself with love, and of eventually reaching the place where you would rather lose others than lose yourself.
The key in not giving away your authority to others is in accessing the higher authority that is always available to you. When you practice Inner Bonding long enough, you get the experience that your guidance is here for you, loves you, and is supporting the highest good of your soul at all times. The more you have this experience, the more you know that no person on the planet knows more about what is right for you than your guidance. The more you practice tuning into and learning from your feelings, the more you can feel what is right and wrong for you. When you reach the point where you feel and honor what is right for you, and you trust the guidance you are receiving, you will never again give over your power and authority to another person – or seek that power over another.
Everyone has the ability to move beyond a fear of authority. Everyone can do the inner work, by practicing Inner Bonding, of learning to trust yourself. The more you connect with your true soul essence and your spiritual guidance, the more you will trust your inner knowing.
One of the challenges for all of us is that our wounded self, patterned after our parents and other authorities, often has a loud critical, authoritarian voice, and sounds like it knows what it’s talking about. And the authoritative wounded voice of some leaders, teachers, gurus, and religious leaders also sounds like they know what they are talking about, when they are actually lying, just like our own wounded self lies to us.
There is no way to grow up in our society without having developed this inner critical voice – not only from parents, but also from teachers, peers, the media, and from our own conclusions.
The problem is that the wounded self often sounds like a voice of authority, when in reality it knows nothing about truth. The wounded self often speaks with such a strong illusion of authority that it is tempting to believe what it says. Yet it knows only lies. It is a voice based on false beliefs that have been handed down through generations but that have no basis in fact.
Next time you hear the authoritative voice of your wounded self, instead of giving that voice credence, stop listening and move into an Inner Bonding process. Treat that voice with compassion, like a child who acts like it knows everything. Instead of identifying with that voice, open instead to the voice of truth coming through you from your higher guidance.
Do this simply by asking, with a deep desire to learn, “What is the truth?” Your higher guidance will answer you. Your guidance is the true voice of authority, even though it may be much softer and gentler than the loud voice of your wounded self.
When we stop being followers – of our wounded self or of others who want power and control – the result will be that the repressive and controlling world leaders will lose power. They maintain power only because others follow them. Are you ready to stop being a follower and start to make your loving adult, in connection with your higher guidance, the leader of your band?
I hope so!
I hope you join me and learn to connect with your spiritual guidance with my 30-Day at-home experience Unlocking Your Inner Wisdom.
You can learn so much about loving yourself and creating loving relationships from my recent books:
- And, 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.