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S2 EP193 – Practicing the Presence of Love

Episode Summary

The practice of the presence of love is one of the most powerful things we can learn to do, and it take courage to open to this practice. The practice of Inner Bonding and the practice of the presence of love will gradually move you out of fear and resistance and into peace and joy.


Hi everyone. Dr. Margaret Paul here with the Inner Bonding Podcast. Today I’m talking about what it means to practice the presence of love moment-by-moment in our lives.

Most of you probably know that love is the most powerful force in the universe. You might have heard that if you could love enough, everything would fall into place, and you would be a happy, joyful, and peaceful person. While all this is true, being that loving is a great challenge. How do we get there?

We get there by not only practicing Inner Bonding, but also by practicing the presence of love. What this means is that we practice, moment-by-moment, keeping our attention on love, on spirit, on the spirit of God-which-is-Love.

It means we practice staying present in this moment with the presence of love. It means calling on this presence whenever we need help in being loving and knowing what is loving. It means staying open to the guidance that is always here for us. It means being open and receptive to spirit coming into our heart and soul. It means being in surrender to our source, which is Love.

For some people, practicing the presence of Love means being in some powerful form of prayer throughout the day. This may be a simple prayer of gratitude, such as “Thank you for your presence in my life.” It may be a form of the Jesus prayer, such as: “Jesus Christ, bless me with your grace.” It may be the ancient Hebrew name of God, “Yahweh,” said over and over as a mantra, or some other mantra that has meaning to you. But saying a prayer is not enough – we must be living the prayer, living the presence of love. This means keeping the spirit of love-which-is God in mind throughout the day, no matter what we are doing. When our thoughts and actions are coming from a deep desire to manifest love, we are practicing the presence of love. 

When we decide to become vigilant about our thoughts and not allow our ego wounded self to chatter away figuring things out and scaring us with programmed untrue thoughts, we can start to focus on what is beautiful and true.

Practicing the presence of love means being present, in this very moment, with the energy of the universe, the energy of love. It means allowing ourselves to feel, to experience this energy in our mind, heart, and soul.

Practicing the presence of love also means staying present to our own feelings and inner experience. If we have a baby that we love, we stay tuned in to our baby 24/7, attending to our baby’s needs as soon as the baby lets us know with a cry or in some other way that there is a need. If we leave the baby in a room sleeping, we leave the baby monitor on so we make sure we hear when the baby needs our attention.

Practicing the presence of love means that on the inner level, we have the baby monitor on 24/7. This means we practice staying in Step One of Inner Bonding all the time – being mindful of our feelings. It means that as soon as we are in any feeling other than peace and a sense of inner fullness, we attend to our feelings to see what we might be doing or telling ourselves that is causing the upset, or what we might need to attend to regarding others or a situation. It means we continuously ask spirit what is loving to ourselves, what is in our highest good, and then take the actions we are guided to take.

The practice of the presence of love is the practice of staying present with our feelings and with spirit throughout the day. It is the practice of being present to what is, rather than being in our mind making things up or trying to figure things out. It is practicing a state of receptive being and allowing our actions to be guided by what is truly loving to ourselves and others and what is a loving expression of our soul.

The love that is God is here, within us, within everything. Being present to this truth is what brings love, joy, peace, and creativity to our heart and soul.

Our programmed mind – our wounded self – will always want to come in with its false beliefs and need to control. Practicing the presence of love means gently, and with great compassion, not allowing our wounded self to be in charge of our thoughts and actions. The more moments we chose the intent to learn about love and manifest love in all our actions, the more we become one with love – one with the love that is God.

What are your concepts of God that you learned as a child?

Many people absorbed a concept of God as a powerful old man with a white beard who sits on a throne and judges you. Even if you didn’t grow up with this concept of God, you might have at some point absorbed the belief that God is judgmental, punishing and controlling – perhaps similar to your parents. Do you project your parents behavior on to your concept of God?

As I’ve stated in a previous podcast, The Bible clearly states that God is Love and God is Spirit:

John 4:24 states that “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

1 John 4:8 states that “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”

1 John 4:16 states that “God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.”

My experience is that the love that is God is within us and all around us, and that our essence, our soul, our true self, is a spark of the love that is God within us – that our soul as a spark of God is both within us and all around us, always guiding us toward our joy and highest good. 

How would your life change if you thought of God as unconditional love, compassion, wisdom, peace, joy, truth, and comfort?

Imagine for a moment that you are a parent who dearly loves your child and wants to be a very loving parent. What do you want for your child? Of course you want your child to be happy, joyful, and fulfilled. You want the very best for your child. You do not set up tests for your child that he or she has to pass in order to receive your love, for your love is unconditional. Your child does not have to earn your love. You are always there, ready to listen, understand, and support your child in his or her highest good. You do not judge, and you do not punish. Instead, you guide by loving example.

This is my experience of God – or whatever you want to call the creative source of all that is. My experience is that the love that is God is as present as the air we breathe, and that we can experience this wisdom, guidance, love, compassion, and comfort each and every moment – whenever we are open to it. We are always being held in the light of love and always being guided by the light of love.

Many of the people I counsel refuse to open to this love and guidance because they believe they will be controlled by their guidance. They fear they will be told to do something they don’t want to do. However, just as a loving parent does not tell a child how to be or what they have to do, but instead supports who the child is and what brings the child joy, your guidance would never guide you to do something you do not want to do. Yet believing that God is controlling stops many people from connecting with the love and guidance that is always here for them.

In my life, I am open to learning with my spiritual guidance about what is most loving to me. Instead of having to figure this out with my limited mind, I open my heart to my feelings within – my inner source of guidance, and to the thoughts coming through to me that support my highest good, coming from my outer source of guidance. It is a great comfort to know that I am never alone, that I am always being guided and supported in my highest good – one of the results of practicing Inner Bonding and the presence of love!

If you want to have the experience of God as love, then practice Inner Bonding and open to learning with your guidance about what is in your highest good. You will know you are being guided in your highest good by how you feel. Your bad feelings are your inner guidance’s way of telling you that you are off track in your thinking and behavior, and your good feelings are your inner guidance’s way of telling you that you are thinking and behaving in ways that are in alignment with the highest good of your soul.

Many people recognize the power of prayer, and often I am asked, “How do you pray?” The “how” of prayer is not nearly as important as the intent of the prayer, and the intent determines which part of you is praying – your wounded self or your loving adult. Do you pray from fear or from love?

When the intent of prayer is to have control over a situation, a person, and to get what you want, you are praying from your wounded self. These are the demanding, begging, and bargaining prayers, or the prayers we do because we “should.” Since our wounded self always has an outcome in mind and wants control over this outcome, all these prayers have an outcome attached to them. These are the prayers that go unheard because they do not come from the heart. They do not come from being present with love. 

As Dr. Erika’s guidance has said, “Prayers without love cannot be answered.”

Prayer from the loving adult is quite another matter. Here the intent is to invite spirit, the love that is God, into your heart, to surrender your individual will and become an instrument of higher will to do loving work upon the planet. You are not asking spirit to do something for you; you are asking for assistance in becoming one with Divine love so that you can become, as Mother Teresa said, “God’s pencil,” becoming an instrument of love and peace. Instead of trying to get something, you want to give – to yourself and to others – and are asking for your guidance’s help in becoming a more loving human being.

“How” you do this is far less important than your desire to do it. The stronger your desire to be an instrument of higher love, the more you will operate from a prayerful attitude, conscious of your intent to be guided at all times. The loving adult’s prayer is a deeply felt state filled with awe and gratitude, while the wounded self prays from an intellectual, cognitive, or fearful place of arrogance or neediness. In addition, you will always have difficulty with prayer if you are abusing alcohol, sugar, or drugs, or if you are angry. You may need to release the negative energy of your anger or of a substance before you can pray from your heart as a loving adult.

Our prayers for help in facing whatever darkness is in the way of our being pure instruments of love and compassion will always be answered, although not always in the way we may expect. 

Whenever we invite the spirit and love that is God into our hearts, we will be presented with whatever lessons we need to continue on our spiritual path.

Our loving prayers for others – the prayers for their highest good – will also be answered, although again not always in ways we expect. It is important to remember that sometimes the answer to a prayer is a loving “no” or a simple, “You’ll have to wait a while”. One of the ways we express our faith in God is through our patience.

The more you pray from love instead of from fear, the more powerful your prayers will be. It’s important not to get stuck in the form of a prayer, as there is no ‘right’ way to pray. It’s your intent that matters, not form. If you enjoy formal prayers, that’s great, and if you enjoy making up your prayers in the moment, that’s great, too! What’s important is to be in your heart with love, not in your head with an intent to control.

I frequently work with clients who are afraid to love a partner because they are so afraid of getting hurt. The fear of getting hurt comes from not having enough of a loving adult to manage the hurt. This is a major reason to practice Inner Bonding to develop your loving adult and to consistently practice the presence of love. The more you stay open to the presence of love, the stronger and more resilient you become in your loving adult, and the more you are able to lovingly manage the hurt that is inevitable in all relationships. We are human and we are learning to love ourselves and each other, but we are works in progress and we will inevitably do things that hurt others and others will inevitably do things that hurt us. The consistent practice of Inner Bonding and learning to focus on the presence of love moment-by-moment will give you the strength and courage to love, even in the face of pain.

The following question was asked by Maggie in one of my webinars:

“I really want to learn how to love my boyfriend, who has been showing care and love toward me. However I have fears of being taken advantage of and of being subjected to his unloving behaviors. So I feel very tight at my chest when these fears come up and I act out unlovingly. Is it possible to learn how to love him in the presence of these fears, or do I need to ‘get rid of’ these fears first before I can really love someone?”

Maggie’s fear of being taken advantage of and of being at the other end of her boyfriend’s unloving behavior results from her inner child not trusting that she knows how to show up as a loving adult for herself. If she had a well-developed spiritually connected loving adult self, devoted to loving herself and to the presence of love, she wouldn’t allow herself to be taken advantage of, and she wouldn’t take personally others’ unloving behavior.

When we are focused on loving ourselves and on the presence of love, we feel safe inside and are able to keep our heart open to loving others.

I said to Maggie…

“These fears won’t go away until you learn and practice Inner Bonding, which is what develops your loving adult self. It’s not about getting rid of the fears, but of learning to love yourself, which is what will resolve your fears. Instead of focusing on loving your boyfriend, focus on learning to love yourself. When you know how to fill yourself with love and take loving care of yourself around your boyfriend and others, your fears will naturally go away. And until you learn to love yourself and fill yourself with love to share, you have no love to share with your boyfriend.”

We all have a choice each moment between fear and love. Our ego wounded self always chooses fear, so when our intent is to control and avoid, we activate the false beliefs that cause our fear. When our intent is to love ourselves and others, our heart opens to the love, wisdom and guidance of spirit coming through us.

When our intent is to learn about loving ourselves, we become open to practicing the presence of love and experiencing the love that is God and the truth that is always available to us from our spiritual guidance.

We are all challenged in learning to listen to our inner and higher guidance rather than to our wounded self. The more you practice the presence of love, the easier it gets to stay open to your guidance.

The fact that Maggie’s chest tightens when her fears come up is her inner guidance – her inner child – letting her know that her wounded self is in charge, telling her programmed lies. Her wounded self is telling her that she shouldn’t love because she will get hurt by being taken advantage of and treated unlovingly, and the more she thinks these negative thoughts, the more she manifests them. So if her boyfriend responds unlovingly – from his own fears – to her unloving behavior that results from her choice to protect herself from being hurt, her wounded self might then say, “See! I told you not to open your heart! I told you that you would get hurt!” She has brought about the very thing she fears with her own unloving behavior.

If Maggie develops her loving adult self and her boyfriend were to act unlovingly, she would be able to say to herself, “He must be having a hard time today, so we will send him compassion. And if he wants help, we will help him. But if he stays closed and continues to treat us unlovingly, we will lovingly disengage until he is back into an open loving place.”

Maggie wouldn’t get hurt because she wouldn’t take his behavior personally and she would take loving care of any lonely feelings she has when he is disconnected from her. To be able to do this takes a devoted Inner Bonding practice and practicing the presence of love.

The challenge, of course, is that the wounded self doesn’t want us to love. It doesn’t want us to practice the presence of love and be guided by love because it just wants to control. So sometimes you might find yourself stuck in resisting practicing Inner Bonding and practicing the presence of love. You might find yourself stuck resisting love.

How often do you get stuck in anger, anxiety, withdrawal, or depression? You know you can open, pray, and invite love into your heart and do your Inner Bonding process, yet how often do you find yourself resisting doing so? You might hear yourself say things like, “It won’t work,” or “I can’t,” or “There is no source of guidance so why bother?”

When this happens, you are in your wounded self, stuck in resistance. You don’t want to open; you don’t want to love. You don’t want to be controlled by what you believe you “should” do, nor controlled by your higher power. Perversely, even though you may feel miserable, you refuse to open to learning and loving yourself and others. You refuse to practice Inner Bonding and open to the beautiful presence of love.

Often, when you finally do open, you feel happy and peaceful, wondering why it took you so long.

In fact, once you open, you might find yourself thinking, “I’m never going back to that misery. This feels so great, so full. This is what life is about!” Yet, the next time you are triggered into your hurt, anger, or fear, you go right back to being stuck in your darkness. Why? Why do you persist in resisting the very thing that brings you joy?

As I’ve stated over and over in these podcasts, understanding your intent is the key to understanding your resistance to loving and to the presence of love. When you resist opening to spirit and resist doing Inner Bonding, it’s because your highest priority in that moment is to control and avoid being controlled, often in order to avoid the very difficult feeling of helplessness over others and outcomes.
At that moment, controlling and not being controlled becomes your god, your purpose.

When trying to control to avoid feeling helpless over a person or situation is your highest priority, you will not open to learning and loving. You may believe that if you open you will be too vulnerable to being hurt, rejected, dominated. In that moment, it becomes more important to you to avoid the pain of what you fear than it is to be loving to yourself and others, even though you are causing yourself worse pain by disconnecting from yourself and from spirit.

This is because your wounded self thinks it can find its way by itself. It thinks that if it just stays ‘safe’ by shutting down, not caring, numbing out with substances or processes, it will be okay. It wants control – especially control over not feeling helpless or lonely or heartbroken or grief – more than anything. The problem is that it is impossible to maintain the illusion of control and be open to being guided by spirit at the same time.

My client Veronica was enraged at her young son. She was extremely frustrated at not having control over his refusal to do his homework. They had an ongoing power struggle over homework. While Veronica realized that she was participating in the power struggle by trying to control her son and not accepting her helplessness over him, she couldn’t seem to stop. Avoiding feeling helpless over him was so important to her that she would keep escalating her anger to the point where she would actually hit him. Mortified by her behavior, that’s when she called me for help.

I was able to help Veronica open to her love for her son and to her guidance, but for a while, her deep need to control and not be controlled, and to avoid her painful feeling of helplessness over her son, remained more important to her than loving, and she would succumb to her rage. Eventually, through practice, loving and being guided by spirit became her highest priority, and she was able to move beyond her rage.

This is the human dilemma with which we all struggle: who is in charge of our lives – our wounded self or our spiritual guidance?

Many of us turn to our guidance when things are going well, but immediately revert to the controlling ways of our wounded self as soon as our safety and security are threatened, or our existential painful feelings of loneliness, heartbreak, grief, or helplessness over others are triggered.

What do you do when someone is angry with you, blames you, or doesn’t do what you want? What do you do when things don’t go your way? What do you do with loss? Do you do Inner Bonding, opening to the presence of love, and turn to your guidance to learn what is loving to yourself and others, or do you turn to your addictions – to anger, withdrawal, substances, and processes? How long do you stay stuck in your wounded self?

We all have the choice to choose to love over control; we make this choice when loving ourselves and others finally becomes a higher priority than controlling, avoiding, and protecting against pain.

I encourage you to consciously choose the path of love rather than the path of fear and control. I encourage you practice the six steps of Inner Bonding whenever you feel anything other than peace and fullness within, and to consciously practice the presence of love so that staying connected with the love that is within you and all around you becomes your way of being. I know that it takes courage to let go of the control of the wounded self and open to the loving guidance that is always here for you, and I hope you have the courage to practice the presence of love so that you can live a life of inner peace and joy.

I invite you to learn to connect with your spiritual guidance with my 30-Day video home-study course, Unlocking Your Inner Wisdom.

And 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

And, if you enjoyed this podcast, I would really appreciate it if you tell your friends about it, and if you give it a review wherever you heard it.

I’m sending you my love and my blessings.

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