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S2 EP200 – Connection – Our Deepest Desire

Episode Summary

Are you longing for connection? Do you want to experience intimacy and connection with others, and the joy and aliveness that this offers? How often in your life have you felt that magical feeling of deeply connecting with another? Discover what you need to do to create loving connection in your life.


Hi everyone. Dr. Margaret Paul here with the Inner Bonding Podcast. Today I’m addressing the important topic of connection, something most of us yearn for.

When we were born, the most important thing to us was connection with our mother or another nurturing person. We needed physical connection and emotional connection with her or with someone to feel safe, and to develop the ability to regulate our feelings. Connection with someone was essential to our physical survival and our emotional well-being.

If we were fortunate enough to have had a healthy experience of connection with our parents, we likely grew up feeling loved, lovable, and safe. But in order to have this healthy connection, our parents or other caregivers needed to be connected with themselves. They could not fully connect with us if they were disconnected from themselves.

To the degree that our parents or caregivers did not role model inner connection with themselves and offer us the connection we needed, it is likely that we developed a deep unmet yearning within us, as well as missing out on learning how to connect with ourselves. This lack of inner connection often creates feelings of despair within. Connection is such a basic need that without it we feel alone and empty.

Research indicates that strong connections with family and friends – connections that make us feel safe and loved – are essential for happiness and health. People who live in caring communities live longer, happier lives than people who live alone or with others with whom they are not connected.

Too often, we try to fill our need for connection without first healing our inner disconnection. The failure of many marriages and intentional communities is a testament to the futility of trying to create loving relationships and caring communities without first doing the inner work necessary to be connected with oneself. The neediness and controlling behavior that dominates relationships between people who are not connected with themselves is what is responsible for the high divorce rate and the failure of many communities to survive and thrive.

In order to manifest our deepest desire to connect in a loving way with others, we first need to learn to connect in a loving way with ourselves. What this means is that we need to learn to be present with a compassionate intent to learn from all of our feelings – especially our painful feelings. The moment you abandon yourself, rejecting your own feelings by ignoring them, judging them, turning to addictions to avoid feeling them, or making another person responsible for them, you are disconnecting from yourself and making it impossible to connect with another.

Deeply connecting with another is one of the great joys of life and is something most of us long for. Deep connection takes away loneliness and gives us the experience of being deeply known. We feel safe and loved when our hearts connect. The happiest people in the world are those who live in communities where they feel connected with each other.

Of course we long for connection when we don’t have it in our lives. But sometimes it seems elusive – even in committed relationships.  

Larissa asked me, “Am I being needy when I am longing for connection with my spouse?” 

A good question, and the answer is not simple.

If you are longing for connection with your spouse because you are feeling alone and empty inside and you hope that he or she will fill you up and make you feel worthy and lovable, then the answer is yes – you are being needy.

If you are connected with yourself, taking loving care of yourself and filling yourself up with love to share, then you are not being needy in longing for connection with your spouse.

When we try to connect with another without first connecting with ourselves, not only do we find that we can’t sustain a connection, but we find that the connection doesn’t give us what we hoped for.

When we long for connection from an empty, disconnected place, we are trying to get love, attention, and approval. When we long for connection from a heart full of love, we want to share love rather than get love. This is what makes all the difference.

Unfortunately, many people believe that it’s getting love that fills them. They don’t understand the huge difference between getting love and sharing love.

Imagine two empty people in a relationship, with each person hoping the other will connect with them and fill them with love. But how can this happen when both are empty due to being disconnected from themselves?

Imagine one person is empty and the other is full. The empty one tries to get the love they want from the full person, but the full person feels drained when being with the empty person. Since people come together at their common level of woundedness or their common level of health – which is their common level of self-abandonment or self-love, the full person will likely not be attracted to the empty person.

Two full people who partner with each other are able to connect and share love in a long-term relationship, but two empty people can’t.  

How do we get from empty to full, from inner disconnection to inner connection, from self-abandonment to self-love?

By practicing Inner Bonding!

The more you practice the Six Steps of Inner Bonding throughout the day – whenever you feel anything other than peace inside – the more you learn to connect with yourself and your spiritual guidance and bring the love of spirit inside your heart and soul. We feel full when we are being loving to ourselves rather than abandoning ourselves. When our intent is to love ourselves and share our love with others, our heart is open and the love that is spirit naturally fills us. When our intent is to protect against pain and try to have control over getting love, our heart is closed to experiencing the love that is spirit.

If you long for connection – for deep intimacy – start by connecting with yourself and with your spiritual guidance and you will find connection naturally occurring with others who are also inwardly connected. However, if you are in a relationship in which both of you got together when you were empty, and you move into fullness but your partner doesn’t, the relationship might go into turmoil. The relationship will get much better if your partner also practices Inner Bonding, but the issues in the relationship might become much more pronounced and visible to you if you fill up with love and your partner remains empty.

Anytime we choose to learn and grow, we need to be prepared for things to change – one way or the other. It takes courage to change your part of a relationship system, but it is so worth it!

Often, controlling behavior is in the way of connection. But what would happen within yourself and your relationships if you recognized that often controlling behavior is a cry for connection?

How do you respond when you feel that your friend, family member, or partner is trying to control you? Do you counter by trying to control them – giving yourself up, resisting, getting angry, blaming, or withdrawing?

How does the other person respond to your response? Does he or she respond with more controlling, such as indifference, resistance, defending, anger, blame, or compliance?

Do you end up feeling connected with each other?

Take a moment right now to tune inside and see what is really happening when you protect yourself with avoidant, controlling behavior.

  • Are you feeling alone and lonely?
  • Do you feel empty inside, desperate to feel some love within?
  • Do you long to connect with your friend, family member or partner, but you become protected and controlling when fearing or experiencing disconnection with them due to their controlling behavior?

What if you saw your own controlling behavior and the controlling behavior of others as a cry for connection? Would this make it easier for you to have compassion for yourself and the others in your life?

Have you ever had the experience, especially at the beginning of a relationship, where you felt the deliciously wonderful feeling of connection with the other person, and it took away your loneliness for the time being? But then what happened? If you hadn’t done the inner work of learning to connect with yourself and your guidance, then you may have become afraid of losing the connection with the other person. Then you might have resorted to your learned controlling behavior, either in response to your own fear, or in response to the other’s controlling behavior. Then, of course, you lose the connection and end up feeling lonely and alone. You might conclude that you picked the wrong partner.

But what if you had stayed connected with yourself and compassionately felt the deeper feelings of loneliness, heartache, heartbreak, and grief if your partner disconnected from you with their protective, avoidant, controlling behavior? What if you were connected with yourself enough so that you did not scare yourself with the notion of losing your partner, to the point of becoming protected and controlling in response to your own fears? What if you recognized how much we all love to feel connected with each other, and stayed connected with yourself, so that you could keep your heart open to your own feelings and the feelings of your partner? 

What do you think would happen with the relationship if you stayed open instead of protecting again what you fear?

In some relationships, you might quickly discover that your friend, family member, or partner is completely unwilling to feel his or her own painful feelings and learn to take responsibility for them, and that there is not much hope of sustaining connection. In other relationships, you would discover that the more open and loving you are, the more open and loving your partner, friend or family member is – that they want to connect as much as you do and are willing to learn what they need to do to support a connected relationship.

I encourage you to see your own and others’ controlling behavior as a possible cry for connection and learn to stay open to learning about it. The intent to learn with yourself and others is the most profound path to connection with yourself and with your partner, friends, and family members.

One of the challenges couples are often faced with is finding time for connection.

My clients, Gretta and David, fell deeply in love in their mid 50’s. They were both astounded at the level of passion they experienced.

At the beginning of their relationship, nothing got in the way of their time together – not chores, children, work, friends, or “stuff”. Nothing was more important than their time together.

However, when they started living together and got married, their passion seemed to fall by the wayside. Sometimes they didn’t make love for weeks at a time. They called me for a session to see what was wrong.

Halfway into the session, David hit the nail on the head. “We never seem to have time for each other anymore.”

“What are you doing with your time now?” I asked. “Getting stuff done,” they both answered.

“Why is getting the stuff done more important than time together?” I asked.

As we explored this question, both Gretta and David discovered that they had been brought up with a strong work ethic: “Get everything done before relaxing.” “Work before play.” What they didn’t realize was that their “doing” was in the way of their “being.” Without having time to be, they had no emotional and spiritual connection with each other or with themselves. Without their connection, there was no desire to express themselves sexually, especially for Gretta. Gretta complained that she didn’t feel connected with David and didn’t enjoy sex without connection, yet she made no room in her day for the time to connect.

How many of you plan time to connect with yourself and with your spiritual guidance? How many of you plan time to connect with your partner or others in your life?

Creating time to connect with yourself means setting aside time each day to just be with yourself. When you plan this quiet time – to pray, meditate, do an Inner Bonding process – you create the space to connect with spirit as well. It is when you are quiet and in the moment with yourself that you will hear the voice of your spiritual guidance.

Creating time to connect with each other means planning time to do nothing with each other, as well as planning fun time together. It means sitting together on the patio and watching the sunset. It means having a cup of tea together before going to work. It means watching a video together or taking a walk. It means getting into bed way before bedtime to cuddle and share your day with each other. It means getting up early enough to share your dreams with each other. It means planning a date night together at least once a week.

Your relationship with yourself and your partner will always suffer if you do not plan time to connect. This is not a luxury – something you do only after you’ve finished everything. This is a necessity for your own health and well-being as well as the health and well-being of your relationship. You will never finish everything you need to do. There will always be “stuff.” But the wonder and passion of life will pass you by if you do not schedule time to connect. This time needs to be as important as the time you take to eat, sleep, work, or be with your children. It is only when you see it as essential to your well-being will you make it a very high priority in your life.

Gretta and David decided to set aside a half hour each day to sit on their patio and do nothing with each other. In addition, they each decided to set aside another half hour – when they were usually doing stuff – to connect with themselves. It didn’t take long for the passion to come back into their relationship.

Often, time together is more important to one partner than it is to the other. When this is the case, partners need to explore what is happening between them that is leading to the one partner not making time together a high priority. 

Some of the issues you may want to examine are:

  • Is one partner fearful of being pulled on for sex?
  • Is one partner fearful of being pulled on to fill up the other partner emotionally?
  • Does one partner feel fearful of being criticized in various ways when they are alone together?
  • Is one partner emotionally unavailable and the other partner feels lonely with him or her when they are alone together?
  • Has one partner become so preoccupied with being successful or making money that they no longer have anything to talk about?
  • Is fun lacking in the relationship?
  • Does one partner feel resistant to being controlled by the other partner?
  • Is one partner resenting the imbalance regarding work, chores, and childcare?
  • Is one partner feeling angry or withdrawn? If so, why?

Exploring these issues can shine the light on why you don’t plan time together and why you don’t feel connected with each other.

As humans, we are hard-wired to want to connect with each other. Until 10,000 years ago, all people lived in tribes where families stayed together through the generations, and tribes stayed together, deeply connected with each other and with the planet.

Then, about 10,000 years ago, our civilization started what is currently called the agricultural revolution, but which Daniel Quinn, in the book “Ishmael,” calls “Totalitarian Agriculture.” What changed dramatically at that time is that, as agriculture spread and absorbed the tribes, food was no longer free. Until then, people hunted, gathered, and sometimes grew crops, but everyone had access to free food. Once our civilization spread, food became owned by the people who owned the land, and now people had to work for food. What this did was split up the tribes – there are still some left, but not many – and this started a cycle of family and tribal disconnection.

The industrial revolution brought about even more disconnection. People moved out of small rural communities and into cities to work. Whereas, originally, people didn’t have to earn money for food, now people had to work to earn money to survive. In tribal societies, people had a lot of time to get together with each other to connect and to be creative. They were naturally loving themselves. In modern times, most people are very stressed with earning money and don’t have enough time to be with their family and friends, and not enough time to for themselves.

Now, not only do we have to work hard and long to survive, but with social media we are more disconnected than ever. Connection over the Internet isn’t at all the same as spending in-person heart-to-heart connection with each other.

What this has created is loneliness, anxiety, and a sense of emptiness. In order to survive this, we have also disconnected from ourselves – our own feelings. We’ve learned to disconnect within to manage the pain of our current culture.

In addition, our culture of processed foods and drugs has lowered our frequency and fostered disconnection from ourselves, from each other, and from our higher spiritual guidance. It’s hard to connect when we are working too hard, not having enough time, and when our bodies are working hard to manage the processed and factory-farm foods that most people eat.

Life loses its aliveness when we lack connection with ourselves, with our spiritual guidance, and with each other.

There is nothing more wonderful than heart-to-heart connection. But in order to have this with a partner, family, and friends, you need to start by learning to connect with yourself. We deeply connect with others from our heart, not our head, so if you’ve learned to stay focused in your mind to avoid your painful feelings, you won’t be able to experience loving heart-to-heart connection with others.

It’s my hope that you have the courage to stop avoiding feeling your painful feelings, which means learning to love yourself by opening to the incredible information all of your feelings have for you. You cannot begin to imagine how much better life gets when you learn to love yourself and lovingly attend to your feelings, rather than abandon them. This is what reconnects you within and with your higher self, which then leads to being able to experience loving heart-to-heart connection with others – and this is what life is all about!

The one thing that dying people regret the most is not having connected more with loved ones. Don’t wait until it’s too late to make loving connection with others a very high priority in your life. Intimacy and connection are the aliveness of life. And it has to start with yourself.

Author Thomas Moore, in Care of the Soul, said, “Intimacy begins with oneself. It does no good to try to find intimacy with friends, lovers, and family if you are starting out from alienation and division within yourself.”

Most of us would love to have intimacy and connection in our lives, yet we often find this elusive, and there is only one major reason why this is so, which the inner disconnection from yourself that comes from self-abandonment.

Thomas Moore puts it in a nutshell. Until we are intimate and connected with ourselves, we cannot experience the greatest joy in life – intimacy and connection with others.

Inner Bonding is a compete process for learning how to stop abandoning yourself and start learning how to love yourself. It gives you all the tools you need to stop being alienated from yourself and start being intimate and connected with yourself. It develops your ability to tap into the profound role-modeling from spirit which is available to all of us.

When you learn how to be intimate and connected with yourself, your anxiety, depression, emptiness, anger, addictions, and relationships will heal. Then you can be intimate and connected with others and experience the joy and aliveness that life has to offer.

Start now to do the thing that will make the most difference in your life regarding your happiness and joy. Start now to practice Step One of Inner Bonding – learning to be fully present with your feelings with acceptance and compassion for them. Then move into Step Two of Inner Bonding – choosing the intent to learn about what is loving to yourself and what is true for you. Start now to take responsibility for your own feelings by moving into Step Three of Inner Bonding – learning what your feelings are telling you about your own beliefs and behavior, and about others and situations – rather than avoiding your feelings. Start now to develop a strong connection with your personal source of guidance by moving into an intent to learn with your guidance about love and truth and start now taking loving action based on the truth in Step Five of Inner Bonding. Finally, evaluate, in Step Six of Inner Bonding, how you are feeling as a result of the loving action.

Creating an inner connection with your feelings and your higher self is essential to being able to create a loving connection with others, and experiencing the joy and fullness that comes from sharing your love.

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.

And I invite you join me for my bi-monthly masterclass and receive my live help, which you can learn about at

And I invite you to heal your relationships with my 30-Day online video relationship course: Wildly, Deeply, Joyously in Love.

And you can learn so much about loving yourself and creating loving relationships from my recent books and from our website at

If you want to do individual work with me or with one of our many trained Inner Bonding facilitators, please go and look under Facilitators -> Find a Facilitator, or call my office, the number is on the website.

I’m sending you my love and my blessings.

©Dr. Margaret Paul and Inner Bonding® Educational Technologies, Inc, 2024

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