Discover why you can’t heal without a spiritually connected loving adult, and what to do when you get triggered into your ego wounded self. Becoming a trustworthy loving adult is essential for healing yourself and your relationships, and you become trustworthy as you learn to love yourself and share your love with others.
Before I talk about being a loving adult, and address the challenges to being a loving adult, and how to learn to be a loving adult, I want to define what it means to be a loving adult.
We are operating as a loving adult when we are open to learning about loving ourselves and others, and we are connected with our higher source of love, wisdom, and guidance, and we are taking loving actions in our highest good and the highest good of all.
The loving adult exists in our higher brain – our pre-frontal cortex. Our right higher brain – our feminine, mother, nurturing aspect, is the part of us that can naturally connect with and be guided by our higher self, and our left higher brain – our masculine, external, action aspect – is the part of us that takes loving actions informed by the love and truth of our right brain. These aspects of our brain have been validated by my friend, neuroscientist Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, both through our conversations and in her excellent book, Whole Brain Living. She also validates that our ego wounded self is in our lower left brain, and our inner child – our soul – is in our lower right brain.
When our action-oriented left brain is being informed by our spiritually connected right brain, we are operating from our loving adult, and our actions are supportive of the highest good of ourselves, others, and our planet. But when our left brain is being informed by our lower left brain, our programmed ego wounded self, which is filled with fear and false beliefs, chaos results, which we can currently see in all the problems on our planet – food and health issues, economic and food insecurity, relationship problems, racism, sexism, homophobia, the climate change that results from the greed of the ego wounded self, and so on. The actions that stem from our lower left brain come from fear and greed and the resulting controlling behavior that fuels all the problems on our planet.
These problems will be solved only as more and more people learn to operate as a loving adult with themselves, others, and with Mother Earth.
In order to be operating as a loving adult, we need to keep our frequency high by eating fresh clean organic food and choosing the intent to learn about loving ourselves and others. However, even when we are practicing Inner Bonding, eating well, and learning to be a loving adult, all of us are at times challenged in being a loving adult.
Most of the time I can be a loving adult just by choosing to be. But there are times when I find it extremely difficult, and that’s when I need someone to step in and help me. For me, it’s when I’m exhausted due to not having slept well for a number of nights, or when I’m sick – which fortunately is rare for me. At these times, I just can’t get my frequency high enough to connect with my guidance, and without my guidance, I’m lost. I feel like I’m trying to navigate life with a blindfold on.
I’ve also had a few times when I’ve needed to take medication. I find that drugs lower my frequency so much that I can’t connect with my guidance. This is one reason I take such good care of myself physically – I hate the feeling of a lowered frequency and the resulting disconnection from my source of love and wisdom.
In the past, before Inner Bonding and before I learned how to be compassionately present for my grief, loneliness, helplessness and heartbreak, I would protect against these feelings with my various addictions. My addictions to sugar, anger, judgment, staying in my head, blame, and caretaking, would lower my frequency and make it impossible to connect with my guidance. There was no way I could be a loving adult while I was intent on avoiding my existential painful feelings of life.
Of course, then I would feel anxious, shamed, or depressed, which would further lower my frequency, creating a feeling of being stuck. It’s only when I decided that I wanted full responsibility for my feelings that I could stop behaving in ways that kept lowering my frequency.
Before Inner Bonding, I practiced as a traditional psychotherapist, and I often wondered why true healing seldom occurred. By true healing, I mean that people left their work with me feeling a deep sense of self-worth and inner safety, with relatively little anxiety and depression, and they knew how to manage their pain and they understood how to create a loving relationship. At that time, I didn’t know how to accomplish all this for myself, so of course I couldn’t help others to do it. Yet I was doing all I had learned in school, all I had learned from books, all I had learned from my own extensive psychotherapy, and all I had learned from the many other ways I had sought healing.
What I did not know at the time, although I kind of sensed it, was that true healing cannot occur without Spirit. However, there was nothing in all my years of schooling that even mentioned or implied this. Not one professor in my master’s program or my doctoral program ever stated that there is no true healing without a spiritual connection and spiritual help.
When Spirit brought Inner Bonding to Erika and me, we knew that we had to leave the ranks of traditional psychotherapy. We knew that it was a dead end – that without Spirit we would keep going round and round in the wounded self, and the wounded self cannot heal the wounded self.
What heals is love and truth, and love and truth are not generated from our programmed ego wounded lower left-brain mind, which is what needs healing.
This is why, when a person diligently practices Inner Bonding, true healing occurs. Just like lifting weights develops muscles, Inner Bonding is the practice that develops the spiritually connected loving adult. The more you practice Inner Bonding, the more you create new neural pathways in your brain for the loving adult, and the more connected you feel to your personal spiritual guidance, and the more you are guided in taking loving action for yourself and with others.
There is NO WAY to discover truth without a spiritual connection, and it is being able to bring through truth that is the beginning of healing the false beliefs of the wounded self. There is no way to discover the beauty of your essence and feel a deep sense of inner worth without Spirit letting you know who you are. There is no way to feel safe unless you know that you are never alone – that you are always being guided toward your highest good. There is no way to stay centered in the face of attack without your loving adult bringing in the strength from Spirit. There is no way to feel the fullness of love in your being without Spirit, for Spirit is love. There is no way to consistently take loving action on your own behalf and on behalf of others without the strength and wisdom that comes through from Spirit.
It is actually arrogant to think that we can heal without Spirit, but of course, the wounded self is arrogant, believing that it doesn’t need Spirit to be okay. This is one of the major false beliefs of the wounded self.
Many people come to Inner Bonding after trying many different forms of healing that have not worked for them. Even if they have done inner child work, they have not found the healing they have sought, because much inner child work does not include the development of a spiritually connected loving adult.
The more you practice Inner Bonding, the more you will discover the power of this practice to bring about healing on the deepest level.
One of the challenges in being a loving adult is to learn how to shift from your wounded self being in charge, to your higher guidance being in charge.
Have you ever had the experience of going along feeling fine, feeling peaceful inside – and then something happens that triggers you into your anxiety, anger, stress, hurt, fear, depression and so on? Of course, it seems like it’s the external event that triggered you, such as someone yelling at you or blaming you, or issues with money or children or work, or rejection, engulfment, or other control issues. Suddenly, instead of happily flowing along in your open-hearted loving adult, your heart is closed and you are stuck in the peanut-size part of your left brain, your left amygdala that is the home of the ego wounded self.
The stress in your body is triggering thoughts that are creating even more stress, and you feel stuck in your anxiety or other painful feelings.
How can you consciously move from your close-hearted left-brain ego wounded self, back into the peace and open heart of your loving adult?
The most important choice you need to make, once you are aware of your stressful feelings, is to decide that you really want to learn about what you are telling yourself, what you are believing, or what you are doing or not doing that is causing the stress. You can quickly choose the intent to learn when you decide that you want responsibility for your feelings rather than being a victim of them.
Along with opening to learning about loving yourself, there are many other choices you can make that will help you move out of your wounded self. But, while all these choices can help you to feel better and move into your loving adult, you will not learn anything new unless you also have the intent to learn.
The wounded self is always focused on the past or future, so one of the first things you can do is focus on the present moment. If there is a lot of stress in your body, doing the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) or doing some strenuous exercise such as running, can help move the stress out of your body and get you present in the moment. Other activities that may help you get present are deep breathing, gardening, being in nature, prayer and meditation, playing with a pet, listening to music, or even mundane activities like doing the dishes or cleaning the house.
For some people, doing a creative activity, such as art, writing, singing, or playing a musical instrument, can move you into your loving adult state.
Asking someone for help – someone who can really listen to you so that you can sort things out – may also help as long as you really want the help rather than wanting someone to change or to fix things for you. Also, stepping out of your own problems and reaching out to help someone else will almost always get you open-hearted and present in the moment.
Once you feel open and present in the moment, do the Six Steps of Inner Bonding, which you can find on our website by clicking on the menu item ‘About’ and then clicking on ‘6 Steps.’ Too often, once people feel better, they forget to do the learning that they need to do so that they don’t keep getting triggered into their wounded self. Once you are calmer, utilize the situation that just occurred to explore what you were telling yourself or how you were treating yourself in response to the external event that triggered you into your wounded self.
It’s likely that you are treating yourself as your parents or caregivers treated you or how they treated themselves, because we all absorbed the wounded selves of the people we grew up with, and we continue to re-traumatize ourselves whenever we put our wounded self in charge.
The more you practice Inner Bonding every time you are triggered into your wounded self, the less you will get triggered by external events, and easier it will be to choose to stay present as your loving adult.
One of the very best things you can do for yourself is to become a trustworthy loving adult. Being trustworthy with yourself is essential to being able to trust others. For example, I was sitting with Jeremy in one of my 5-Day Inner Bonding Intensives.
“I don’t trust you,” Jeremy said to me on the first day of the Intensive. “Actually, I don’t trust anyone.”
“Do you trust yourself?” I asked.
“What do you mean?” He asked.
“Does your inner child feel that he can trust you to be kind, caring and accepting of him, to take good care of your health and your finances, and to speak up for him with others?” I asked him.
“No, not at all,” he said.
“So do you think it is possible that you not trusting me or others is a projection of your inner child not trusting you as a loving adult?”
Obviously, this was the truth. Jeremy was very overweight, was addicted to numerous substances, was living on the edge financially, and was in the process of getting a divorce.
Rather than focusing on whether another person is trustworthy, try focusing on whether or not you are loving yourself and being a trustworthy loving adult for your own inner child. True inner safety is not created by trying to get others to take care of you in a trustworthy way, but by being reliably trustworthy for yourself.
What does it mean to love yourself enough to be a trustworthy loving adult?
Think for a moment about what you want from others. Most of us want the people close to us to be honest, kind and accepting. We want them to be interested in us, to listen to us, to care about our feelings, and to do what they say they are going to do. We want them to truly care about both our pain and our joy and to support our highest good. Many people get angry and critical when others are not trustworthy.
Yet how often do you love yourself enough to do these exact things for yourself? How often do you love yourself by noticing your feelings and attending to any distress? How often do you love yourself by being kind to yourself instead of judgmental? How often do you abandon yourself by promising yourself to eat better, exercise more, stop smoking, stop drinking, work harder, play more, get more rest…and then don’t follow through on your promises to yourself? How often do you abandon yourself by telling yourself lies that scare you – statements that your wounded self has decided are true, but that have no basis in truth?
Until you decide to become a trustworthy loving adult for your inner child, you will not feel safe, no matter how trustworthy others are. You will not trust others until you can trust yourself to be loving to yourself.
Being a trustworthy loving adult means that you consistently show up for yourself in all areas of your life – physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially, organizationally, and in your relationships with others.
Loving yourself means that you care about your body – the temple of your beautiful essence – by feeding yourself healthy food, getting enough exercise and rest, wearing protective gear in dangerous situations, avoiding unnecessary toxins, and not causing unnecessary emotional stress.
Loving yourself means that you practice staying in Step One of Inner Bonding – staying tuned into your feelings so that you can attend to any stress that arises, moving into Inner Bonding to discover the truth and the loving action, and taking loving action on your own behalf.
Loving yourself means staying connected with your spiritual Guidance throughout the day so that you never feel alone and abandoned, and consistently following the guidance you are given.
Loving yourself means finding work you love and doing your best to earn enough money to feel financially safe. It means not going into debt by spending more than you earn and saving for the future. It also means spending some money on the things that truly bring you joy.
Loving yourself means keeping your environment organized so that you don’t feel overwhelmed, paying bills on time, being on time, and following through on commitments.
Loving yourself means being kind and caring with others while speaking up for yourself, rather than giving yourself up or allowing yourself to be violated.
Becoming a loving, trustworthy adult is a process. The more you practice Inner Bonding, the more you will gradually develop your trustworthy loving adult.
Ivanka shared her process of becoming a loving adult, which I will share with you.
At the beginning of my Inner Bonding practice, finding my needs and taking loving action was the most challenging part. I was ok with dialoging and with connecting with guidance, but my stumbling block was loving action. What am I supposed to do? Who is going to do it? I was so out of touch of my needs so the only way to take loving action was to imagine my niece, think what would be loving to her and then take that loving action for myself. This obviously meant that my loving adult did not exist at that time. Nevertheless I persisted.
Every day on my morning commute I would ask my guide what is the most loving action for me? Whatever my guide said I would do to the best of my abilities. The beginning of the practice was also marked with facing very painful feelings and false beliefs. There were times when I regretted my journey, yet I knew that I’d already crossed the point of no return. I had to go ahead.
I did not think much about being a loving adult, but I tried to console my little girl the best I can. Then I started to notice that my wounded self would get incredibly loud, showering me with all kind of fears and threats, such as: you will end up alone, you are horribly flawed, no amount of healing will help. It was happening as I slowly stopped caretaking and took responsibility for myself.
At that time, it looked like the development of my loving adult was staying at the same spot, when in reality I was slowly developing my loving adult muscle. My first real appearance as a loving adult happened when I stood up to my narcissistic mother. I did not allow her to dump her negativity on me. I did not back down under her big pressure to change my mind and rewrite reality. I kept telling her that I am not going to tolerate her negativity and promised her that next time I will hang up on her. At the end of the conversation, I felt very shaky, but I told my little girl I would rather lose her then you. Never again. I knew it was my loving adult who handled the incident.
The practice went on as I released layers and layers of false beliefs and brought love to my child. And then my guide arranged a big test. This time it was at work. All my buttons got pushed. It is hard to put in words all the fears that were triggered at that time. All my life I was nice, understanding, supportive, and tolerant and would do anything to avoid conflict. In Inner Bonding language I was abandoning myself. This time I stood up for myself. I told my child that I would rather lose the job than her. I did not allow some bullies to intimidate me and I did not back down so that they would have their way.
I started to notice that when I did not try to control how other people see me I did not feel exhausted. And the big lesson was that I could say no and survive. At that particular time, I was covering two senior positions and there were people that thought their task came first. Bulling and intimidation was their language. I complained to my Guide and told her that this is too much, but her answer was I am not asking you to be perfect, just to do the best you can. Then there was a conflict (and I was conflict phobic) where I stood my grounds and did not allow my work to be tossed away. My wounded self was urging me to be nicer, to compromise, to understand. I did not comply with that request.
The next morning, I woke up around 4 am. I felt peaceful, and fully rested. There was a Presence. There was a sense of security, warmth and my child was very content. I did Inner Bonding and discovered that Presence is my Loving Adult. She was just gently holding my inner child, stroking her hair and she was so content. Not a single word was said.
The feeling remained throughout the busy day. I realized that for the first time in my life I did not abandon my child, and I was not trying to be perfect. I choose her instead of the other person. There was a huge sense of exhaustion and sadness as well. I felt like I wanted to cry. It was just so hard to face the fact that when I was thinking that I was responsible and tolerant, actually I was abandoning myself, and the only thing my child ever wanted is just my presence. Nothing else.
I experienced this presence earlier in my life when I was with my father. It is warm, radiates security, not a single trace of a demand or a threat. But I always took it for granted. With time this presence faded away. I continued to be as loving as possible. Here and there my loving adult would go on a break and my wounded self would immediately take the drivers seat. Instead of getting upset about how this is possible, my loving adult would just tell my wounded self: Sweetie please take the back seat I am going to drive.
In the meantime I attended one more intensive, met my Inner Bonding buddy and this put my practice on the whole new level. It was through the other person’s practice that I started clearly to see that without a loving adult we cannot bring Spirit’s love to our inner children. I was always puzzled when I introduced my inner children to Ana (my guide) and they would tell me they know her. If they know her why did they did not talk to her? Then it dawned on me that the loving adult is the key link between the guide and inner children. Only the loving adult can bring the truth from the guidance about how lovable, worthy, and talented we are.
Becoming loving to myself challenged my relationships with other people. Some relationships simply disappeared. Nothing happened. No conflict, yet they were over. I still meet from time to time so called “friends”; we say hi-bye and that is all. I seem to be drawn to some other people. I became very choosy who I socialize with and started to enjoy my alone time. I had conflict with all narcissists in my life, as it turned out that I have attracted quite a few of them. I learned that their main weapon is to see a doubt in my value, threaten me with rejection, throw big victim drama and accuse me to be a cause of their distress.
I did not respond to any accusation (that pleased my guide immensely), which disoriented them totally. “You have changed” was their main complaint. The most important thing is that people who were always caring have the right spot in my life now. I do not take them for granted anymore. Even today when my loving adult is much stronger and I am aware of her presence my wounded self from time to time showers me with some kind of disaster that is just around the corner hoping that I will lose my grounds. Then one day my loving adult told my wounded child: if disaster A, B or C happens I will just love you. I will make sure that I spend a lot of time with you and I will love you no matter what. I guess that was not the answer that my wounded self expected, as it got silent.
May loving presence always be with you.
I hope you benefit from Ivanka’s experience of developing her loving adult.
You can Learn how to be a loving adult through my workbook, “The Inner Bonding Workbook: Six Steps to Healing Yourself and Connecting With Your Divine Guidance.”
And with my 30-Day at-home Course: “Love Yourself: An Inner Bonding Experience to Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions and Relationships.”
And, of course, we have much to offer you at our website at https:www.innerbonding.com
I’m sending you my love and my blessings.