Dr. Margaret Paul starts this episode of the Inner Bonding Podcast with the story of the childhood of Dr. Erika Chopich, the co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding healing process. Despite growing up in an abusive environment, Dr. Erika has an extraordinary lightness of being.
Dr. Margaret then explains that lightness of being are those moments of enlightenment. It’s when we’re deeply connected with our beautiful soul and our higher guidance and receive the love, peace, and joy that spirit is always giving us. More importantly, she shares what we can choose to be our guiding lights so that we can experience moments of lightness of being.
Some of you who listen to my podcasts know that Dr. Erika Chopich is the co-creator of Inner Bonding, but most of you who know her work don’t know much about her past. She has been reluctant to talk about her past until most of her siblings had passed on. Now she has given me permission to share some of what her childhood was like.
The reason I want to share this is that, in the face of horrific childhood abuse, Erika often has an extraordinary lightness of being.
Erika came from a life-threatening, violently abusive childhood. Both of her parents were alcoholics, and both had malignant personality disorders. Erika was subjected to daily, and often life-threatening physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.
Like so many of my clients who were severely abused or scapegoated in their families, Erika was the one person in her family who came into life with a profound ability to love. And it was her very ability to love that threatened her parents and siblings to the point where she was the most abused in her family.
Erika was brought up on a farm, and it was her connection with than animals that kept alive her ability to love and maintain her lightness of being. Without being able to share love with the animals, she likely wouldn’t have survived.
Of course, Erika had much to heal, and has been tenacious in her healing journey, as have I. Both of us have had much to overcome, and neither of us ever gave up becoming healed and whole.
I want you to know this about Erika, because very often I hear my clients say, “Maybe I was too damaged by what I went through as a child to heal and become a loving adult.” This is never true. We all have an incredible soul, and the beautiful essence of our soul was never damaged by what we went through as children. And, because we all have free will, we always have choice over our intention. We have the free will to choose the intention to protect against pain with our various controlling and self-abandoning behaviors, and we have the choice to choose the intention to love ourselves, learn to connect with our spiritual guidance, develop the neural pathways in our higher brain for our loving adult, and be able to consistently share our love with others. Our past affects us, but it does not determine our present.
Both Erika and I came from poor families with no support for who we are and for manifesting the gifts we have been given. It’s because of our devotion to our healing that we are able to manifest our gifts, share our love, and maintain our lightness of being. Everyone has this choice.
What is your highest priority, the thing that is most important to you most of the time? As I go through the following list, be honest with yourself! Pick one or more things from this list that are most often your guiding light.
- Being right
- Having your way
- Being in control of how people feel about you
- Being in control of what people think of you
- Avoiding your painful feelings
- Never being taken advantage of
- Getting love, approval, and attention
- Being in a relationship
- Having children
- Having sex
- Food, alcohol, or drugs
- Looking good
- Getting away with doing as little as possible
- Not being controlled by anyone
- Doing things right, being perfect
- Never making a mistake
- Avoiding failure
- Being taken care of emotionally
- Being taken care of financially
- Making money
- Getting things done – accomplishing things
Of course, this isn’t a complete list, and you might want to think about what else might be your highest priority.
When you have any of these as your highest priority, then you will likely be harsh and judgmental toward yourself, trying to control yourself and others. You will likely abandon yourself in other ways as well – ignoring the anxiety, stress, and depression that all this causes, and turning to various addictions instead.
What if you decided to make kindness to yourself and others your highest priority, your guiding light?
Much would change.
Instead of placing your value on what people think, or getting what you want, or making lots of money, or how you look, or how you perform, and so on, you would place your value on your kindness toward yourself and others. You would define your worth by your compassion, generosity, caring, understanding, gentleness, tenderness, honesty, reliability, warmth, and aliveness. This does not mean that you would not want to be successful, but it does mean that the means does not justify the ends. You would not be unkind to others to get what you want, because being unkind to others is never kind to yourself.
Your true essence is naturally kind and caring, so anytime you are unkind to others, you are going against yourself – you are in “bad faith” with yourself. This hurts you on the soul level and is therefore unloving to yourself. You can never feel good about yourself while being unkind and uncaring toward others.
Making kindness your guiding light does not mean that you will be weak and allow others to take advantage of you or control you. This would not be kind to yourself. Your wounded self might say, “If you make kindness your guiding light, you will lose out. You will not be successful. You will not get enough done.” What I’m talking about here is not about not getting things done or not moving toward success. It’s about attaching your value to kindness, rather than to success, approval, getting things done, and so on.
Kindness is not weak – it comes from a place of deep personal power. The more you practice Inner Bonding and learn to be loving to yourself – taking responsibility for your own feelings – the more you will be able to make kindness your guiding light. And the more you make kindness your guiding light, the better you will feel about yourself, and the more you will be developing the new neural pathways for your powerful loving adult.
Making kindness your guiding light is not something you do once and then it is done. It is a moment-by-moment decision – a decision that comes from remembering that you get to choose who you want to be, moment by moment. The more often you choose kindness, the easier it becomes to choose it the next time you are challenged.
Choosing kindness creates a wonderful lightness of being. Think about the truly kind people you know – not people who caretake others as a form of control, but people who receive joy from being kind, caring, and generous. Is their energy heavy or light?
Most of us have experienced enlightened moments – moments when we feel full of joy and love inside and when all feels right with the world. Granted, it’s more challenging right now with all the turmoil in the world, but these feelings of lightness of being are an inner experience. When we are deeply connected with our beautiful soul and our higher guidance and receive the love, peace, and joy that spirit is always giving us, we feel an incredible lightness of being. These are moments of enlightenment.
Author Wayne Dyer offered us a different definition of enlightenment, and what he said is also important regarding lightness of being. His definition is simple, yet not easy. He wrote:
“If I could define enlightenment briefly, I would say it is the quiet acceptance of what is.“
As simple as this definition seems to be, how often do you quietly accept what is? Most of us have a very hard time fully accepting what is and accepting the feeling of helplessness of not being able to control others and outcomes. Instead of accepting what is, what do you say or do?
- Do you say things like “It’s not supposed to be this way,” “It should have been different,” “It should be this other way,” rather than accept reality? Do you curse the weather rather than accept that this is the way it is?
- Instead of accepting how people are, do you try various ways of trying to control them to get them to change and be the way you want them to be, or the way you think they should be? Do you explain, defend, complain, argue, blame, get angry, threaten, pout, give yourself up, be extra nice and so on, rather than accept how they are? Do you swear at people who cut you off on a freeway, rather than accept your lack of control over them?
- Do you tell myself lies regarding who someone is choosing to be, saying to yourself things like, “Underneath, he has a good heart,” rather than accept that the person is choosing to be abusive, or “I know she loves me,” rather than accept her lack of connection and attraction to you? Do you act as if your fantasy of someone is the reality, rather than accept the reality?
- Do you tell yourself it’s your fault when others are unloving, rather than accept their choice to be unloving? Do you blame and shame yourself, rather than accept who someone is choosing to be? Do you convince yourself that if only you do things ‘right,’ or say things ‘right,’ you can get someone to change?
You might want to take a moment to see what else you do instead of accepting what is.
Why is does fully accepting what is seem so hard at times?
If you fully accepted the reality of how things are or who a person is, then what? What would you have to face and what actions would you need to take if you fully accepted reality?
This is what makes acceptance so hard. When you 100% accept reality and you don’t like it, then you need to decide what actions to take, and these actions may be challenging. For example:
In Relationships: If you accept that your partner isn’t going to stop:
- smoking pot
- using drugs
- judging, criticizing, blaming
- complaining, defending, explaining
- being closed to learning
- being sexually needy
- withdrawing, being emotionally unavailable
- having affairs
- spending beyond your means
- working all the time
- being a selfish lover
- being generally selfish and inconsiderate
- having a talking addiction
- watching porn
- or anything else that you find unacceptable, then what?
What if these behaviors are going to continue no matter how much they hurt you or how angry you get; then what? If you accept that what your partner is doing that is painful to you is more important to him or her than you are, can you accept this, or will you need to leave the relationship? Is it easier to think you can get him or her to stop, rather than accepting your lack of control?
We often kid ourselves into thinking someone is going to change, rather than accept reality, because accepting reality might mean that we have to take an action that is difficult. Yet it’s only in accepting reality that you can take the necessary loving actions for yourself and experience moments of enlightenment and lightness of being.
- How about Work? If you accept that conditions at your work are not going to change, then what?
- And what about life’s other challenges? If you accept that life is going to keep happening and that some of it is going to be very hard, then what?
When we fully accept what is, then we are free to make loving decisions and take loving action in our own behalf. Accepting what is releases us from trying to control the things we cannot control and opens the door to controlling what we can, which is ourselves, our own intention, thoughts, and actions.
One of our experiences that creates a lightness of being is our passionate delight. I love it when someone is truly passionate about something in a delighted and joyful way. I know that when someone is motivated to do something or achieve something that gives them great joy and delight, they will likely succeed in doing or accomplishing what they desire.
Be aware, thought, that passion about something can come from two different places – our wounded self or our soul essence. Where it comes from within often determines the experience and the outcome, and whether or not we feel a lightness of being.
So for example, an acquaintance of mine was passionate about acting. He really wanted to be a famous actor. Yet every time he got a good part, he became terrified. It wasn’t fun for him at all because his wounded self was totally in charge. He wanted to be a famous actor from his ego, to prove his worth. His passion was not coming from joy and delight in the experience of acting, but from fear of inadequacy and failure, and from a need to control how people felt about him. As a result, he struggled and struggled, never making it as an actor.
When we discover something that we love doing, something that gives us great joy and delight, we are deeply motivated to do it. Joy and delight create a lightness of being and a high frequency, which enables spirit to help us manifest what we desire.
The secret to lightness of being and to manifesting what we desire is to stay focused on the passion, joy, and delight that the experience gives us. If we get caught up in the fear of not getting it or of failing in some way, we will lower our frequency to the point where our energy is heavy, and spirit cannot help us manifest what we want.
What if you made joy and delight, along with kindness, your guiding lights? Our joy and delight let us know that we are on the right track, that we are in alignment with our soul’s desires, that we are following the journey our soul set out to follow.
When I was in college, I had a double major – art and psychology. I loved both of them One of my great delights was to be in the pottery lab, throwing pots amidst the wonderful community of artists that gathered at U.C.L.A. We created together, laughed together, cried together, and generally supported each other through our various ups and downs. It was a wonderful part of my life, and I was so fortunate to being able to learn about and study ceramics with one of the world’s leading potters. I set up my own pottery studio and I continued potting for quite a while after leaving college. However, at some point, between kids and work, making pots fell by the wayside.
About 15 years ago, while I was dialoguing with my guidance and letting her know that I needed some guidance regarding fun and creativity, I heard her say, “Pot.”
“What?” I said.
“Pot. Make pots,” she said.
“Make pots? Where should I make pots?” I asked her.
“Look in the phone book,” she said.
I did and discovered that there was a wonderful pottery studio not far from my home where I then lived in Santa Fe. I’d lived there for a few years and had never known this place existed. For a nominal fee, I joined this studio, where I went a couple of afternoons a week. I felt such joy and delight just walking in there! It was like going back into the past to U.C.L.A., except, fortunately for me, most of the people were not young college students, but were around my age!
My guidance certainly knew what she is talking about. My inner child was ecstatic about making pots again! And the joy I felt and continue to feel where I now live and have my own pottery and painting studio, colors all the rest of my life, bringing a sense of fun and excitement to everything. Making pots and painting is fun! The artist in me was so excited to fully re-emerge and now I know that I need this form of fun for my lightness of being.
Follow your joy and passionate delight. It will always take you just where you need to go.
I can’t stress enough that if you want those moments of enlightenment and that wonderful sense of lightness of being, make love and kindness, joy and delight, your guiding lights.
You can learn to connect with your spiritual Guidance with my 30-day video course Unlocking Your Inner Wisdom.
And be sure to take advantage of our website at https:www.innerbonding.com,as well as our many books on Inner Bonding, which you can get on our website or on Amazon or Goodreads.
I’m sending you my love and my blessings.
©Margaret Paul, PhD, 2022